What’s lurking under your kitchen sink?
The cupboard under the kitchen sink can end up being one of the messiest in the house … or at least, that’s what it seems like here! Bottles, sprays, sponges and other items are used and tossed back multiple times a day. There’s also the jumble of pipes, hoses and plumbing to contend with, making this a difficult spot to organise. I decided, however, that some decluttering, tidying and sorting of the mess was a job for the last weekend, so here we go!
- First task was to pull everything out and give the cupboard a good scrub.
- I sprayed some Bug Surface Spray to keep any nasties away because they love warm, dark spaces. You may prefer not to do this, it’s a very personal choice.
- Next, I sorted everything out and put similar items together in piles.
- DECLUTTER!!! Get rid of anything that you don’t need, use or want. If you find you have doubles of things like detergent or cleaning spray, store them together and use up the oldest product first or if you can pour or store both items in a single bottle, then that’s even better.
- I searched the house for baskets and things that I already had to organise the space. If you don’t have what you need, grab your tape measure, measure the space you have to work with and hit the shops. Don’t forget to account for hinges, plumbing, pipes, etc. when measuring.
- Once you have what you need, set up your storage solutions, arrange everything neatly and that’s another job done!
- And the final, most important step is to maintain what you’ve achieved. Make sure everything is returned to it’s “home” once it’s been used, in other words, put things back where they belong.
Here are some suggestions and ideas that I used to help organise underneath my sink:
- Pull-out shelving/baskets. When I renovated my kitchen (now almost 8 years ago), I wanted to maximise my use of this difficult space but also improve how I accessed the back of the cupboard. I found the perfect solution with this chrome shelf/basket unit on a track that I can pull out when I need something and then push back easily. These aren’t cheap options but they are definitely “sanity savers” and after years of use, I can vouch for the fact that it was money well spent. The great news is you can have one fitted to an existing kitchen or you could achieve a similar result using a plastic crate on wheels that can be pulled in and out.
- 2 or 3-tier shelving. This is a great way to make the most of vertical space. Grab your tape measure and search for shelf units that will fit your space particularly around pipes and plumbing. This little set cost about $5.00 from Stacks and fits the space perfectly.
- Baskets with low sides. Once gain, don’t be deterred by plumbing … get creative and find some unique storage solutions. I love this wicker basket that stores my tea towels.
- Chrome Baskets. I like to use all the space available and have hung some fantastic chrome Baskets, one over each cupboard door. Both were purchased from Aldi for $9.95 each. One basket holds spare plastic shopping bags and the second basket stores various sponges and scourers. I also found some similar over-door chrome baskets at KMart starting at just $5.00, so check those out. I’ve purchased some to help me organise the laundry cupboard.
- Under sink Extendable Shelves. I don’t have one of these myself but I found these great little units at KMart just the other day. These have been designed to fit around the plumbing under the sink and double your storage space by using a second shelf and at $12.00 they are a great bargain.
Always remember to take into account babies, toddlers and small children when storing cleaning products or chemicals of any kind under the kitchen sink. Little people can be quite determined when it comes to getting into cupboards and only see excitement and adventure. Low, accessible cupboards are not the place for these products when children are young and curious. I’m able to safely store these items now because my kids are teenagers and young adults.
So what kind of things do I store in this space:
- Handwash Refills
- Dishwaher Tablets/Powder
- Dishwasher Rinse Aid
- Fly Spray and Surface Spray
- Sponges, clothes, scourers, brushes, microfiber clothes
- Tea towels
- Rubber gloves
- Sandwich toaster
- Spare mop head
- Sink accessories like draining tray and vegetable strainer
What’s stopping you? Set aside some time and tackle the cupboard under the sink and once you’re done, pop over to facebook (www.facebook.com.au/mrsorganised) and share your photo.
So tell me, do you manage to keep under the sink clean and tidy or does it get a bit scary under there?