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. Take control of your under the kitchen sink area and organize it. If you can see it, you can use it.
Tackling organization in the storage area under the kitchen sink is not hard, but you do need to have a plan of attack. Here are 7 smart ways to organize under the kitchen sink, creating accessibility to everything you store!
7 Smart Ways To Organize Under the Kitchen Sink
First and foremost you need a few hours to yourself. No distractions. If you can get a little helper (one of the kids, great!) if not, go at it alone and blast the music! Trust me, it’s not fun at first, but once you start it kind of is addictive and enjoyable.
Let me set the scenario for you. I needed dishwasher tabs, and my baggie was out. My hands were in rubber gloves and the mess in the sink was lasagne pans and tomato sauce. I had a lot to do and I asked my one son to run to the downstairs pantry and grab some more tabs. “Mom we are out” he responded after I heard him running to the basement.
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.
The Tipping Point – If You Have Not Hit This, You Won’t Like The Project
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, as my nails soon would be as well!
Not finding the gloves, I went ahead and washed the rest without gloves on, and there went my manicured gel nails and my Italian temper (yeah I have one of those !). Again, I asked 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! Once home, we unloaded and as I was breaking down containers I noted the trash receptacle cubby needed a new garbage liner.
I went underneath the kitchen sink. As I reached for a new bag, I felt a lump a pail handle. What was that? I grasped my hand around it, and low and behold found a whole container of dish detergent tabs was there. I could feel the blood rushing to my head and then I just held my words. Who did this and why? I knew and I just had to hold it in.
My not-so-little helpers put the tabs where we could find them. They did not remember to put them in the basement last time we loaded them, and one of the little darlings shoved them in the cabinet underneath the kitchen sink. That’s it, it’s time to organize under the kitchen sink.
Seeing is Believing The Mess – 7 Smart Ways To Organize Under the Kitchen Sink
Here is my before picture. What a mess. The towels are in a huge bag that I can’t see behind. My oils are on the wrong side because they are right next to the heated panel of the dishwasher. I’ve been tossing olive oil out frequently. Never should it be stored near a heat source.
There’s not a proper dispensing container for dishwasher detergent tabs and how can I even get to the dishwasher powder when I need it, even as infrequent as it may be? Of course, all of the containers that hold cleaners are on top of one another and I can’t read any of their labels.
Oh, and did I mention I found 2 new sets of non-latex rubber gloves UNDER The sink? That’s right, more wasted money on purchases of items we already have in the house! Now I am ready to take action.
Sort Your #hi% Out!
Get everything out from underneath the sink. It’s the only way to truly know what you have, how much of it and what you don’t use and NEVER will use. If it’s been there chances are you don’t need it.
Now, get a garbage bag. Toss out any old dishcloths that smell (they tend to get an odor even after washing, once they are older). New ones are a dime a dozen, you can buy a few at the dollar stores if you need them!
How old are those cleaning products? Are they even effective anymore? NOt the canned ones (unless they have rust on them) but the ones in the trigger bottles? They may be so old they are useless.
Next, what is in the homemade bottles of sprays you made? Do you even know? Don’t chance it, drain them on out and clean the bottles for reuse, or drain and recycle the bottles in the recycle bin.
Make a list and go shop, you need to really redo and rethink what is going on under the sink. How do you use it? For me, it’s a place to stow my vinegar, cutting boards, some cleaning products, and garbage bags. Consider how to make this area most organized and effective for you. then go to it!
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 time!
Stores that Can Help You Organize without a Great Big Expense
I needed a container to effectively store my dishwasher detergent tabs. Additionally, I needed fresh contact paper, places for my scrubbers with long handles and my sponges and stainless steel bar.
Additionally, my dishcloths did not need to be under there. Our mudroom has plentiful closets and they can be stored there. They were not being used. Garbage bag rolls were all over the cabinet, and need to be contained.
Containers of self-made cleaners were all over the shelf, what was what? I need, labels and fresh containers as well. Don’t forget new scrubbies, and brushes too, as you might as well.
My Shopping List For Smart Ways To Organize Under The Sink
Clear tall jar for dishwasher tabs
Labels that are waterproof
Large tall glass jar for dishwasher powder
Hanging Pole (tension rod)
Basket with bottom, not slits
Hanging Tabs that released
Large Handle Scrubber
My trips led me to the dollar store, 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.
Really. I tossed rags, and cleaning agents, as well as the spray bottles that I created and had no idea what they were. Better to buy a few new spray bottles than to mix cleaning products or wash them away.
Tip-Out Sink Trays (1) – Organize Under the Kitchen Sink
I started out replacing the faux pockets above the sink with something called a Tip-Out sink tray. Get them at Home Depot or order them online. Browse online and save time if the store has an online option. Then go to the stores once you’ve priced all you need.
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!
You might think it has nothing to do with under the sink, but it helps with all those loose sponges and scrapers, so it is part of the cleanout and easy to upgrade into!
It’s Not A Tension Rod It’s Better (2) – Organize Under the Kitchen Sink
Walmart upset me a bit. I purchased several tension rods for a few different attempted DIY and EVERY ONE Of them was broken. After returning at least 4, I stopped buying them from there and said, I’m making my own.
Cover It Up (3)
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. It might take a whole five minutes to do this!
One note, reserve the contact paper roll, as I have another project you will love and it uses those rolls.
Labels & Spray Bottles Are Everything (4 & 5) – Organize Under the Kitchen Sink
We have a label maker, but I did not feel like doing that. Instead, I used these labels from Avery that are waterproof and perfect. Also note, I used a permanent marker and not the printer. It was faster for me.
Fresh spray bottles were purchased at Target. I have been pleased with their trigger handle and how long they last. They run about $1.29 and you can find them in their trial size area in health and beauty.
I put the dishwasher tabs into a tall clear sealing container. 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.
Actually, this will be especially when I ask one of the kids to grab something for me. NO longer can they say they can’t find it, it’s ‘clear’ as day!
Bag Containment(6) – Organize Under the Kitchen Sink
Admittedly, I am no done with this little piece of the project. 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.
However, it still looks too big and messy. 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. Remember to check out how to make this NON-Tension Dowel Road project, it’s so helpful with under the kitchen sink organization management.
Make sure to think about the size of the ROUND HOOKS, or you will have to return them. Also, the Dollar Tree is so useful for these and they are super inexpensive for a pack of 8-12. IF you don’t want to go to the dollar tree, check out these round hooks.
The handled scrubbers generally ended on the shelf and then in scrubber graveyard as they got lost continually in the bottom of the cabinet. No more. I have 2 options now. For one, I can hang any that I choose on my rod, or I can put them in this little unit I hung on the door.
I got the basket at the dollar store and added some 3M removable hooks. The interior of the door had plenty of clearance and I only needed a few things in here. It gets the stuff off the ground and in plain sight. This is all very key in organizing.
Admittedly, this is one of the easiest DIY’s 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. 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.
Enjoy your new organized 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
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