14 ways to organize that nightmare space under the kitchen sink, according to experts

Decluttering experts share their top tips for neat and tidy storage.

Figuring out how to organize under the kitchen sink can be a nightmare for most of us. It's a place where your antibacterial wipes, bleach and sponges balance like a game of Jenga or Buckaroo. But when it comes to keeping toxic household items out of the reach of kids and pets, you'll find organizing far from child's play.

Perfect for clearing space from your worktops, finding things quickly and easily (saving money on dupes) and generally keeping things organized, kitchen storage ideas like these are genius for giving your under sink space a well-needed glow-up.

'First take everything out of your under sink cupboard and group similar items together as you do so,' says Lizzie Grant, founder of Declutter on Demand.

'This allows you to really see what you have in there. It also gives you a fresh perspective on using a different layout and organizing products for this space. Declutter anything you no longer need or use as well as expired products.'


(The Container Store)
1. After sorting, measure the space

'Under sink storage can be tricky due to pipes and lack of shelves. Before you rush to buy organizing products, measure the space,' says Grant.

It's all about maximizing on the space you have, depending on what you need to stow there also. ''Consider the amount and size of the products you have to store - are they tall, small, narrow, wide? Look for ways you can maximize the space, for example, adding hooks or clothes pegs to the back of an under-sink cupboard door or adding over-door storage,' adds Grant.

'If shelves are lacking, buy stackable or freestanding drawers to double the amount of storage space. There are even freestanding shelves you can buy which can fit around pipes.'

(The Container Store)
2. If in doubt, go with wire under-sink storage

Under-the-sink organizers made from stainless steel wire are often superior to plastic ones. They are easier to clean, not prone to water damage, and, importantly, are lightweight and easy to remove when needed. Speaking from the experience of having had to organize many kitchen sinks over his lifetime, Licensed Realtor® Scott Browder tells us that 'since it is made of steel you don’t have to worry about a leaky faucet messing up your nice drawers the first time you have a leak. I make sure to hit the tracks with silicon spray or wD-40 also so that the shelves pull out with ease and if they are to get wet they will not rust. I check every couple of months to make sure I spray it down so the shelves move fast and again if the sink is to leak that it doesn’t rust.'

3. Double up on tiered organizers

Even the smallest under-the-sink space can accommodate a tiered organizer. And most sinks will be able to fit in two of them, which means you've just quadrupled your storage space. Never underestimate the power of multiple tiers to house all your bottles, clothes, and brushes. It's a much more efficient way of organizing your space than trying to cram in everything on one level.

(The Container Store)
4. Choose your organizing products

'There are lots of different ways to organize your space so choose products which appeal to you and work for your space,' explains Grant.

'You may want to have a portable caddy for daily/weekly cleaning products so you can take them to other areas of your home if needed. Alternatively, you might prefer to use a turntable to organize items.'

'Smaller storage containers, such as small plastic takeaway boxes, are useful for smaller items. Using see-through tubs or bins will ensure that you never lose track of items.'

We found this iDesign™ Clear Undersink Sliding Tray unit at Bed Bath and Beyond.

(Bed Bath Beyond)
5. Sort your supplies with a spin board

'If you have a deep kitchen cupboard and hate fighting through the maze of supplies and products, spin boards, also known as Lazy Susans, are great to place your spray bottles on, allowing easier reach to your products,' says Katie Thomas, founder of KTM design.

'On the other hand, if you haven’t got enough room for a spin board, tension rods can be used across the cupboard which will then allow you to hook the spray bottles onto the rod. This then allows for extra room underneath for any storage boxes, maximizing the space available.'

6. Where possible, make the sustainable choice

'Baskets are a good choice for under sink storage as they’re easy to maneuver and importantly are the only ‘breathable’ type of storage so good for dishcloths, tea towels and wipes,' says Craig Sammells, manager at Orthex Group.

'Our SmartStore Baskets have the added aspect of being a sustainable choice too – they are made from recycled plastic and have the option of a bamboo lid. The lids rest snugly on top of the basket making them stackable.'

'We also have the Classic range of recyclable plastic boxes with durable clip lids. These are available in a variety of sizes and are good for more long-term under-sink storage such as for liquid soap or surface cleaner refills.'

7. Consider adjustable and removable organizers

The space under the sink often turns into a bit of a dumping ground for carrier bags, cleaning products and anything else to quickly stuff in a cupboard out of sight – especially in a small kitchen design where space is at a premium.

So, an adjustable under-the-sink organizer not only means you can maximize storage space, but also offers an effective management and stock control system of cleaning products. The days of frustratingly rummaging through cupboards trying to find a new bottle of bleach that doesn't exist are officially over.

No matter if you have a large or small kitchen storage unit you can organize under the kitchen sink with ease knowing that this unit is adaptable to the space.

8. Use pull-out shelves

'Make sure every item under the sink has a designated home as this will help you keep your under sink space organized. Only keep products you use regularly under the sink,' warns Grant.

'If you bulk-buy items, find another place to keep these to avoid your under sink storage becoming cluttered. Organize items by category and remember if you cannot see things then you probably won’t use them.'

'Keep more frequently used items at the front and lesser used items towards the back. Remove packaging as much as possible to save space and make everything look more uniform.'

8. Maximize your cabinet door space

'The cabinet doors are an ideal place to store everything from trash bags and shopping bags to paper towels and sponges. There are two basic designs of cabinet door organizers. Those that hook over the door and those that mount to the door directly.' says Brad Neel, a content creator, The Container Store.

(The Container Store)
10. Work around obstructions

'The hardest part of organizing the space under your sink is working around the pipes and your garbage disposal. Using several two-tiered under sink organizers is one way to solve the problem,' says Neel.

'They help you make use of the vertical space and the pull-out drawers keep items from getting lost in the back of the cabinet. Another solution is to use expandable organizers made especially for cabinets under the sink.'

(The Container Store)
11. Label items under the sink

What can actually distinguish clutter from usable items is knowing exactly what you're dealing with and labels can help! 'Finish off organizing your under sink space by labeling containers and drawers so it is clear exactly where items live.' says Grant, adding how labels help identify but also tidy things away in their rightful home. 

'This lets all household members know where everything goes and avoids things being put back in the wrong place. You can buy custom labels online or make your own labels with a label maker or just use white labels and a marker pen.'

12. Keep detergents out of reach of kids and pets

Kitchen detergents and bathroom bleach are made up of strong formulas that can cause harm if ingested so it's best to keep these liquids out of reach of young children and pets – especially as newfound scented products come in food-like fragrances.

Place drain cleaners and corrosive oven cleaners toward the back of the cupboard when you organize under the kitchen sink. After all, we don't envisage you'll need to tackle those tasks on a weekly basis. 

(Joseph Joseph)
13. Consider collapsible storage

When space is at a premium, you'll need ingenious solutions and this smart and practical pop-up kitchenware. This black and grey bucket fully collapses for quick, convenient storage under the sink, so you’re never faced with the problem of where to put it.

With a little pressure the flattened bucket will become three-dimensional and deceptively strong. The collapsible sides are made of durable, flexible silicone to make it easy to fold, whilst the polypropylene handle and rims give it some rigidity and support.

Packed with tonnes of space, you’ll be able to utilize the entirety of its generous nine-litre capacity without questioning its integrity. Fantastically multipurpose, yet modest-looking, this collapsible bucket is an indispensable tool for a small apartment, or family home that's crying out for a little extra room.

14. No light? Choose a sliding caddy

While the items under your kitchen sink might look clinical, the tools you choose to organize your products with don't have to be. And, if you haven't got kitchen lighting specifically sorted for this space—you needn't worry.

Because this cute RollOut under sink caddy, available from Wayfair, tackles the nightmare of that deep, dark cabinet. Items roll into the light with sturdy handles and smooth wheels.

Adjustable dividers create separate storage spaces and a bonus basket hangs where you want. So, when under sink supplies are this organized, you can clean (and rest) easily.


Wondering how to organize under the kitchen sink? Decluttering experts share their top tips for neat and tidy storage.