The 9 Most Brilliant Under-the-Sink Organizing Tips and Tricks You’ll Wish You Knew About Way Earlier

updated Jul 17, 2020
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Prop Stylist: Stephanie Yeh/Kitchn

When it comes to kitchen cabinets, the ones in the corner and under the sink are the most annoying ones to organize. But at least corner cabinets aren’t gross. Too often, the cabinets under the kitchen sink turn into this dark (and moist?) pit of cleaning supplies, trash bags, and who knows else. We hate going in there. You hate going in there. Everyone hates going in there! In attempts to turn things around, we’ve rounded up Kitchn’s best tips for organizing and setting up an under-the-sink cabinet.

Here goes.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Prop Stylist: Stephanie Yeh/Kitchn

1. Invest $20 in this organizer.

Not only does a Kitchn writer swear by this organizer, but it’s also a bestseller on Amazon. It can be set up to work around most pipe situations and creates two shelves, so that your cleaning supplies aren’t piled on top of each other in one jumbled mess.

Buy: SimpleHouseware Under-Sink 2 Tier Expandable Shelf Organizer, $20

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Prop Stylist: Stephanie Yeh/Kitchn

2. Or a $7 tension rod.

Don’t want anything that bulky? You can hang a cheap tension rod in the cabinet and use it to hang spray bottles (by their triggers), dish cloths, gloves, and more.

BuyAdjustable Tension Rods, $7 for two

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

3. Or flip an over-the-door towel holder around.

An even easier option? Take an over-the-door towel holder and flip it around so that the bar is on the inside of your cabinets. Then, you can use the little bar to hold a few spray bottles.

Read more: The Brilliant Towel Holder Hack That’ll Save You Room Under the Kitchen Sink

Credit: Joe Lingeman

4. Line the cabinet with a piece of linoleum.

Add a piece of old linoleum to the bottom of the cabinet and, this way, if a container leaks or gets knocked over, you won’t ruin your nice shelf. Note: If you have kids or pets, you’ll want to store bleach (and other chemicals) up and out of reach.

Read more: The Best Ways to Store Bleach

5. Or use shelf liner.

Our gear pro lines the area under her sink with a thick, smooth-top plastic liner. It doesn’t have any adhesive, but it’s slightly tacky so that it stays in place. It’s also “very easy to pick up and then put back, which means you can easily wash it in the sink,” she says. (No crawling into the cabinet to wash the shelf on your hands and knees!)

Read more: The $10 Buy That Makes the Cabinet Under My Sink Less Gross

6. Add a wet bag.

What’s your current system for dealing with dirty dish rags and towels? If you don’t currently stash a wet laundry bag under your sink, it’s worth considering it. This way, you have a place to throw dirty towels between laundry loads.

Read more: One Thing You Should Start Storing Under Your Kitchen Sink

7. Use the back of the cabinet doors.

We don’t always love storing stuff on the back of your cabinet doors, but it makes sense for your under-the-sink area. Add a special caddy to the door and you’e got a place for scrub brushes, soap, and other cleaning supplies.

Buy: Command Under Sink Cabinet Caddy, $13

Credit: Cambria Bold

8. Find a new home for anything that’s not kitchen-related.

This tip is so obvious and so simple — and yet, so effective! We’re willing to bet there are a few (dozen?) things in your cabinet right now that have nothing to do with the kitchen. Go through and give the space a good edit. If you need some inspiration, just click on this link below.

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

Credit: Lauren Volo

9. Label the doors before your next party.

If you store your trash can and recycling can under the sink (instead of cleaning supplies), try this tip before your next party. Just tape index cards up on the doors to clearly show people where to find the trash and where to find the recycling. Without these cards, we’ve found that guests usually just stack up empty bottles and cups on the counter, and this makes things a whole lot neater.

Read more: This Is the Best Way to Handle Trash and Recycling During a Party

Do you have any other tips for dealing with the cabinets under the kitchen sink? Leave your ideas in the comments below!