Monday, February 19, 2018

How to organize under the kitchen sink {spring cleaning series}

Welcome back to this organizing, spring cleaning series! I'm continuing a bit from a previous post on kitchen organizing, by sharing the under sink organization that works for us. If you haven't read the kick off post, "How to organize anything," you'll want to flip backward and read that {here} first. That post is key, as it highlights the practical how-to steps needed to organize any space, room or mess. It's the method I use with every organizing job I do in my home, big or small and how I work, one drawer or one cupboard at a time.

 This area is one of the hardest working spots in most of our homes, if you really think about it.  Hand washing, dish cleaning and rinsing, food preparation, garbage disposal use, not to mention the storage of cleaning items, a garbage and recycling can, and that sort of thing.  The under sink area can get very crowded, quickly and become a major problem area in our homes.  

I shared my laundry room organizing post previously, so that you can see where I keep all of my cleaning supplies.  I don't keep them under the kitchen or bathroom sinks, though many people do.  I personally, like to get those items moved into a laundry room, as that feels the most logical place for all household and utility items to be stored, in my own home.  Under my own sink, I keep a fresh floor liner, a garbage and recycling can, garbage can liners and a couple of kitchen related items such as dishwasher tabs, dish soap, a scrubbing sponge and gloves.  I store produce wash, a jar of plink disposal cleaners, and a plastic bag caddy in here as well.  Behind our garbage can is also tucked a kitchen plunger and a fire extinguisher. (Important, yet rarely needed items.) 
 I like to keep my sink-side clutter to a minimum, so that normally includes hand soap, but not dish soap. It's a personal preference but I find that a tidy kitchen helps me enjoy the food preparations for my family.  It's a chore for certain, but keeping things at hand, in an organized fashion does make for efficient work.  (And the less time we have to spend standing in a kitchen working... the  better as far as I'm concerned!) (Am I right?)   
 This area can get dirty and messy quickly.  (We empty the trash and recycling daily, and when I say "we" I mean my husband or son. Ha!)  I drew the recycle arrows on a very inexpensive garbage can, with a white paint pen, because I didn't want to spend more than two dollars, and the tiny container we were using wasn't large enough.  I give the outsides of the cans a wipe down every so often to keep them clean, and somewhat germ-free, as well as the inside doors and floor of this cupboard.  I normally change the floor liner twice a year to keep it clean. 
 I really recommend containing your dishwashing items in some kind of bin, box, basket... whatever you like. Bottles that are contained are so much more manageable than loose bottles, falling all over the cupboard making clutter.  I keep mine in a cute metal container that I've used for many things over the years.  It was an item I couldn't find a proper use for, and would otherwise have tossed into a donate bag.  (But that goes to show that if you've got containers you aren't sure what to do with, repurpose them to actually CONTAIN things, rather than purchasing more containers.  Use what you've got and save that money!)  The little mason jar tucked in the very back of it holds dishwasher cleaning tabs. (Mason jars are the handiest containers.  They are clear, come in many sizes and aren't expensive.  They can be used for drinking glasses, food storage and containing random small items all over the house. Don't over look the mason jar.) (I keep the garbage bag roll upright and tidy, in between the dishwashing items and the dishwasher tabs.  I almost always have a brown paper bag or two neatly tucked along the side, but I try not to get more than two, as that can get out of hand as well.  
Most cupboard doors can handle a bit of additional use.  It's an often overlooked space, but there are a ton of great caddy/baskets and towel bars, etc, you can purchase and customize for this area.  For mine, I like to hang my dishwashing gloves, as well as the bag caddy that catches our plastic produce bags for re-use.  I saw one cupboard caddy the other day that had a basket on the inside for dishwashing items, and a towel bar on the other side.  I love multi-use organizing items like that! 

This is a rather simple area to organize in our homes and it's probably one of the most important spots to keep clean as trash can be smelly. It can take minutes to empty this space out, wipe down, line and replace with tidied items.  There are so many ways to organize and tidy a small cupboard such as this, it simply depends on your needs.  We don't have a dishrack in our home, but we would certainly have room to slide one in, along with a drying mat, if we wanted, because we have streamlined this space so well.  If you're organizing this in your home, think through what you actually need to store here, toss empty bottles or near-empty bottles, contain what you want to keep, and keep it clean.  It's as simple as that.  



  1. great ideas thank you. Can I ask what a floor liner is?


  2. All great ideas.
    Why do you not use a dish drainer? Do you put dishes straight into the dishwasher? Also, the cute brush on your soap stand ....what is it for?

  3. Thanks for the idea to clip up the gloves. I hate leaving them out but use them a lot. Love this series! Blessings!

  4. Lea,
    Floor liners are sort of a rubbery mat you can roll out and place on the cupboard floor. it protects it and helps keep things clean.

  5. Cheryl,
    We just never have.. I know that's funny. We spread a towel out, wash whatever can't go into the dishwasher and then we dry and put away whatever we washed. It is a habit I got into long ago, not liking leaving piles of dishes out and that's all my kids know. Shhh.. don't tell them about dish drainers. Haha!

    The brush beside the hand soap is a veggie brush!! I love it so much. For scrubbing apples or mushrooms or whatever! Found it at my grocery store after wanting one for years.

  6. Jeannie,
    THANK YOU!!! I needed that.


  7. Sasha, girl you are so organized and tidy. I thought that may be the case with the dish drainer. ; ) of course, mum’s the word. Your kiddos won’t hear it from me. ; )