Chances are your under-the-sink spaces are some of the most overlooked storage opportunities in your home. From keeping your kitchen more organized to decluttering your bathroom, making the most of the space under your sink gives you more storage and greater convenience.
“Due to their awkward size, these spots can often become a dumping ground for your bulk cleaning sprays, grocery bags, and supplies,” says organizing expert Rachel Rosenthal. “The good news for you is that under-the-sink organization is one of the quicker spots to dive into when reorganizing. A couple of minutes can make this area a small but mighty powerhouse for your storage needs.”
From hooks and rods to simple storage solutions, here are some tips and tricks to optimize the space under your sink.
Start With a Clean Slate Before You Organize Under the Sink
Like most housekeeping tasks, you’ll want to declutter first. Clear some floor or counter space so you can sort through the contents under the sink. Pull everything out of the area and start purging. Go through all your cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items and whatever else has accumulated. Anything that is broken, leaking, out of date or otherwise in bad shape gets thrown out.
If possible, “marry” like cleaners and lotions by combining partial containers into one bottle or jar. Wipe down your remaining bottles and other containers and dry them off. Vacuum or sweep out the area under the sink and give it a good cleaning with a multipurpose cleaner. Check for any loose plumbing and leaks to make sure your cabinet space stays clean and dry.
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Install a decorative shelf liner to protect your cabinet and make it look more presentable.
Measure the width, depth and height of your under-sink space, as well as the cabinet door opening. You’ll use these measurements to cut your water-resistant shelf liner to size and to create the most efficient storage for underneath the sink.
Install a light. Even with the bathroom or kitchen lights on, it’s hard to see what’s under the sink, especially towards the back. One way to make things easier to view is to add an inexpensive stick-up light. “Add a motion sensor light,” says New York City-based organizer and designer Jeffrey Phillip. “It’s a great way to brighten up the space and allows you to more easily see what you are storing or retrieving.”
Now that we’ve created the foundation for our under the sink makeover, it’s time to create some convenient and flexible storage. Here are five ways to organize the area under the bathroom or kitchen sink.
5 Ways to Get Your Under-the-Sink Storage Organized
1. Use the inside of cabinet doors for storage.
The cabinet doors are an ideal place to store everything from trash bags and paper towels to beauty supplies and washcloths. Two of the most common cabinet door organizers are those that hook over the door or mount to the door directly. You’ll find organizers with baskets, trays, hooks and a host of configurations to match your specific storage needs.
You can also create your own custom storage with DIY solutions. The back of cabinet doors gives you plenty of space for bins, bars and more. A quick and easy way to create flexible storage under the sink is to install an over-the-cabinet bar backward so it’s accessible on the inside of the door. You’ll have convenient access to dish towels, spray bottles, gloves and other kitchen necessities while keeping them out of sight.
Mount plastic bins on the back of the cabinet door to create a handy storage space. Label the bins so you can easily identify the things you need. Whether you use this idea for keeping your contacts fresh, your prescriptions on track or for rotating sponges in the kitchen, labeled bins offer convenience and flexibility.
2. Make the most of your under-sink space with the right storage solutions.
The hardest part of organizing the space under sinks is working around pipes, hoses and garbage disposals. There’s plenty of space in there; we just have to get creative in how we use it. Decide what storage options fit your needs and your cabinet space by creating a rough draft of how you want to set things up. Choose storage containers that fit together well and suit the measurements you took earlier to make the most of your available space.
Using several two-tiered organizers with drawers is one way to make use of the vertical space, and the pull-out drawers keep items available for easy access. A familiar storage solution for spices and condiments, the Lazy Susan works just as well at keeping cleaning supplies handy. Fill it up with bottles, brushes and other cleaning gear and spin it around when you need something. This is a convenient way to keep shampoo, conditioner and other bottles handy under the bathroom sink, too.
In the bathroom, use PVC pipes to organize hair tools under the sink. Make holsters for your hair styling tools with short lengths of PVC pipe. Measure the length and pipe size for your curling iron, straightener, hairdryer and other tools. You’ll find PVC pipes of varying sizes at most hardware stores. Check out the great tutorial from The Family Handyman to learn how to create this custom storage solution.
3. Use rods to make the most of your space under the sink.
Just like you make the most of your vertical space with two-tiered containers, you can maximize the horizontal space under the sink with rods or dowels. Mount a shortened curtain rod or wooden dowel using curtain rod holders on the back of the cabinet door or on one of the sides. It’s a convenient and versatile storage solution for holding rolls of plastic trash bags, paper towels, cleaning cloths, spray bottles and more.
For even more storage, a tension rod that goes the full width of your cabinet takes advantage of vertical and horizontal space. Mount it in a position where the items you’ll be hanging have clearance above the items stored on the bottom of the cabinet and you’ll suddenly have a two-tiered storage solution. You can store spray bottles, cleaning cloths and anything else you want for easy access. Hang an old mug or two along the rod for a perfect place to keep sponges, scrubbers and other small items.
4. Create grab-and-go totes and organizers for under the sink.
If you store cleaning supplies under your kitchen or bathroom sink that you use in other areas of your home, consider keeping them organized in an easy-to-grab tote. You can include cleaners, sponges, microfiber cloths and other items for your specific cleaning task. Your cleaning supplies will be easier to get to, more portable and fit back neatly in their place when you’re done.
In the bathroom, a tote designated for bathroom cleaning supplies like tile cleaner, tub and toilet spray and air freshener helps keep things more organized. A decorative basket filled with toilet paper or washcloths and towels is another good candidate for under-sink storage in the bathroom. For the kitchen, consider creating a tote stocked with air freshener, floor cleaner, furniture polish, microfiber cloths and other supplies you’ll use in the den, living room and other main areas.
5. Give your under-sink storage a decorative makeover.
If you want to add a decorative touch to your under-sink storage, there are plenty of ways to make this space more appealing. Use decorative rods, hangers, hooks and other hardware beneath the sink to add a personal touch or to match your kitchen décor. Screw in decorative hooks or peel-and-stick designs for a customized look. Fasten grommets onto gloves and towels and hang them from the hooks for a polished look and handy access. For a quick and easy storage solution for microfiber towels, use velcro attached to the inside of the cabinet to hang them for easy access and to let them dry after you rinse them out.
We hope this post has given you some ideas to maximize the storage underneath your sinks. If you need more time to work on your home organization, or you just want a cleaner home more often, The Maids offers affordable and flexible residential cleaning services for a range of cleaning needs.