Professional Home Organiser from The Organising Bee
Storage under the sink often falls into the trap of “out of sight out of mind”, being left neglected and under-utilised. In addition, these spaces are often poorly designed with the location of the plumbing restricting the style of shelving that can be used and even causing shelving not to be installed at all, leaving an unfunctional area. Consequently, this can lead to difficulty in organising and maintaining order under the sink.
So, here are my top 6 tips to maximise under the sink storage.
Top Under The Sink Storage Tips
Only Store What You Use
Rather than using under the sink as a catch-all for all your cleaning supplies, only store items that you use on a daily basis to wash your dishes and clean your kitchen. For example, double-ups and specialised or heavy-duty cleaning products and bleaches can be stored in the laundry or another secure storage cupboard within the home.
Keep What You Need – And Nothing More
When supporting clients in organising their kitchens, I often find they have many half-used bottles of tried-and-disliked cleaning supplies hidden away. Rather than discarding these unfinished bottles, they are stuffed into the back of the cupboard. If this sounds familiar, I suggest taking time to safely and sustainably discard all of the products that you are no longer using. So, to reduce waste, ask your friend, neighbour or local community centre if they could use them. Only keeping the cleaning products that you are using frees up valuable space and as a result, makes it a lot easier for you to find the items you need.
Install Under The Sink Shelving
If you don’t already have a shelf in the cupboard under the kitchen sink, I highly recommend you install one! The method you choose is highly dependent on the dimensions of your space and the location of your plumbing pipes. For instance, a permanent solution is to fit a melamine shelf which you can purchase for around $20 from the hardware store (which will often cut it to size for you). You may also need to cut the board so it fits neatly around your existing plumbing. However, if you prefer a drawer-style shelf, options like the simplehuman Cabinet Organisers are a great alternative. Moreover, Tansel Shelving is a brilliant solution as it comes in narrow widths and can maximise your available space.
On the other hand, if a permanent shelf isn’t a viable option, you can install removable shelving options like the Expandable Under Sink Shelf or a kitchen helper shelf measured to fit your unique dimensions.
Storing regularly used items (i.e. surface spray and your cleaning cloth) in a utility caddy like the White Magic i-Hook Handy Basket on the side of your cupboard maximises convenience and further, saves space. There are permanent and non-permanent options that can be screwed to the door or hooked over the top. If you currently store reusable plastic grocery bags under the sink, affixing a bag holder like the iDesign Classica Kitchen Over-The-Cabinet Bag Holder or White Magic Hide Away Bin to the inside door is a practical option for storing waste.
I recommend storing like items together in separate baskets as using different baskets keeps things neatly organised. Grouping items within smaller categories makes it simple for you to find what you need when you need it.
In a wet area like under the sink, a basket with good ventilation is vital. For instance, options like the Howards Clara Organiser Baskets, Sterilite Small Ultra Basket or SmartStore Stylish Baskets are great solutions. Howards Mimi Organisers (my all-time favourite HSW product!) are also brilliant for storing surface sprays and taller bottles. In addition, these solutions are ideal for organising supplies under the laundry tub or on the top shelf of narrow cupboards. Before buying any storage container, it is crucial that you know what you will store in them and the dimensions of your space so that you can choose the most functional option for your needs.
Avoid using small plastic drawers under sinks as they are often difficult to use in low spaces where your line of sight is impaired. This form of storage is best used at the waist to eye level. Moreover, baskets and containers stored on an open shelf which you can fully remove when using are a lot more practical for under sink storage as they make it easier to maintain in the long term.
Under the Sink can be a great place for a pull out bin. If you have under bench space and prefer a streamlined look in your kitchen, installing a bin like the Howards 2 x 20L Twin Pull-Out Rubbish Bin is a great option. Likewise, you can also stylishly manage both your waste and recycling needs all in one smart unit. Here are some great options.
Amy Kennedy is a Professional Home Organiser and founder of The Organising Bee based in Canberra. The Organising Bee has been awarded the Best of Houzz Award for Service for the past 4 years (2017-2020) and is a Professional Member of the Institute of Professional Organisers (IOPO) and the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO).