This past week I had a friend ask me if I needed an organizing project. Umm, yes, yes I do. Because an organizing junkie always needs a hit of some organizing goodness. Duh. She wanted help organizing underneath the kitchen sink. I was more than happy to help her! Quick and easy organizing tasks are so fulfilling and kitchens are my favorite. What you’ll see in this post is a real life organizing situation. It hasn’t been staged in any way, it only took us about an hour and a half and the total cost spent was $9. Nine bucks! For reals. I’m going to walk you through the process so you can take on this project yourself this weekend. Let’s go!
Okay the first thing I did was take a few quick pictures of the before. I suggest you do the same. Because I’m telling you it’s so rewarding to see the difference once you are done. You are going to feel so dang proud of yourself. Here’s how underneath the kitchen sink looked when I first got there.
Can you relate? You know, the pile it in and shut the door quick scenario of life? It happens. Especially with young kids underfoot. There’s only so much time in a day. But you are going to be amazed at how easy it is to transform this type of space with very little time and money. The goal is not a perfectly organized space that you are too afraid to use and mess up. What you want instead is a working usable space that makes your life so much easier.
And here’s how the space looks now. So much better!
Here’s the process we used to make it happen.
Empty the Space:
Pull it ALL out. All of it. No cheating. It’s going to look scary but this is only way to see what you really have and really determine objectively what you need to part with.
Clean the Space:
Now give your space a big scrub down. You want to start with a clean slate. In our case we took our game up a notch and added some sticky paper liner. I’m not sure what the exact name of this stuff is but you peel away the backing and lay it down. I had the paper lying around from a previous project so that was convenient. You can pick it up from Walmart or I’ve even seen it at the dollar store. It really adds a nice touch for little cost.
Purge the Stuff:
Now take everything that’s lying about and go through it all. Combine all those half empty bottles of the same thing. There’s always something! Purge or giveaway products you no longer are using. Get rid of excess packaging. Consolidate like with like in this step.
Before you put everything back in, you want to maximize space by going vertical. This step is crucial when organizing underneath a sink. You want to make use of the entire space and so you need to find a way to go UP, UP, UP. So whether that’s with the use of plastic drawers like I did in my own bathroom cabinet or with wire shelves, stacking bins and a stool like we did in this project, going up is a definite must.
Play Tetris with Your Bins:
This is my absolute favorite part of any organizing job. My friend caught me having fun moving bins here, there and everywhere so they’d all fit in just so. As you can see, I really love it. It’s a real life game of Tetris.
That fun floral tray I’m holding is actually a breakfast tray that I found at Dollarama. I thought it would be perfect for adding height.
Unfortunately it was too high and we couldn’t make it work here in this space. I’ll find somewhere to use it though, don’t you worry.
My friend originally had the purple stacking bins tucked away at the very back but we decided they’d get used more up front. Less chance of them getting buried away never to be seen again. They are the perfect size for storing the Costco size rolls of garbage and recycling bags, making them super easy to grab. Another bonus is they do a good job of hiding the reverse osmosis system behind them.
I couldn’t find my friend’s exact bins online but this set of three (affiliate link) are very similar.
Next to the purple bins, we added a wire shelf (affiliate link) to double the storage space here so my friend could store her most used cleaning supplies on top and her dishwasher pods underneath.
Next to that we have another basket (from the dollar store) for more cleaning products. And behind that we tucked an old stool my friend had so she could easily reach the items tucked on top there like extra bags and some vases.
Please remember that bins and baskets DO NOT need to match in style or color. What’s most important is that they are first and foremost doing the job they are designed to do. Don’t worry about coordinating everything and instead just get the project done with what you have on hand. Use boxes cut down to size if you have to. You can always upgrade later when you are sure the system is going to work out for you. The only two new items we bought were one basket and one wire shelf. Everything else my friend shopped her house for. The box holding the dishwasher tabs came from her daughter’s room. It was the perfect size. Inexpensive organizing for the win!
As always once you are all done, snap a picture and then smile and enjoy it everyday as you use it!
It would sure make me happy if you would please share this post 🙂
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