The other day, I reached under the kitchen sink to get something and I realized there was a lot of stuff under there, but I wasn’t sure exactly what was under there. It seems that we’ve really only been using about 1/4 of the things under there because it was hard to tell what we had.
As a matter of fact, there were even a few things in there that we’ve had since we moved in 20 years ago. There were also a lot of duplicates under there because it was hard to know if we were out of something, or not. (Note to self: you can lay off buying dishwasher detergent, we’ve got enough.)
When I couldn’t find something I needed that I knew we had in there, I decided it was time to do something about the mess under the kitchen sink.
Here’s what I did:
Empty - Resist the urge to scoot things around and just rearrange the mess. Get a trash bag, have a seat and pull everything out where you can see it. Then, clean the cabinet. It’s amazing how dirty a space that holds cleaning supplies can get.
Purge - Put that trash bag to use. Get rid of any trash, items that are expired or rarely used, unidentified items (yes, I found a couple of those) and things that don’t belong there.
Organize - Take what’s left and divide it into like groups. I ended up with groups of polish, air freshener, cleaning tools, cleaning sprays, soaps, trash bags and a fire extinguisher. Be careful not to have too many things called “miscellaneous” because that makes it easy to treat the space as a catch-all.
Plan - Is there room for everything so that you can get to it easily? Do you need some containers? I have to be careful about overloading on baskets and boxes because we’re not always good at putting things back in them and the mess gets bigger than it was before you started. I try to only use them if I have several small items.
Return - Put it all back in the cabinet and make sure everyone in the family knows where to find everything, especially if you’ve relocated items.
While organizing under the sink may seem like a small thing to do, I’ve been surprise at how happy the difference has made me, and how I can actually find things, now:
As always, if you have small children, be sure to safeguard the undersink cabinet and don’t forget a fire extinguisher in the kitchen!