Under-the-Sink – Small Space Organization

It was a hot topic, while the gals were sitting around our Super Bowl party chatting about being inspired by Marie Kondo’s latest hit on Netflix’s – Tidying Up.  We traded stories of our latest organizing projects we’re working on in the new year.  We congratulated each other on a job well done.  It’s hard work and can be a labor of love but well worth the benefits of getting a space organized.   

One of my new year’s resolution is tackling the small spaces in my home that are frequently used but usually ignored. 

My first project is organizing Under-the-Sink in my kitchen and my mud/laundry room.  I haven’t organized these spaces since we moved in 14 years ago.  There was so much stuff crammed in these areas, I had no idea what I had and didn’t have.  I was constantly annoyed because I couldn’t see what was in the back and I couldn’t find something I thought I had.   

Kitchen Sink Before

Kitchen Sink Before

Mud/Laundry Room Sink Before

Mud/Laundry Room Sink Before

Ask Yourself – What’s Working?

Before you begin your project, ask yourself some key questions in order to get your space in order.  What’s working?  What’s not?  What’s on your wish list?  What’s your budget?  Lastly is there anything new you recently read about or want to try?

Sort Product By Categories

Sort Product By Categories

Sort, Create Categories & Clean

The best way to get started is to pull everything out.  Although painful and it seems to make a bigger mess, it allows you to see what you have and don’t have.  Start making categories by putting like items together and use sticky notes.  This will give you an instant snapshot of what you’re keeping and what you may need if you plan to buy some new organization products. It also helps with label creation. 

Think about your daily, weekly or monthly routine. For me, I like keeping certain supplies organized together.  Floor care and carpet cleaners are a separate category for me. I use them less frequently (stored in back). Same thing with extra supplies like sponges, microfiber cloths and scrubbing pads (stored in front). 

Remember to clean and vacuum before you put everything back in. Now is the perfect time to accomplish this step, when everything is out of the space. Make a shopping list for anything you ran out of.

Creating a Better Layout

I knew there were a few things I wanted to tackle.  For instance, I wanted to make better use of my vertical space by getting shelving options. I also wanted to take advantage of using my cabinet doors.  For this I used Command hooks & clips to hang bins and create new areas to hang microfiber cloths, mini dustpan/broom and dish brush.

In order to keep my supplies together, I needed a few new things like a larger cleaning caddy and new bins that could hold similar cleaning products and extra supplies together. And I found a decorative glass jar to hold all my dish pods making them easy to see and retrieve.

A Little DYI

For me, if I can’t find something I want, I create it.  I have been looking for an under the sink shelf for some time and I found the perfect one for my space at Target in their kitchen section.  It was super sturdy so I knew it would holdup to heavy cleaning supplies being stored on it but it was also narrow to fit around my pipes.  I didn’t like the white it came in so I painted with a metal Hammered Satin finish paint.

I also couldn’t find the right shelf height for the other side of my cabinet.  I had lots of pipes and hoses to deal with.  I ended up using a regular bin but attaching it to the side cabinet with Command hooks.  I put a dab of hot glue to keep it from swinging.  I don’t like running the risk of splitting the wood with screws, so using Command hooks worked out perfect. 

Shopping Advice

(1) Sort First, Buy Later.  Get what you have in order before deciding to buy new products.  Find out what’s going to be staying in the space.  It’s exciting adding new things, but try to resist and do the hard, not fun part first. 

(2) Decide Your Budget.  It’s easy to get carried away when you look down the aisles and see all the pretty bins and organizational products but decide what you want to spend before you spend it.  Sometimes, you’ll come out spending less because you stuck to the budget. 

(3) Create A List & Measure.  For those of you that want to add some color or design flair, make sure to create a list based on need and measure first!  There is nothing more frustrating than spending time to find the right product then getting home and finding out it doesn’t fit the space or hold what you thought you were going to put in it.  Take the time to measure and avoid the return line. 

A Better Under Sink Experience

Wow!  What a difference! I was thrilled how the project turned. I love the new reorganized space.  I can easily see under my sink and retrieve any cleaning supplies and accessories.  I love the new look of my bins in my cabinet and on my doors – they match my modern industrial vibe. 

The new shelves give me more vertical space for better accessible storage.  I can easily grab sprays and find supplies for any cleaning job that requires them.  Love, love, love the new Command clips for my gloves. The gloves have a new home and can dry out more easily.  The Command hooks were great for fastening the bins to my doors and finding new homes for things we use on a regular basis.  Plus, they are a no fuss installation option that won’t hurt my wood. 

The new cleaning caddy is slightly bigger, sturdier and has a built-in handle.  It fits more cleaning supplies and the kids can grab it and go when it’s their turn to clean a bathroom.

I added a few extras outside around my sink. I needed an over-the-door towel bar because I was tired of using the cabinet handle to hold my hand towels.  I added a vinegar bottle to house my favorite dish soap.  Plus, I added a little plant life and a nice scented candle to burn.  It makes doing dishes more relaxing.

Lastly, I stored the products I don’t use as often but still need in my mud/laundry room under-the-sink space.  This cabinet is slightly larger for bigger, taller containers. It keeps the odds and ends supplies like drain, jewelry, fabric and furniture cleaners in one spot.

I hope these tips and tricks help you organize your next small space!

Ann Faber