Whoever first came up with “a place for everything and everything in its place” probably didn’t deal with modern plumbing. All throughout a house, there are perfectly rectangular areas marred by pipes.
The most common area to be woefully obstructed by pipes is the kitchen sink. The frustration of the wasted space is so bad many refuse to use the space at all.
Consider how much time and space you lose from not utilizing, or underutilizing, this area. Surveys reveal that the average person loses 2.5 years hunting down missing objects.
Think of how many kitchen items you want to store securely, right where you need them. Read this guide and find out how to make this fantasy a reality.
Kitchen Sink Storage
Any space that exists can be filled. That part’s easy. Where you likely struggle is in the retrieval step.
The following organization under the kitchen sink ideas take into account ease of recovery in addition to how much space is there. Anything that requires you to move something else to get to isn’t usable, it’s just stored.
1. Measure the Area
The first step to getting a space under control is understanding how much space you have.
Start by measuring the depth of the space, the area from the door to the wall. Then across the cupboard area. Finally, measure to the pipe on both sides and the space in front of and behind the pipe.
Not all spaces will be symmetrical. For various reasons, your sink pipe may be off-center.
Keep these measurements on-hand (write them on a card and tape them to the door for quick reference). You will use those figures when going about the rest of these steps.
2. Consider Pipe Space
The area to either side of a pipe makes sense. You can imagine it as two half rectangles with an awkward wall.
Whatever else you do in your organizational efforts, don’t install some walls to cut up the area. The moment something goes wrong with the plumbing and you have to remove those walls, you will hate yourself.
The area in front of the pipe needs to remain the easiest to clear, for times when you need to get at the pipe. The area behind makes an excellent spot to place objects you don’t need to get at but serve a purpose.
Right behind the pipe is a great place to situate a water filter. Learn about sizes and options to improve your drinking water and save space.
3. Add a Liner
Before you start putting in gadgets and organizers, add a liner.
A liner provides three handy functions to your under-sink area. First, it makes the area feel real. Many contracts don’t finish the inside of sink cupboards, leaving them raw and ugly.
Second, a liner brightens the space, increasing visibility and making it far easier to find small objects.
Third, a liner makes the whole space easier to clean in case of spills or to visually confirm leaks.
Unfinished cupboards look bad and a dark spot or two is to be expected. You don’t look under there every day, so by the time you start suspecting a problem, it’s often a big one.
4. Add a Light
Lights add to the visibility of the liner you installed.
Lights don’t have to be fancy. A clickable battery-powered thing will suffice.
For those of you into heavy DIY perfection, install a motion sensor and run the light into the house power.
Every time you open the cupboard it lights up the same way your fridge does.
It’s much easier to justify using the space for storage when it doesn’t take a lot of squinting and scrambling to get what you need.
5. Clear Boxes and Drawers
In the age of plastics, you have a whole spectrum of options available to install.
Clear plastic bins, sliding shelves, and drawers all provide excellent ways to keep your smaller objects together. Better yet, they protect the contents from becoming lost or damaged in the case of a pipe leak.
Feel confident in placing all the things you need for kitchen cleaning in one area. With bins, you can take it a step further and separate each task into its own area.
Getting children to do kitchen chores loses a lot of hassle when the “I can’t find the cleaner” excuse fades away.
Stacking the types of tools with the types of cleaning supplies also streamlines your kitchen. No more horror seeing steel wool used with the metal polish to mark up your stainless steel range.
6. Door Organizers
With the bulk of the internal space dealt with, it’s time to handle the doors.
Sure, if you pack the inside to the brim, the doors won’t have space to do anything but close. However, if you plan carefully, you have enough space to increase your accessibility by not going too deep on your boxes.
The key, after all, is to be able to reach a lot of things easily, not all of the things eventually.
The two major options for under the sink organizers for doors include hooks and lightweight suction. You don’t want to put too much weight on the doors in general, this can pull on the hinges and make your doors hard to close.
Hooks let you attach a lot of off-the-shelf brushes and hot pads. Suction bins can hold loose items so that they’re easy to grab in a hurry. Plugs, steel wool, and sponges can safely dry out of sight.
When the bin gets dirty it’s a snap to pull it off and scrub them out.
7. Tension Rods
Tension rods give you a lot more vertical space and help with one of the most frustrating under the sink cleaning storage issues: gunk.
Hang a tension rod (carefully chosen from your step 1 measurements) and place spray bottles on top.
Any leaking from the nozzles drips to the area below, where it can be easily wiped up without sticking the bottle itself to the cupboard.
The liner (installed in step 3) makes dribbles a quick clean.
Keep It Together
There you have it, all of your kitchen storage woes have been tossed out of sight under the kitchen sink.
Your newfound peace of mind and drawer space can be used to hid cookies in once more. For more useful DYI ideas, check out some of our other articles.