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Tidy Tips: Under the Kitchen Sink

Category: Cleaning Tips

Is ‘under the kitchen sink’ a stained, unsightly graveyard for old, drippy cleaning bottles, hardened sponges, and other best-left-unseen sundries?

We’ve got a PRO cleaning secret to reveal: spiffing up and optimizing that awkward space under your kitchen sink will make it MUCH easier to keep all the visible parts of your kitchen clean and tidy every day. Here’s a simple 5-step plan for getting it done:

  1. Free up space by moving any cleaning supplies you don’t use at least daily or weekly to less-accessible locations. Examples include silver/furniture/stainless steel polishes, wood-floor cleaners, rug/upholstery cleaners, heavy-duty soap scum or mildew removers, decalcifying solutions, etc. What to keep: daily dishwashing/dishwasher liquids, tabs, and powders, an all-purpose everyday cleaning spray for kitchen surfaces, rubber gloves, trash bags, clean dishrags, and towels for drying and countertops made of moisture-sensitive materials such as marble, granite, or limestone.
  2. Line with contact paper. Especially if your under-the-kitchen-sink space has become stained over time, there are dozens of decorative options for quickly and easily covering it all up while complementing kitchen décor and making it a generally pleasing experience to open that under-sink cabinet every day.
  3. Reconfigure the space. Chances are the storage space under your kitchen sink is fairly tall; adding a tier or two of shelving will instantly double or triple the usable space. And, while there are plenty of specialized, under-sink shelving options with ready-made cutouts to accommodate pipes, a few well-chosen Google or Pinterest searches will also yield plenty of clever, affordable ideas for using commonly available items to optimize under-sink spaces.
  4. Use the walls and doors! An oft-overlooked option for optimizing under-sink storage space is to add hooks or narrow shelving to the insides of cabinet walls and/or doors. Not only does this expand storage capacity, it also helps to prevent staining by giving damp things safe places to dry.
  5. Clear the counters! Now that you have freed up, beautified, and optimized your under-the-kitchen-sink space, it’s time to use it daily to keep kitchen counters clean and neat. After washing up pots, pans, and dishes, use easily reachable under-sink supplies to make a daily practice of cleaning AND drying kitchen surfaces, then neatly stowing all items, such as sponges, rags, dishwashing liquids, that might otherwise clutter up your kitchen counter space.