Cleaning Up Clutter Under the Sink

If you ever wondered if you have a deep, dark hole of clutter in your house – you might need to look no further than under the kitchen sink.  That dark hole does not seem to be an inviting spot.  The result is a reluctance to rummage about in it.  More and more products get pushed to the far back.  Pretty soon, you have got multiples of supplies open and the cabinet is crammed full.  You end up wondering why you just do not have room for your things.

When we have clutter, we tend to make an excuse for it and under the kitchen sink is no different.  We blame those darn pipes and that necessary but in the way garbage disposal.  However, like all organizing projects, we need to ditch the excuses and focus on finding something that works.  Most homeowners need every bit of storage space in a kitchen and under the sink is no exception.

Here are some ideas to get you thinking about clearing out your space:

For some reason, many people want to store all their cleaning supplies under the sink.  Yet, it is an inconvenient spot for something you get into many times a week.  Consider only keeping kitchen-related cleaning supplies under the sink.  Move the rest of the items to a closet, the laundry room, a shelf in the garage near your door or other location.

Kitchen cleaning supplies should only take up half of your cabinet.  These supplies would include dish soap, dishwasher soap and rinsing aids, special countertop or stovetop cleaners, scrubbing pads for pots and pans and perhaps some other products such as disinfecting wipes or silver polish.  It is a pretty small list.


Cleaning up clutter under the sink


Cleaning up clutter under the sink

Try to use only half of your under-the-sink space for cleaning products.  Make the other half useful for storing other items.

Using a tray to hold your kitchen cleaning items makes it easy to slide it out and find things plus keeps your cabinet clean.

Because of the depth of the cabinet, things do get lost in the back.  Remedy that with the use of organizers.  You can use a large tray, baskets that you can lift out or even install pull-out baskets on runners.

Pipes will require you to arrange things cleverly.  If you install a pull-out basket, put your tall bottles in the front and use the back for shorter containers, sponges and scrubbing pads.  You can even remove those from the box and line them up in the basket.

Consider using half of the lower cabinet for something that is easy to access.  I have added a bake ware organizer to one side of my cabinet.  It works around the pipe issue just fine and holds cutting boards and baking sheets.  You could also use one side of the cabinet to hold pet supplies, placing small items in a basket under the pipes and a canister of pet food toward the front.

The insides of the cabinet doors under the sink can be made useful.  You could store plastic wraps and other supplies. Or, add a towel bar or stick-hooks to hold items.

As a caution, I would avoid storing anything that cannot get damp or wet just in case of a leak, such as food products.

cleaning up clutter under the sink        Cleaning up clutter under the sink


A basket in the back is a great way to hold the necessary, but seldom used items, such as silver polish.

Do not forget that you can use the inside of doors for storage.


Get started organizing under-the-sink by:

Remove all the items.

Sort out what will stay and what will be removed.

Make a pledge to use up duplicate product before buying more.  If you find brands you bought that you did not care for, either finish them up and do not buy them again, or donate them to someone who will use them.  Either way, do not shove them back in for “some other day.”

Clean out the cabinet.  Line with something you can wipe clean if your cabinet doesn’t wipe out easily.

Store dish soap on a tray, extra plate, or even the plastic lid from a coffee can.  Soap tends to have runs and drips that become a sticky mess under the sink.  Place it on something you can discard or throw in the dishwasher when messy.

Grab one of those plastic tub that you have that does not have a lid.  Use it to hold scrubbing pads or sponges.

Only return items to the cabinet that you in your kitchen.


Lea SchneiderAuthor Lea Schneider, a columnist for What’s Cooking America, is a freelance writer and organizational expert whose organizing ideas have been published in many magazines including Woman’s Day, Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen and Bath Ideas, Family Circle, Parents Magazine, as well as numerous newspapers and websites.  She is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.

Getting organized is all about living simpler and making things easier.  The bonus is it often leads to saving money.  Lea Schneider’s kitchen organizing columns tell you how to organize the many things that relate to kitchens, menus, meals, and special food events.

Check out all of Lea Schneider’s helpful home and kitchen columns at Organizing Kitchens, Pantries, Menus and Meals.


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