Learning to Manage my Home: The Dreaded Under-Sink Cabinet

Managing my home does not come naturally to me. I’ll admit; I can be lazy. I have a hard time getting started on chores. I’m not very neat or organized. And yet, clutter and mess tend to stress me out.

When we first moved into our house, my mother-in-law, who owns a house cleaning business, gave us a bunch of cleaning supplies. I’ll be honest; I never really used many of them. I didn’t know how to use several of them, and there were a bunch I’d totally forgotten we had. We just had everything jammed in the ugly, awkward cabinet under the kitchen sink.

organize under-sink cabinet

It may not look too bad, but there are jars and bottles crammed right to the back of the cabinet. It turns out that one of the cardboard containers got water damage when our sink leaked a while ago, and there was stuff spilled all over back there. Not safe!

organize under-sink cabinet

I try not to use too many chemicals (I mostly clean with vinegar and water.) So why did we still have all these harmful and potentially dangerous products?

First, I emptied out the cabinet. Everything went into two piles: keep or toss. Not surprisingly, the keep pile was smaller.

I even found a whole box of Swiffer pads that I thought we’d run out of!

Next, I swept then wiped down the inside of the cabinet. It’s still ugly, but at least it’s clean now.

I wanted to put something water-proof down on the floor, but couldn’t find anything to use that was the right size. I had hoped that the previous owners had left some self-adhesive vinyl flooring from when they did the bathroom, but no such luck (don’t worry; I know there really isn’t any such thing as luck.)

So next time I get the chance, I’ll get some self-adhesive vinyl tiles to put down in there in case  for when the sink ever leaks again.

I went hunting around the basement and shed for some sort of containers to use to hold the bottles and jugs of cleaners. I didn’t want them right on the floor again, and I like how neat and tidy it looks to have everything in a box.

All I could find were the extra shelves that came with our fridge to go in the door. Perfect! They’re large and strong.

And everything fit perfectly!

organize under-sink cabinet

We just got a new toilet brush, so I used the (well washed) holder from the last toilet brush to store extra scrubbing brushes and old toothbrushes we use for cleaning.

organize under-sink cabinet

Now, all that’s under there are the 3 containers and the refill jug of dish soap.

I’m still not sure if I’ll use all the cleaners I kept, but at least now I know what actually is in there! If I don’t use something in a few months time, I’ll get rid of it.

What to read my other Learning to Manage my Home posts? Check them out!
Part 1
Part 2

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  1. Hubby put 2 small shelves along the sides of our cabinet from front to back however it appears yours would have to be cut around the plumbing and it holds the small things I use…light bulbs, sponges, Swiffer pads, things that I found I was purchasing and then late discovered I had. I also use a divided carrying bucket I got years ago from the Clean Team.
    You are well to have tossed your old products. The only real cleaner I cling to is Ajax or Comet cleanser as we have an old iron sink and without that stuff, it gets pretty ugly!

  2. Always looking for new ideas! They do sell “water-proof” mats and most stores (Target etc), they are actually used for drying dishes but are substantially thicker than a dish towel, I have one of these under my basket of cleaning supplies. It’s nice because if things spill I can just throw it in the wash!

    • RamblingsMom :

      We don’t have Target in Canada (yet..I think it’s in the works) but I’ll have to look around. Thanks for the idea.

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