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The only 10 items you need under your sink

Organizing Tips

Why is under the sink such a hard space to organize?! Even with a slick under sink organizer, this area gets cluttered and hard to navigate. So stop making your under-sink cabinet the catch-all spot for all-things-cleaning-related and stick to this top 10 items list so you can actually find what you need, right when you need it.

First, find more space! These things don’t belong …

Real quick, these things don’t belong under the kitchen sink:

  1. Your entire Costco haul. Store that gargantuan-sized box of 1000+ garbage bags, and double-packs of cleaners elsewhere and just keep what you need on hand under the sink.
  2. Paper towels. Your money may not technically be “down the drain” but if you get a leak, you’ll still cry the same tears and you won’t have any fresh paper towels to dry them.
  3. Flammables. Keep those varnishes and finishes elsewhere because kitchen fires do happen.
  4. Flower vases. Including any extra small flower pots and indoor plant food! Keep these things on a storage shelf in the garage or up high in the pantry.

Keep all this stuff on the dedicated shelf in your pantry, the top shelf of a storage closet, or even a storage cabinet in your garage.


empty cabinet under the kitchen sink

What items belong under the sink?

Make kitchen cleaning easier-keep these 10 items under your sink so you never have to get down on your hands and knees to find what you’re actually looking for:

1. Absorbent mats

Touch wood you don’t spring a leak, but if you do, you can save your cabinet bottom from water damage. These also make undersink cleaning a breeze, so place mats under any under sink organizer and thank yourself later.

2. Eco-friendly kitchen cleaners

Key word there is kitchen cleaners. This means a multi-purpose cleaner and a degreaser. Toilet and bathroom cleaning supplies need not apply here.

Pro-Tip: You can buy eco-friendly cleaners, sure … but you can also make your own. Here are some recipes you can whip up in a jiff.

3. Soap refills

You’ll probably have 2 kinds: One refill container for liquid hand soap and one for dish soap.

4. Sponges, brushes, shammies and scrubbers

Obvious one here. And if you didn’t know you can actually clean your sponges, here’s a handy one-sheeter on how to do just that: How to squeeze more life outta your kitchen sponge

Pro-Tip: Designate one cloth per task and organize by colour: Green is for window cleaning, orange is for countertops, yellow is for cleaning the fridge, etc.

5. Small fire extinguisher

If you have a kitchen fire, the last thing you want to do is run to the garage to grab a fire extinguisher. Keep a mini one right under the sink so you can put out those flames sooner rather than later. 

Pro-Tip: Consider adding a compact First Alert fire extinguishing spray to your under sink organizer. It’s biodegradable, nontoxic and wipes clean. 

6. Dishwasher detergent

Tablets or boxed powder-doesn’t matter. You need it handy and nearby so it gets a permission slip to live under your sink.

7. Window cleaner

It’s crazy how quickly kitchen windows get dirty, right? Right. Keep that window cleaner handy.

8. Box of baking soda

It’s our fave! Baking soda can be used to scrub stains from your porcelain apron sink or stainless steel sink, polish your silver, remove burn stains from your pots and pans, unclog your kitchen drain and deodorize trash bins.

Pro-Tip: Sprinkle the bottom of your garbage bin with some baking soda to help absorb odors and (shudder) leaky fluids.

9. Garbage bags

Caveat here: Don’t keep your entire Costco-size box under the sink. Grab a reasonable amount to have on hand for the next 10 days or so and keep the rest in the garage or pantry. 

Pro-Tip: Throw a few garbage bags in the bottom of your trash bin as well, so when it’s time to change, you have one ready to go! Refill from your under sink organizer when your bin-bottom stash is out.

10. Stainless steel wipes

Stainless steel appliances and countertop appliances are so pretty, but so. Hard. To. Keep. Clean. If fingerprints and smudges drive you up the wall, having these handy is non-negotiable.

under sink organizer

Stay tidy with a sink organizer and smart cabinet storage

The key to an organized space under your kitchen sink is all about levels and compartments. Whether you go for a slick pull-out unit or a standard organizer, it should offer at least two levels of storage on at least one side so you can max your space. The other side can be single-level so you can keep larger, taller items like soap refills. 

Make sure there are lots of compartments so you can keep things separate and easily findable. 

Always measure your under sink cabinet before buying your organizer, including both height and depth, and consider how the unit will fit in around your drain trap. If your trash bin is attached to the inside of the cabinet door, check that the unit will still allow the door to close properly. 

On that note, the cabinet door is a great place to sneak in even more storage! Look for options you can attach to the inside door and keep things you use most often there.

yellow dishwashing gloves

The under sink clean-out challenge

Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Empty out the space under your sink, and only put back the items on this list. Head to Amazon to find the perfect under sink organizer to keep everything in its place and enjoy a neat, clean space where chaos once reigned.

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