The City Sage: On the Hunt: Stylish and Affordable Cleaning Tools

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January 03, 2013


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This made me chuckle! I feel the same way. I'm on the hunt for a nice looking trash can for our restroom, but anything remotely nice is like $30!! $30 for a waste basket? I may need to resort to IKEA. Have you tried them?

Kathryn Humphreys

I was just bemoaning this the other day. I can't bring myself to pay for the pretty cleaning tools and what I have is just depressing.


Haha I'm so glad that someone else is just as aesthetically picky as I am!

Cori Magee

Love this post. As soon as I get home from work, I'm throwing so much stuff away. Or maybe, after new things arrive from Germany.....


Try U-Line


ahhh i totally feel you here. i hate to bring anything into my home that i am not absolutely in love with but cleaning supplies are so tough b/c i want to be able to get rid of them every year or so. i've had some luck at the container store but a lot of the items i like don't seem to be online - may be worth checking out!


Given the cost (and availability) of some "stylish" items, most of us must make-do with more affordable cleaning tool "eyesores" for our apartments and homes.

We solve that issue, somewhat, by storing these items in a closet, out of view. The one thing we splurged on, though, because it can't be hidden away, is a stainless steel trash can in our kitchen.

I get where you are coming from, and it's ridiculous that there aren't simple, well-made and aesthetically pleasing items available at reasonable prices, but one can become a bit too focused on the look of the tools and not just getting the cleaning job done.

I'd rather spend the time/energy finding ways to make (often too costly for regular use) non-toxic cleaning products. And de-tox our home from all the products that are bad for humans and the environment.

We can never afford the types of aesthetically pleasing items we'd like, given what's available. So we shift our focus to the cleaning process and creating a healthy, clean home.

It's wonderful to be design-aware, but also a curse if it makes your life so difficult that you can't be content with what IS available.

molly h

depending on how big of a waste bin you need, the KNODD from ikea is pretty cute:
i have the 4 gallon size and i find that with the amount that i recycle & compost living in SF, that it's quite sufficient. and just $15.
i like your industrial find too, maybe for my future on-my-own-again apartment...


Ikea has a similar, less expensive stool

Kauffman Mercantile has some great products. Good luck!


Great post! I have seen attractive cleaning tools, but never affordable like these... Also, if the Mr. Clean gloves are just plastic (like every other pair of yellow dish gloves), then you could easily scallop the edges... I think I'd smile every time I used them if they were scalloped.

dervla @ The Curator

This made me smile, i do like that toilet brush. Almost too nice to put in my toilet :) I guess it has to be pretty but do the dirty work too.


hardware stores
not big box stores


Jordan Ferney talked about this on her blog, OH Happy Day. She has lots of links, they might be what you're looking for.

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