Monday, February 22, 2010

SOS! Organize Under The Kitchen Sink

"I can not open the cabinet under my kitchen sink without being embarrassed and frustrated. How do people fit their cleaning supplies and plastic bags in that small cabinet?"

The trick to dealing with the small, dark and damp cabinet under the sink is to limit what is stored there. Think about what you are usually doing when you are at your sink. Washing dishes springs to my mind, so dish washing supplies are kept handy under the sink.  One of the rules of organizing is to locate items where they are used. Free-standing baskets or mounted, slid-out baskets bring the supplies to you so you don't have to dig around in the cabinet. The basket unifies the appearance of the supplies for an uncluttered look. As far as the other cleaning supplies go, keep them in a different location - like the broom closet.

When it's time to clean the house it's nice to grab the vacuum and the furniture polish at the same time. Keeping cleaning supplies in the broom closet is pretty handy. Door-mounted baskets efficiently hold all of your supplies and preserve the closet shelves for other uses. Contrary to what most people think, you do not need a huge collection of cleaning supplies to keep you home clean. Use multipurpose items as much as possible so you have fewer items to store. You'll probably save money and have less environmental impact as well. Less is more!

I have posted two pictures from my home. Under my kitchen sink I keep the garbage can so it's away from my dog's curious snoot. The can plus the garbage disposal severely limit amount of space in the cabinet. But the cabinet is a very convenient place to keep the can. The basket holds only the things needed to do the dishes and a can of scouring powder. The bag on the left door collects are recyclables. On the right door is a cork tile which has the county recycling guide on it for handy reference.

The second picture is of my broom closet door where I keep most of my cleaning supplies. You can probably tell from the narrow width of the door that my closet is tiny. But the door-mounted baskets provide me with plenty of storage. Plastic grocery bags are kept in a tote bag that hangs from a hook in a closet. When the tote bag is full, it comes with me to the grocery store so I can recycle the bags.

Keep the area under the sink organized by following three guidelines:
  •  limit what is stored there to only the items that you need when you are working at the sink,
  •  use baskets to provide easy accessibility as well as neatening the appearance,
  •  use the space on the doors for extra storage. 

Thank you Teresa for your question and the nomination of Backstoppers for the charitable drawing at the end of the year.

Don't forget we're giving away tickets to the home show. See the last past for the rules of entry, and good luck!
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