Reorganizing the “Under-the-sink” area

Do you dread opening the cupboard doors underneath your sink? Is it the massive clutter of cleaning products, or the pile of unsorted garbage bags that scare you away? Do you look at that space and wonder how to make the most use out of it? Well, so did I. Sadly enough, there weren’t many pictures or ideas about it that I could find on Pinterest, which is why I decided to make my little venture into the area the first organizational blog post. I’m terribly sorry for not adding any “BEFORE” pictures, but I’m sure you can all imagine the insane amount of build-up that lies in that area. To be honest, I don’t much like documenting the before, but I promise to work on that so that you guys can see what the actual improvements are to the areas that I’m working on.

This project probably took me about 2 hours of actual work, not including the time it took to locate and buy the new items.

Step 1: Empty out the entire space! I had someone watch my children in another area of the house for safety reasons while doing this, and I’m going to suggest that if you have little grabby-fingers around, you do the same. This is a really critical step though, so please don’t skip out on it or skimp. I took every single item out and washed down the area.

After it was emptied.

After it was emptied.

Step 2: Toss the things you don’t use. I seriously had some cleaners in there that hadn’t been used in over 5 years. I kept them because I always thought that maybe, maaaaybe one day I would use them… but come on. I think a general good time is about 6 months. If you didn’t use it when you did either your fall or spring cleaning, or any time in between. Toss it. It’s taking up precious space, and you don’t need it. One of the harder choices was to toss my old dish rack. I mostly run the dishes through the dishwasher, so there isn’t much to be washed. I had an older thick dish rack, that took up almost an entire cupboard. I found a little lime-green folding dish rack at a clearance sale when our local Zeller’s was closing down. Probably the best choice I made in this respect was purchasing that new dish rack. If you can toss your old one, I suggest you do so. There’s only so much space below your sink!

Step 3: Measure everything! I measured the areas underneath the pipes, underneath the built-in cupboards, between the pipes and the built-in cupboards, the height of the area I had to work in, and the width. Write them down so that when you go shopping for any organizational pieces, you’ll be able to make sure things will fit in place. The last thing you want to do is get home and find out that “oh-so perfect” rack won’t fit unless you put it in slanted…

Step 4: Begin the actual organization of the area. I bought a shower rack (that is supposed to hang behind the shower head), a short width-adjusting rack, a three-tiered rack and a sink basket. Because of my set-up, it was easy to figure out where to put the new things I had bought. The last thing to do was to decide where to put everything.

Step 5: Putting everything back in place and finding everything a home. This is obviously a very important step, and it’ll probably take the longest to do. The way I handled it was to figure out how often I used the item, and put it in a place according to that. I started by putting all of the lesser used cleaning products into the sink basket, that way when I’m doing any serious cleaning I can just pull the whole thing out and it’s portable. The second thing I did was put the stuff that gets used every little while away. Vacuum bags, garbage bags, recycling bags, etc. I put these all easily within reach. The key with these items was to put them somewhere where they wouldn’t get covered or buried so that I could avoid having to go searching for them when they were needed. Lastly, it’s time for the everyday items. I put these on my most commonly used shelf, as well as on the shower rack. That way I simply open the cupboard door and have everything I use constantly at my fingertips, which also makes it easier to put it away.

Everyday use area.

Everyday use area.

Left-hand side of my area. Medium-use items.

Left-hand side of my area. Medium-use items.


Two weeks after original organization.

Two weeks after original organization.

I found that this area needs to be “tidied up” about once every month or so. It’s generally only me that uses it, so I tend to put things away in the right spot. Although I have found that when my boyfriend uses things, I need to clean up after him a little more than I would like, lol. It’s okay, at least it means he’s helping :).

Hope this helps you out!

Barb

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