Learn the best tips for choosing, measuring, and shopping for under-sink organizers for the most functional bathroom or kitchen cabinet you’ve ever had.
Organizing the cabinet underneath a sink is one of the most difficult places to deal with, and it’s usually one of the areas most people avoid for as long as possible. Partly because they don’t know what to do under there, and partly because it’s just not a pretty place to begin with. Most people prefer to organize a space that will be seen more often and give them that feeling of zen.
But think about how stressful it is to get something out from underneath that avalanche of piled-up stuff…wouldn’t it be nice to just grab a cleaner without digging around? Today I want to share my tips for choosing the best organizers for under your sink and encourage you that it’s not as difficult as you think. Ready to tackle that cabinet?
Step One: What Do You Keep Under The Sink?
Let’s start from the top. What do you currently keep under the sink? Open those doors, take a look around, and make a list of what’s in there. Don’t worry if there are things that don’t actually belong. For now, just write down every single thing inside the cabinet.
Once your list is written, go through and cross off anything that shouldn’t be there or can be relocated. Like a paint brush that actually belongs in the garage, a cleaner that can be stored in your utility closet, or a water gun with a broken trigger that should go in the trash.
Step Two: What Do You Need To Keep Under The Sink?
Now that you have your narrowed-down list of what’s under the sink at this very moment, it’s time to dream up how you want the cabinet to function in the future. What would you like to keep under there? Add those things to the list on paper.
If you know it would make life easier to have bathroom cleaning supplies under the sink but didn’t have duplicates for each bathroom, add that to the list. Or maybe you would love for your teenager to keep her hair supplies under the sink instead of on the counter. Write it down.
Step Three: Measure Cabinet Contents
This is the step no one ever thinks about. Before you choose your containers, you need to know the sizes of what’s going inside them. Nothing is more annoying than buying $100 worth of bins only to find that the toilet paper is too wide and the toilet bowl cleaner is too tall to fit in them.
For every essential on your list that will be going under the sink, write the width and height of it. It may seem silly to measure cleaning bottles, but I promise, it will save you a lot of headache. Professional organizers do this for every project plan, and that’s the key to getting things right the first time.
Step Four: Measure Cabinet
Now it’s time to measure the cabinet. Measure the length, width, and height of the cabinet, but don’t stop there. Take note of the raised lip at the bottom of the cabinet, the amount of space under the sink drain, and how far out the water shutoff valves stick out. These obstructions can alter the size of containers you can use, so don’t forget to check them all out.
Step Five: Choose Organizers & Plan Layout
You now know what you need to store under the cabinet and how much space you have to work with, so it’s time to get shopping. I prefer to shop for containers online because the dimensions are listed in the product description and there are reviews I can read. When you shop in-store, you can’t always measure each bin and you have no idea whether it’s going to hold up or not.
Using your measurements, plan out a layout that maximizes the entirety of the cabinet. Use stackable bins and pull-out drawers to fill vertical space. Choose plastic bins that can be removed and washed if they get dirty. (Wood bins aren’t good for under sinks because they can get damaged if you have a leak or even moisture from daily showers) And look for hooks and hanging baskets to take advantage of cabinet door space.
Step Six: Customize Containers
Once you have all your containers inside the cabinet, it’s time to customize them. Add smaller bins inside larger ones to divide items into sub-categories and keep things tidy. Label each drawer and container for easy access. Line cleaning solution storage bins with a shelf liner to prevent damage if the bottle leaks. And leave some breathing room inside containers for future purchases.
You never want to fill a container to the brim, because the next time you make a Target run you won’t have anywhere to put things. It’s also a good idea to have a “backstock” area somewhere in your home. Whether it’s a lidded container in your garage or a shelf in your pantry, having a secondary place to store duplicates and overflow will keep your under-sink cabinet from getting cluttered.
More Organizing Tips & Hacks
Want to watch me organize spaces on video? I share all my tips, tricks, hacks, and tutorials on Instagram daily so be sure to follow me @lelaburris. My Reels have easy-to-duplicate organization ideas and my Stories document every project from start to finish. They’re the perfect visual aid for becoming more Organized-ish than ever.