Before & After: How I Organized My Disastrous Under-the-Sink Area

updated May 4, 2022
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Disaster zone (Image credit: Cambria Bold)

Is there any kitchen area more prone to neglect than the area under the sink? Well, perhaps the junk drawer, but since I conquered that last week, it was time to tackle the towering mess of cleaners, sponges, brushes, and bottles that had taken up residence in my sink cabinet.

I really don’t know how it got like this. I swear, I think everything just showed up one day, like squatters. Sponge squatters! Dish soap interlopers! They were living under my sink, and it was time to clean house. Here’s how I imposed order.

(Image credit: Cambria Bold)

Behold! Most of the non-kitchen cleaners, when they realized I was coming for them, hightailed it over to the bathroom sink cabinet to huddle up with the other household cleaners. A couple half-empty dish soap bottles asserted their right to stay until they’d expended every last drop, as did Big Bottle of White Vinegar and his offspring Little Bottle of White Vinegar.

Also making a case for their right to stay under my kitchen sink were a bottle of my favorite hand soap, a box of my favorite dishwasher detergent, a countertop spray, hot pink rubber gloves, a scrub brush, and a few non-abrasive Dobie pads (the best for cleaning stainless steel pots and enameled cast iron stove grates).

Then they all decided they didn’t need any personal space and would rather live together in a tight, orderly manner like one big, happy cleaner family.

So, we installed a pull-out drawer.

Give me more of that drawer. (Image credit: Cambria Bold)

My New Drawer

The metal drawer above is the simplehuman’s 9-inch pull-out cabinet organizer. I received it as a gift a few years ago, and lugged it through two apartment moves just waiting for the perfect, properly-sized cabinet to pair it with — and I finally found it. The organizer was just narrow enough to fit on the left side of the sink cabinet. Any taller and wider and it wouldn’t have slid past the center pipe.

But it did, and now the organizer stores everything together, all nice and cozy, in neatly-divided sections that help keep things upright and tidy. Plus, the pull-out feature means I don’t have to get on my hands and knees to access the farthest reaches of the cabinet. Everything comes to me now, because I am the master.

With all this uber-organization on the left side of the cabinet, the right side was wide open and available to store my rinsing tub from IKEA. It had always irked me to leave the tub in the sink when I wasn’t using it, so now I have a designated place to get it out of the way.

The pull-out cabinet organizer in action. (Image credit: Cambria Bold)

So much better.

Is your under-the-sink area a mess? Have you organized it recently? What are your tips and tricks?

More Under-the-Sink Organization from The Kitchn