March 25

How to Organize Under the Kitchen Sink on a Budget

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We moved into our new house about 5 months ago, and I have been meaning to organize under the kitchen sink. I thought I would have to measure, buy a bunch of containers, and then figure out how to organize this small, awkward space. The other day, I realized I already had everything I needed to organize this small space on a budget and didn’t need to buy anything new.

Tip #1: Declutter Your Cleaning Supplies

under-the-kitchen-sink

It might sound unnecessary to declutter cleaning supplies, but after reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I became a decluttering junkie and not even the cleaning supplies were safe.

Take a look at everything you have stored under the kitchen sink. Decide if each item is something that you really use, or need or want to use. I use one surface cleaner daily in the kitchen. I also keep a glass cleaner handy because I use it every once in a while to clean up the refrigerator doors and the kitchen table.

I used to keep all the cleaning supplies under the kitchen sink, but I also have storage in the laundry room and it’s also a central area of our home. So now I keep things that don’t need to be in the kitchen in the laundry room cabinet.

By paring down what actually needs to be stored under the kitchen sink, you dramatically reduce the need to buy a bunch of storage and organization bins to keep this area organized. You may find that you already have everything on-hand that you need to organize this space, like I did.

Tip #2: Keep Only What You Need Everyday Under the Kitchen Sink

organize-under-the-kitchen-sink

I want to be as minimalist as possible when it comes to organizing storage areas of our home. This includes the cleaning supplies. I only like to keep what I use everyday or exclusively at the sink under the kitchen sink. The rest of the cleaning supplies are stored in a cabinet in the laundry room.

The things I access everyday in the kitchen for cleaning are very simple:

  • dishwasher packets
  • trash bags
  • dish towels
  • Method all-purpose cleaner
  • glass cleaner
  • various sponges and scrub brushes

I store all of the above items on the righthand side of the cabinet. I do make one exception to the rule of only storing things I use everyday under the kitchen sink. The lefthand side of the cabinet is pretty much useless when it comes to storage because it houses our enormous reverse osmosis water tank. But there is room to cram a few items in there, so I left the dustpan on that side. We rarely use it, but it’s handy to to have in the kitchen when something breaks or there’s a huge spill, and it fits nicely on that side.

Tip #3: You Don’t Necessarily Need to Maximize this Storage Space

I was looking at pictures of how to organize this space with the garbage disposal cutting out half the vertical space and envisioned myself going to The Container Store to buy a tower of just right sized bins to organize my various items under the kitchen sink. The other day, I realized I don’t have to maximize every square inch of this storage space.

Since I already determined that I don’t need to keep very much in this space, it made it easy to see that I don’t need to go crazy with the organization. You definitely save money on buying storage bins when you have less stuff to maintain.

We recently moved from a house of about 3000 square feet to a house nearly half that size. When I say that we don’t need to maximize this space, I am saying this as a person living in a relatively modest sized home. We have plenty of storage space β€” more than we need β€” in this home, even without maximizing the vertical space under the kitchen sink.

Tip #4: Look at What You Have Left and Decide How it Will Fit Together

It now sounds so ridiculous to me that it took so long to see how this space could be simply organized. I wasn’t storing anything more that the items I listed above since we moved in, but I truly believed that I would need to measure the space and buy something before I could feel the area under the kitchen sink would be organized.

After looking at this space hundreds of times over the past few months, it finally dawned on me where things could go and that they would be organized once and for all. Without buying anything new. It probably took less than 5 to 10 minutes to organize once I could see clearly in my mind where everything should go.

I already had one bin on hand that we have been using for years from The Container Store. I used this to store all sponges, scrubbers, etc. But I also put the roll of trash bags standing up in the front of this small bin and it fit perfectly.

I have seen some creative storage solutions for storing the trash bags, including a tension rod and a paper towel holder. But I realized I didn’t need to buy anything extra. By simply taking the trash bags out of the box, you save space. As cute as the paper towel holder looks, I realized that it would just be an overcomplication for me and is unnecessary.

We have quite a few dish towels (most in the washer at the moment!), and they stacked up nicely in one stack on the side of the cabinet. I thought I would need to buy a bin or a drawer that they fit perfectly in, but I simply didn’t need to overcomplicate that either.

I used the bin the dishwasher packets come in to store them, and again, there was no need to buy a separate bin to store them in. Finally, the one bottle of all purpose cleaner that I use multiple times a day to wipe down the counters and table fits perfectly right in front of my one bin. I just reach in and easily grab that and a towel when I need to wipe down a surface since everything is easy access. And then there is a small spot next to that for the glass cleaner that I use on occassion.

This was such a simple organizing project that I had in my mind would take buying new organization containers and figuring out if they would work for the space. Sometimes the solution is so much easier than we first think. I have plenty of other spaces in our new home that I think will come together easily like this once I think through how the items will fit together.

I had the thought that I want this space to be organized the other day, and that helped me to see how easily the items already fit together. It’s so nice now to know that the area under the kitchen sink is organized and I don’t have to buy anything new or put very much effort into it.

Have you organized under the kitchen sink? Did you have to buy anything or was it easy to arrange everything?

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  1. Hey Annie,
    Oh my. This post could not have come at a better time. I have literally been throwing cleaning products under the sink doors for years and every time I open the doors all hell breaks loose…..I am attacked by cleaning products!!! Great tips and insights on how to tackle this beast. Looks like you have called me to a new weekend mission that I cannot escape :).

    1. Oh how exciting! It’s fun to figure out how to organize new spaces. It can also take a lot of time – we still have plenty of areas to figure out. But downsizing has been so great for us! Good luck!

  2. Hi Annie,

    Cleaning under the sink is definitely not one of my favorite tasks to do. Hopefully, using your tips will make it easier for me to do. Thanks for sharing!

    xoxo,
    Kayla | Mommy Blogger | My Motherhood Made Easy

  3. I need to do this! Thanks for the tips. Its one of those places you forget about.

    1. Thanks! Haha I probably started there because it was a small space that I figured I could conquer πŸ™‚ The garage on the other hand… πŸ˜‰

  4. Most of my cleaning stuff isn’t even under the sink because #toddlers but somehow it’s still a disaster! Thanks for the ideas!

    1. oh that’s a good point! We do have magnetic locks on the lower cabinets in the kitchen for that reason too πŸ˜‰ But I completely understand keeping things higher up just in case!

  5. I have been meaning to declutter underneath my sink. I actually don’t even know what is in the back of it at this point. Thanks for the tips.

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