When someone first asked me, in a serious tone, how do you recommend I organize under the kitchen sink? I thought to myself,
When did my life get so glamorous?
I mean really! Next I’ll find myself at a party discussing mildew stain removal.
But, then I thought, “WWMD?” (What would Martha do?)
Answer: Martha would organize the shi-zizzle out of that cabinet under the kitchen sink.
So, here we go.
First step- Purge it
As with all organizing projects around the house, the first step is to remove all the items which do not belong. Think of the old song from Sesame Street: One of these things is not like the others.
Some common culprits I find under kitchen sinks are: bathroom cleaners (store them in the bathroom where you use them); multiple products for the same kitchen job (pick one multi-purpose cleaner and embrace it); gloves with holes (just why?); bulk items or extra containers of the same products.
Once you thin out what you have, you will be left with 2-4 spray bottles, nice gloves, a few clean sponges/pads, maybe some plastic shopping bags in a container on the cabinet door, and a few other cleaning products like dish soap, Swiffer refills cloths, and dishwasher powder.
Believe it or not, I have only 3 cleaning products under my kitchen sink. True story! I know it is very hard to resist the gorgeous colors in the cleaning product aisle at Target, I know. I know!
But the truth is vinegar, bleach and a little elbow grease can clean pretty much anything in your kitchen.
Next step- Pimp it
Once your cabinet under the kitchen sink is empty, you can decide if you really need to buy storage solutions for the area. There are so many fancy things you can buy for under kitchen sink storage. You can get slide-out drawers or multi-level shelves. You can get little trash bins that just fit around the pipes.
Any of these gadgets can help, but my all time favorite solution for organizing under the kitchen sink is a tension rod. Click To Tweet
When it comes to organizing products, the lowly tension rod steals my little obsessive-compulsive-leaning heart in many situations. Under the kitchen sink is one of them.
Get a skinny tension rod used for small curtains (about $2 at the home improvement store) and install it–no tools needed!–near the front of your cabinet up high. Now you can hang your spray bottles neatly in a row in the front.
Even if you have a small trash can in one half of your under-sink cabinet, the tension rod can still work if it’s high enough.
I’ve seen crafty examples of people using two tension rods under the sink to hold up shallow, lightweight plastic tubs which hold supplies.
*Pro tip- Label the butts of the bottles for easy recognition by multiple users.
Finally- Reload it
As you are putting your products and items back under the sink, follow another basic rule of organizing, store the things used most often at the front. At my house these are dishwasher detergent, all-purpose kitchen cleaner* and garbage bags.
If you have a lot of little things like sponges or Brillo pads, use a plastic storage container to corral them all together. That way your collection is much simpler to move when you need get to things behind the collection.
Or store those things on the cabinet door. I especially like the mesh containers which hang over the cabinet door to hold the things used everyday for quick access.
Speaking of the cabinet door, if you have hang-able things, install some command hooks on the inside of your cabinet doors.
Thinning out your supplies and utilizing vertical space with tension rods will both really help your organizing situation under the kitchen sink.
If you are extra fancy, bored, or want to impress guests who snoop, you may want to decant your supplies into pretty, matching containers under your sink. You could also use pretty labels and trays. Martha would be so proud.
*recipe for all-purpose surface cleaner I love:
4-5 drops of dish soap
¼ c of rubbing alcohol
fill spray bottle with water.
This is a special blend for granite counters and other materials which get water spots. The alcohol evaporates and leaves no spots! It also works to clean stainless steel and even linoleum flooring. I told you I love it!
Please leave me some comments about all of the things you’d rather do than organize the cave under YOUR kitchen sink!
Also published on Medium.