Using the storage space under the sink

January 08, 2013

Making the most of the storage space under your sink! 

I try to clean out under our sink every six months or so, which usually means every twelve months or so but whatever. This is not one of my problem spots. I’ve got plenty of those.

When we built our house we had tip out trays installed on the sinks – it makes those faux drawers in front of your sink somewhat useful. But when we installed the new granite sink in the kitchen years ago, the trays wouldn’t work because the sink was so big.

So I hung them both on the inside of one of the doors instead:

sponge/brush organization

They don’t hold a ton, but they do keep the little sponges and sink stuff out of the way, and they are within easy reach. And yes, I use a bottle brush to clean our dishes – I find they work just as well as the fancy ones you can get. :)

On the other door I put one of those little jobbies that holds your kitchen towel:

I used it for about three days and stopped – I’m just a throw the towel over the sink kind of gal. :)

Inside I store our tall, skinny stuff that doesn’t really work anywhere else – I found I was storing them all flat in drawers and other stuff always got piled on top, which made them a pain to get to. I’ve got just enough room to line up the baking sheets, cutting board and bulky strainers:

organizing under the sink

The paper bags are our compactor bags and I’ll probably do a post on our trash compactor sometime – I love it that much. :)

The other side holds our paper towels:

paper towels under the sink

I know it’s an odd place for them, but a couple years ago I was on a mission to get as much off the counters as possible and came up with this idea instead. We actually had them hanging from under a cabinet but it was just visual clutter that I was trying to eliminate. (It was probably in January. ;) )

It’s AWESOME. I just installed the bar at an angle so they are easy to tear off:

paper towels under sink

It takes very little effort to reach down and grab one, so I love it under the sink!

When we get a new roll of trash bags I tear the whole flap off for easy access:

organizing under the sink

There’s nothing more annoying than a floppy flap getting in your way. ;)

I keep one small bin under the sink for necessities and this is usually the only part of this area that gets cluttered. I did a quick clean out and set everything upright again:

organizing under the sink

Cause let’s be honest, nine times out of ten I’m not one to put it away perfectly. :) (I throw it back in the bin and shut the door.)

This is the stuff I pulled out of the bin that had piled up over the past six twelve months:

Lots of hand soap (I bought a glass soap dispenser almost a year ago so that tells you last time I used most of these), random brushes we don’t need, a remnant of the child locks and an old sponge to name a few. The soaps and cleaning supplies will be put in the linen closet. You know…where they go.

It wasn’t too bad to start, but I wiped it down, cleared it out a bit, washed out the trays and now it’s ready for a new year!:

organizing under the sinkHaving a clean sink makes me feel like the rest of my house isn’t so bad. Having the area under the sink doesn’t have quite that power, but it does help a little. ;)

What areas have you tackled so far this new year? Do you do it all at once or spend months doing it like me?   

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  1. I love your ideas, I hate stuff sitting on the countertops too, but I think hubby would fight me on the paper towel thing. My "under the sink" stays pretty organized with the help of baskets...but I have to admit that I perform a "straightening ceremony" about once a month that I'd love to stop doing! Have a great day Sarah!

  2. Ha! I was just thinking about clearing off my counters and moving the paper towels. :) I tend to do things as I can. Last night, for example, I cleaned out my utensil drawer while I was cooking dinner.

  3. I have my kitchen all done. I did everything but the pantry... Such a nice feeling. I don't have much on my counters either. I am in a major purge/organize mode, so it will be fun to follow along with you.

  4. Totally just did this over the weekend - we keep our garbage and our recycling under our sink, but I gave everything a quick wipe and put it back a bit neater. Next up - the dreaded office!

  5. I'm kind of a nerd, because I can't stand messes around, so I do it continually. I'm running a series on my blog, entitled "Decluttering 101", and yseterday I (actually my husband) tackled the pantry. Gosh, he found three half full bags of icing sugar, and 3 half full bags of brown sugar! What can I say? Clutter costs! It was done to prepare for our pantry to be renovated. The way it was when we bought the house, was just so impractical. But this year is the year, and I can't wait! I digress...yes, the under the sink clutter. Well, I try to keep that as tidy as my linen closet, because, again, I'm such a nerd!

  6. I did the exact same thing with the area under my sink. A Rubbermaid divider holds all the trays and cookie sheets. The cleaners went to the laundry room. On the other side of the cabinet a stacking tray holds baking dishes.

  7. I'm an anti-stuff-on-the-counters person too, but I think it would drive me bonkers to open the cabinet with wet hands when I needed a towel. I finally bought a "big girl" paper towel holder (instead of the cheap plastic jobbies I grew up with) and since it looks sleek, I'm okay with it. Oh, and patterned paper towels never show their faces in my kitchen. :D

  8. I am always having a constant battle with everything under our kitchen sink!! Thanks for the tips - it motivates me to get down there and clean it all out.

  9. I would LOVE to read about your trash compactor! I am so intrigued! We live out in the country, too far out for the city to bring a dumpster, and we are always in a burn ban due to draughts. And it's bad for the environment so we wouldn't burn anyway. We have to pay $6 a truckload and haul the trash to the dump regularly which is a pain. I have started composting our food trash which has helped the trash stink less and pile up slower... but what is this trash compactor you speak of? Sounds like it might be pretty cool!!

  10. Great tips! I'm trying to cut back on paper product use so I like the idea of the paper towels under the sink, maybe then we'd use them less and I love the idea of it freeing up more counter space!

  11. Great ideas! I once saw an idea to use spring curtain rods vertically as a divider for cookie sheets. I never had a cabinet to do that until you reminded me that under the sink would be perfect.

  12. It looks spic and span!

    Right now I am working on getting my bedroom organized so I can move the cradle in.

    Next up - make a nursery!

  13. While I do love your blog and most other blogs on organizing, it's frustrating when it comes to the simple organizing all the organizing is done with small amounts of items and they all seem to be very easy to store.
    I have this frustration with wardrobe organization - the photographers show wardrobe rack with 6 shirts and 4 pairs of pants hanging on 4 feet of space! Of course it appears uncluttered - I'm not a clothes horse, but I do own more than 6 shirts and 4 pairs of pants!
    As for under the sink storage, what about large bottles of bleach or detergent? Where is the dishwasher gel or rinse aid? Or packets of sponges and various other items which are large or cumbersome?

  14. Kylie, if you look at the pics it's all there. :) I don't keep bleach in the kitchen. There are two bottles of liquid detergent, a bottle of rinse stuff and a bag of dish detergent for the DW, and at least four sponges in there. (Plus more.) I keep a LOT of stuff under our sink!

  15. I just cleaned out my pantry yesterday. I got home from the store and realized I had no place in the pantry to put anything because stuff was literally spilling out of it and I couldn't even close the door. It's so organized now it looks bare! My parents came over for dinner and I made both of them go see it, lol. I don't know why it's such a great feeling, but it is!

  16. I wish I could show you the disaster that is the underside of my sink. I have a big apron front so that takes a lot of space but I have 2 recycle bins - one cans, one paper, 1 bin for cleaning rags, 1 bin for sponges and scrubbies, and 1 for cleaning chemicals etc. and thats all the room. I would love to have my compost bin down there too but there just isnt room. I would keep recycle more compact and perhaps bigger in garage but we dont have an attached garage, more like an oversized shed, not attached. but then my house is a 2 bedroom 900sqft so space is tight!

  17. I'm doing the same thing this week - one organizing task after another until it's all done~! I store the new bags in the bottom of the trashcan, sans box. That way, they are there and ready when the full bag comes out. No searching for bags! And I store BIG cutting boards under my sink, too...(:

  18. Just tackled the cabinet under my sink today too and I feel SO MUCH BETTER!! :)

    I still have SO MANY more cabinets/drawers that need some attention! Slowly, but surely I plan on addressing each & every one!!

  19. Great ideas for under-the-sink storage. Love how you have the paper towels under there. Very clever!

  20. I have gotten a few cabinets organized in my kitchen since Christmas, but have been rethinking the one under the sink lately. You have given me some great ideas. I never thought of it as a place for the cutting board. It may have to wait until our new addition is done and I have a real closet for storing cleaning supplies. The paper towel rack may get this week, however, since I LOVE that idea.

  21. Oh friend - we are identical in that and plan on tackling a TON of decluttering over the next few months. Funny blogging admission? I had my designer make a cute little Countdown the Clutter button SIX MONTHS AGO and was planning on getting my readers on board, but I NEVER had it in me. THIS MUST CHANGE!. :) so I'll join you till March.
    xoxo miss you!

  22. OMG. Why have I never torn the flap off the super annoying flappy trash bag box? Why? I'm doing that right this second. Thank you.

  23. I always tear the flaps off of boxes, trash bags, sandwich bags, oatmeal packs. popcorn, anything pre-packaged. etc. I always felt like a those little flaps get in my way.
    I too put my paper towels under the sink, it helps us to not use as many, I always have a cloth towel ready for use, now, we only use paper towels for the super messy or to clean windows. Save some big bucks too.
    And I use SKOY towels,, they are a cross between a towel and a sponge, and you can wash them many times in the dishwasher.
    I love you thrifty and great cleaning and organizing ideas!

  24. I never thought about putting the trays inside the door. That's a great idea!

  25. I haven't even finished reading this post, and I had to comment. I am so so SO glad you have put this all together. I just decided I am going to paint our interior doors black, but I'm not much of a painter. Woohoo! Thanks for the tips. :)

  26. I agree with you on the Floppy Flaps! I do that to for everything that has a flap. Trash bags, sandwich bags, gallon bags, etc. I mounted my paper towel rod inside the door under the sink. My counter space is at a premium and I really hate clutter.

    Wish I had more time to devote to it. I always feel better when things are organzied correctly. Love your blog!

  27. I love those little tray things holding your sponges -- where did you find them?

    Oh, and trash compactors! There was one in our house when we bought it (I was like, "What is this, a mini dishwasher"?) we didn't really want it but now that we have one, I use it ALL the time and don't know what I would do without it!


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