Challenge #4 – Under the Kitchen Sink

Organizing under the kitchen sink

Here we are on day #4 of the Get Organized Challenge. Are you feeling a sense of accomplishment? Today we tackle that dark spot under the kitchen sink!

Let’s recall the process we are using throughout the month:

THE PROCESS

1. Gather your supplies: (you can reuse these same supplies each day)

  • Boxes or bags labeled with “Donate”, “Elsewhere” and “Store”
  • Trash can and recycle bin
  • Damp rag/wet wipe

2. Remove everything from the area (yes, everything) and wipe it clean with a damp rag.

3. Sort the items into these categories: (The Seana Method’s R.E.D.D.S. system)

  • R- Restore: these are the items going back in
  • E- Elsewhere: these are items to keep, but that don’t belong in this space
  • D- Donate
  • D- Dispose: trash or recycle
  • S- Store: items you want to keep for sentimental reasons, or perhaps for a long-term future use, but which you don’t regularly use. These items will eventually need to go into a bin/box in an attic, basement, or closet.

4. Keeping the “Restore” items out, and put all other items into the boxes/bags you prepared.

5. Move items to their final destination:

  • Put the “Restore” items back into your designated area.
  • Carry the “Elsewhere” box/bag around your house and redistribute its contents.
  • Move the “Donate” box/bag to the car to be donated.
  • Trash/recycle the “Dispose” items.
  • Put the “Store” items into a container and move it to a remote location for future access.

THE TASK

The cabinet under the kitchen sink tends to be a place we ignore. Most likely you have cleaning supplies there, or perhaps another collection of items. If you have small children, you may have safety locks on this cabinet, which is a great idea.

Keeping with the approach we’ve been using this month, today’s task requires that you empty this area and wipe it clean. Sort through the items using the system outlined above. You may be able to consolidate some cleaning supplies, and there may be some very old ones that you don’t really use (which can be pitched!).

Since liquids tend to leak, I suggest using large plastic bins like these to corral your bottles. These keep the “floor” of your cabinet from getting wet and warping.

Kitchen washbin

Depending on the width of your cabinet, a tension rod can be hung across the front of the cabinet from which you can hang towels or other light items.

Hooks are another great way to maximize the space, and can be hung on the sides of the cabinet or on the inside of the doors.

You can also hang wire baskets from hooks on the inside of a cabinet door. Command hooks are great because they won’t damage your cabinet door.

Use large Ziploc bags to hold your stash of sponges or other small supplies so they don’t slosh around.

When reloading, put the items you use less frequently in the back, and those you use most often up front.  This isn’t a complicated task, just one that we need to periodically perform in order to keep the space fresh. Hopefully, just looking at the clean space will give you a sense of accomplishment!

If you are enjoying the Get Organized Challenge, please tell your friends and invite them to get organized too! How’s it going for you so far?

13 thoughts on “Challenge #4 – Under the Kitchen Sink”

    1. Well Janine, you are so organized that I’m surprised I found an area you haven’t conquered yet. With this crazy cold weather, maybe this will be a fun project for the day:)

  1. Love the idea of your January organizing challenge. What a perfect way to honor National Get Organized Month.

    It’s so true that under the kitchen sink can be one scary place to look and organize. It’s dark down there, things get shoved in, lost, and wet. You’ve given us an easily doable approach to tackling an area that often gets ignored (out of fear.)

    After helping clients organize many of these areas, the one thing that seems to be a theme is how little actually needs to go under the sink. “Extras” can be stored elsewhere. Keeping only those items that you reach for regularly will help to keep the tight space organized and more easily accessible.

    Happy Organizing!
    Linda Samuels recently posted…New Year. New Numbers.My Profile

    1. So agree, Linda. We end up clogging up the easy-access spaces with stuff that doesn’t need to be there. And since there is plumbing under the sink, always good to keep as little as possible there.. in case of a leak. This principle you are describing applies to so many of the spaces in our homes and offices. Happy Organizing to you as well – what’s more fun?

  2. Love this! It’s a great organizing jump start for the year!

    Under the kitchen sink is scary! I like to add a press on light too. Shiny a light there makes it stay more organized too

    1. It’s a pretty easy place to overlook. Dark and dreary. But you can usually find a few “quick hits” to throw away, which makes it feel worthwhile!!

  3. Sometimes I think you and Cassidy are in cahoots because he did this over the weekend. And it really needed it! Sometimes I go and buy sponges, thinking we don’t have any, when there are lots of them hidden underneath all of our cleaning products.
    Tamara recently posted…Go Ahead, Ask Me Anything.My Profile

    1. I often have a sixth sense that Cassidy and I would get along famously:) Keep all the sponges in one, clear bag so you can easily see if you need more. Happens all the time… sometimes I forget to check my spices at Thanksgiving and I end up with 3 bottles of poultry seasoning!

    1. The good news is, once you pull everything out, the process goes quickly. Perfect project for a cold Saturday morning!

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