Ready to organize your under sink disaster? If you’re sick and tired of the mess, try this simple plan for affordable DIY under sink storage ideas.
The last frontier of organizing-under the kitchen sink. Why is it so difficult to get up the nerve to tackle this cavernous wasteland of snaking pipes?
After all, we use it every day. We wrestle its contents each time we need to wash our dishes or take out the trash.
If you’re like me, it’s easy to be intimidated by all the weird plumbing, darkness, and potential for bad leaks. It stops today, friends.
Let’s tackle the under sink area together with a few simple tips.
Take EVERYTHING out
Learn from my mistakes. As tempted as you may be to shuffle items around when you organize your under sink, don’t do this halfway.
Start by removing EVERYTHING from the area. Not only will you have a clear sense of the space, but you may notice product spills or water damage hidden under all your stuff.
You may even realize, while you’re emptying this spot, that you can save a step and get rid of many items or relocate them. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find some of the following:
- dozens of empty pasta jars (with and without lids)
- gross rags
- old mouse traps (ew!)
- ancient, hand me down cleaning products
Need I go on? You get the picture. Most of these sad, little items ended up under my sink during the wild and crazy days of raising kids. For years, I shoved things under there, telling myself I’d get to cleaning some day.
If your kids, like mine, have made you an Empty Nest Mom, now’s the time to organize your under sink. Take no prisoners. Be relentless. For me, the promise of being able to find what I need at a glance was motivation enough.
Protect From Moisture
With all my heart, I extend my best wishes that your kitchen plumbing will never leak. But, even if your plumbing remains bone-dry, chances are pretty good you will eventually have some kind of minor spill in your under sink area.
Protect yourself from a messy, expensive cleanup by taking just a few extra steps. Once you’ve removed everything from your under sink cabinet, start by laying down contact paper or plastic shelf paper.
No need to spend lots of money! There are many options available at Dollar Tree and Walmart. Choose a white or light color to brighten this area and make objects easier to find.
Keep your eye out for sturdy, waterproof containers to hold the items you’ll be returning to your under sink space. Cardboard and glass containers can get wet, slippery, and dangerous.
Only the Essentials
Before you start reloading the space, take a few minutes to measure your space and draw up a rough plan. Remember, you now have the luxury of making this space work exactly as you like!
If you haven’t used it in a while, you might not need it. Consider disposing of it appropriately so that it won’t pose a potential fire hazard.State Farm
Take a good hard look at everything you removed from under the sink. Do you really need silver polish? If so, could you store it someplace else? How about all those cleaners-could you streamline to just a few multipurpose products?
Many of us are ditching harsh chemicals in favor of gentler cleaners like vinegar, baking soda and essential oils. If you’re looking to simplify your cleaning products, check out this wonderful list from Do It On A Dime.
Stacking Organizers Are Your Friend
Once you’ve decided to organize your under sink space, the biggest challenge will be working around the pipes and disposal. Every sink, it seems, has it’s own geography. For this reason, there’s no “one size fits all” organizer.
Square stacking organizers are your best bet. You’ll get maximum storage capacity and the flexibility to work around your unique under sink configuration. While rounded containers leave gaps, square or rectangular stackers make the most of every inch of space.
These stackable bins from Dollar Tree are one of my favorites. I usually spray paint them white. A transparent container makes it easy to know when items need to be replaced. If you’re looking for a cleaner appearance, go for white or solid colored containers.
Avoid busy patterns and colors. One trick to make this tiny, dark space appear brighter and larger is choosing one, light color throughout.
Use Doors and Lights
For a lux extra under your sink, choose a motion sensor light, touch light, or even battery-operated twinkle lights. You’ll be amazed how much more use you can get from this area, just because you can SEE what’s under there!
Because horizontal storage is at a premium when you organize your under sink, make sure to utilize the doors of the cupboard. Consider mounting some of these items:
- Rubber gloves
- Pot scrubber
- Mini trashcan
- Shopping bags
Remove and Transfer
One quick trick will multiply your space and eliminate visual clutter for absolutely free. Remove original packaging where possible.
Brightly colored labels and odd-size, flimsy boxes are only meant to house your product for the store shelves. Once you get it home, transfer to a sturdy, waterproof container that fits well in your space.
Transfer items like sponges, dishwasher pods, and cleaning solutions to transparent, easy-to-access storage you can see at a glance.
Leave Empty Space
Before I launched my kids, I was use to cramming stuff into every nook and cranny. Precious, scribbled, school papers from when they were still cute and sweet took up most of our basement storage.
You just never know when you might need 10 used bread bags, right? Or a dozen widowed socks? Or 5-year-old KoolAid packets?
It was time to purge. For me, this was more of a grieving process than I was expecting. Letting go of each “treasure” took emotional energy. Every decision brought me face to face with my new reality-my kids are grown.
But the upside to this sadness is SO. MUCH. SPACE.
Because I made the effort to really clean things out, I no longer dread opening my cabinets or fear utensils springing from my drawers.
If you decided to tackle your under sink, please let us know how it went! Put your feet up and celebrate with your favorite treat!
Most of all, send pictures from the other side!