Organize Under the Kitchen Sink!
Under the kitchen sink is that double-edged sword, because it’s both our best friend for shoving stuff out of the way, but also our worst nightmare for the disorganized mess.
My DIY Guide will step you through the mess and show you how to organize under the kitchen sink!
In my house, disorganization led to frustration, and well it all had to end!
How I Began to Organize Under the Kitchen Sink To Gain Control
I could not stand it anymore, the disorganization under our kitchen sink had to stop!
While I am part of the problem, so is our family schedule.
Often, under cabinet storage pays the price for families that are busy and need to just toss and go.
However, the price you pay for lack of organization under the kitchen sink can add up through grocery store trips and big-box retailer trips.
Live by The Words: If you can see it, you can use it.
At its core it and as it applies to your kitchen sink, tackling the organization under your kitchen sink.
The plan is simple, and you will be so happy with the end results.
If you can see it you can use it. Therefore if you can use it, you won’t buy another one of anything so you don’t waste money!
Now I’ll share smart ideas that will help you tackle the mess down under.
Use one or all of my 7 smart ways to organize under the kitchen sink, creating accessibility to everything you store!
What Set Me Into Organize Under the Kitchen Sink Mode?
I needed dishwasher tabs, and the container was out of them. At the same time, my hands were in rubber gloves and the mess in the sink was lasagne pans and tomato sauce.
My ‘little helper’ ran to the downstairs pantry to grab some more tabs. However, he declared an unfortunate, yet blessed statement: “Mom we are out of dishwasher tabs.”
Rewinding my last trip to Costco in my mind, “Hmmm, that’s funny, I thought I bought them on our last trip to Costco?”
Second-guessing myself, I told Alexa to add that to our grocery list, rather than taking off my gloves and writing it down.
You’ll need inspiration or a tipping point to really want to organize under the kitchen sink
The Tipping Point -You’ll Need Inspiration to ‘Get er’ done!’
Then, as I kept washing the dishes, and cleaning the cheese grater, I ripped my finger on the glove.
I went to the laundry room, looking for my spare pair and they were gone.
Again, I summoned ALEXA to add non-latex rubber gloves to the shopping list and went on with life.
We headed to Costco the next day, I purchased everything on my list and then some.
Let’s face it Costco shopping is a shopping maven’s paradise in bulk, lol!
Unloading And Stocking Up The Costco Haul
Once home, car unloaded, I went under the kitchen sink to grab a garbage liner for all the trash and I felt a pail handle.
Low and behold found a whole container of dish detergent tabs was there.
There they were and there was my inspired moment that it was beyond time to organize under the kitchen sink.
Look at my mess again before I organized under the kitchen sink (tipping point exceeded)
Because you can see the mess:
- towels are in a huge bag that I can’t see behind
- cooking oils are on the wrong side because they are right next to the heated panel of the dishwasher (Never store cooking oils near a heat source)
- it’s lacking a proper dispensing container for dishwasher detergent tabs
- dishwasher powder for scrubbing pans (a great tip for stubborn messes) is where?
- all of the containers that hold cleaners are on top of one another and I can’t read any of their labels.
Bonus points because in addition to all the other issues, I scored 2 new sets of non-latex rubber gloves that I found tossed in the back. More wasted money on more gloves! UGH!
Before you jump in, make sure you have time when you want to organize under the kitchen sink
IN any event, you do need a few hours to yourself and I suggest blasting music so you are happy while you do this task!
Admittedly it’s not fun knowing that you are going to take everything out from below the sink, however, in order to really clean out and organize this is the starting point.
Sort Your #hi% Out!
- Get everything out to organize underneath the kitchen sink.
- Toss, or donate if it’s not edible or expired.
- Next, get a garbage bag and toss out any old dishcloths that smell (they tend to get an odor even after washing, once they are older).
- Check the dates of the cleaning products and if they were thick and creamy and now watery, toss them (though do make sure to follow recycling rules for cleaning products!)
- Next, what is in the homemade bottles of sprays you made? Drain, clean, reuse, but hold tight, I’ll show you the best way to use those bottles again!
- If there is contact paper or shelf lining paper, take it out, toss it! No doubt it’s dirty and well-used.
- Any tray containers that held other products need to be cleaned, remove them and toss them in the dishwasher or sink.
As a result, you will truly know what you have, how much you have of it. To that end, you will also see what you never use and don’t need.
Make a list and go shop
While we all use under the sink differently, here are things I did to help myself with organization and these may help you along as well!
First, storing cutting boards is often challenging and as a recipe creator, I’ve got several. Storing and organizing cutting boards or cookie trays is as simple as an organization rack.
Second, I needed to organize and minimize my cleaning products, garbage bags, and kinds of vinegar.
Consider how to make this area most organized and effective for you. then go to it!
Clean Before You Organize
- Wipe it all down, the cabinets, the shelf, the door handles, the doors.
- Get it all cleaned up so you can just reload once you are ready! Rip out that old contact paper and replace it, it’s the time!
- There’s no sense doing this project if you are not going to clean it.
- You’ll want your vacuum or a small-handled broom to suck up any dry spills.
- Naturally, you’ll also want a cleaner that will scrub away any messes.
- Use those white scrubbing pads to erase anything that normal cleaners won’t.
- I used eco-friendly cleaning items to work over the area (dish soap, as well as some earth-friendly wipes!)
Organize without a Great Big Expense: This leads to other chaos but it’s well worth it!
What is going to happen is this: things that don’t belong under the sink need a new home, which will lead you to other rooms and cabinets.
Yes, it might spur on other organizational projects but, for now, focus on your project: organize under the kitchen sink.
Make A List Of Items Needed To Organize Under the Kitchen Sink
What would it take to organize under the kitchen sink? Containers? Clear boxes? Racks? Bottles? IF you can dream it, you can do it, just keep it simple and contained.
For my personal space:
- a container to effectively store my dishwasher detergent tabs
- fresh cabinet lining paper
- containers that defined what was in each
- labels and fresh containers as well
- new scrubbers, and brushes too
- storage for my scrubbers with long handles, and my sponges and stainless steel bar
I would eventually relocate the dishcloths to their proper drawer and extra garbage bags (aside from a set under the sink) to the garage.
My Shopping List For Smart Ways To Organize Under The Sink
- Clear tall jar for dishwasher tabs
- Permanent Marker
- Labels that are waterproof
- Fresh Contact Paper
- New Spray bottles for water, or cleaning solutions
- Container for taming the garbage bag rolls
- Hanging Pole (tension rod) (read the article to learn how to do this solution.
- Basket with bottom, not slits
- Hanging Tabs that release
- 2 Tip Out Sink Trays
- Scrubbers and sponges
Where To? + How Long Did It Take?
My trips led me to dollar stores, as well as Homegoods, and Home Depot.
Shortly thereafter, I was done. However, do note on this reveal, I had to let the 3M products set up for a few hours before I could load them.
Otherwise, all in all, I spent a total of 3 hours gathering what I needed (and of course getting sidetracked since I love to shop).
It took me about 1 hour or less to totally overhaul the crap I took out of there.
Rather than reusing the plastic unlabeled bottles, I properly recycled and purchased new ones.
Overall Process: 7 Ways to Organize Under the Kitchen Sink
No. 1 ~ Tip-Out Sink Trays
I started out replacing the faux pockets above the sink with something called a Tip-Out sink tray.
Ordering these online was the fastest way to accomplish the task, as I could measure and remeasure from the comfort of home.
Plus there are a lot more options online than in the store!
That was fast and easy and the fact that these are installed allows me to place sponges and scrapers for the stove in here.
I increased my space already! Tip Out Trays are not hard to install and really make a difference for things you need fast when washing dishes!
Actually, this is a very helpful space to use that is often unused!
No. 2 Organize Under the Kitchen Sink. Better than a Tension Rod
After purchasing several tension rods, and returning because upon opening them, each was already broken…I set created a fast and easy DIY.
You can read the story of How TO Make a Dowel Rod Hanger on my post for the DIY of a Dowel Rod Hanging Rack to organize under the kitchen sink!
No. 3 Cover To Keep It Clean!
Why would you make a mess on the shelf? Just use contact paper to cover it up and save yourself from spills and crumbs.
It’s fun to use different contact paper designs so just find one you love and cut it to size. After about five minutes it’s done.
(4 & 5) – Organize Under the Kitchen Sink Labeled Spray Bottles Are Important
As mentioned on my shopping list before, I sought out waterproof labels and I used a permanent marker and not the printer.
Fresh spray bottles for any cleaning solutions and then of course the dishwasher tall container I mentioned earlier.
I can stow a lot in there and they are in plain sight.
As for the dishwasher powder, I can easily access it and it is labeled so we all can figure out what is what.
No. 6 Bag Containment – Organize Under the Kitchen Sink
Admittedly, I am no done with this little piece of the project.
At one point in time, I thought that this mesh bag would be the answer to the wild bag stash for the trash unit, but it’s just a hot mess still IMO.
IT solved the issue of the bags being everywhere, yet it still looks bad.
I have another idea which I will be trying shortly and will update the post after I use the new method if it works.
Handled Scrubbers & Sink Stopper (7)
There are 2 options for me, on the rod or on the door. If on the rod you will need either hooks, ‘s’ hooks, round hooks, or a clip.
It’s totally versatile to hang things on. Make the same dowel rod project, it’s inexpensive and practical and it’s helpful to organize under the kitchen sink.
Remember to check out how to make this NON-Tension Dowel Road project, it’s so helpful with under the kitchen sink organization management.
The handled scrubbers generally ended on the shelf and then in the scrubber graveyard as they got lost continually in the bottom of the cabinet.
No more. I have 2 options now:
I can hang any that I choose on my rod, or I can put them in this little unit I hung on the door.
Get stuff off the floor of the cabinet to truly experience the best organization.
Now it’s your turn to organize under the kitchen sink.
Admittedly, this is one of the easiest DIYs I have done.
However, that said, if you don’t like to figure out what you will need ahead of time, you will be making many trips back and forth to the store.
Know what you want to organize, and get an idea of how to organize it.
Stick To Your List & Budget
Look on Pinterest, consider your space, and take measurements.
IF you are doing this on a budget, stick to the dollar stores and the Target bins at the front of the stores.
However, if you want to amp it up and can afford it, try out stores that offer storage items at great prices for the ‘best of’ like Home Goods, Marshall’s, and TJ Maxx.
Always remember, these stores are a hit and a miss, if you see something you like BUY ALL OF THEM, return what you don’t need.
Or you will not find matching items.
Organize Under the Kitchen Sink and Enjoy It!
Enjoy your new organization under the sink area and let me know what you did to clean it up and get organized.
I love new ideas and inspiration! I’ll even feature you on my social media sharing YOUR Project. ~ DANA XO