Yesterday, we cleaned out our silverware/utensil drawers, and the excitement in the 28 Days to De-Clutter Facebook Event page was almost palpable! What a relief to get rid of all those unnecessary utensils and actually be able to see the bottom of the drawer again. Good job, everybody!!
Let’s capitalize on that excitement and move on to another area of the kitchen that’s probably not going to be quite so much fun: under the kitchen sink. It’s awfully easy to shove all manner of household cleaning supplies and other paraphernalia into the nether regions of the cupboard, and not so easy to sort through all that nasty stuff that collects under there. Well, of course, I wouldn’t know anything about *that*. The cupboard under my kitchen sink is always spotless and well-organized. (Ahem. Please note the heavy dose of sarcasm there!!)
De-Clutter Under Your Kitchen Sink in 10 Minutes
Before you get started with the manual labor, take a second to think through what you really want to reside under the kitchen sink. What makes the most sense for you? Dishwashing supplies? Scrubbing and cleaning supplies? Trash bags? Dustpan? A small trash can? A recycling bin? Determine what you really want to go into this storage space before you start trying to organize it, and that will make the process a little more efficient.
All right now, take a deep breath and set your timer for 10 minutes. Open those cupboard doors, and…
Take everything out of the cupboard, and wipe it down if necessary.
Get rid of the following:
- Anything that you determined beforehand was not needed under the sink. Set it aside to find another spot for it later, or throw it/give it away.
- Anything you cannot identify
- Any household chemicals that you cannot remember the last time you used them (Don’t throw them in the trash, though. You’ll need to turn them in at a local hazardous waste facility.)
- Any household chemicals you know for sure you’ve had longer than a year (Again, find a local hazardous waste facility for disposal.)
- Stinky sponges
- Stinky rubber gloves
- Anything else that does not belong there… I’ve heard of some very strange things hiding under the kitchen sink!
If you have dozens of plastic bags stored under your sink, throw away or recycle most of them and only hang onto as many as you might reasonably use between now and the next time you go to Target. (Which is probably like one or two.) Or stick them in your craft supplies and take up plastic bag crochet! Do the same with paper bags if you have those under your sink, too.
Now return to the cupboard only the items you pre-determined should belong there. It’s your home, so you know best, but I would suggest the following possibilities:
- Dishwashing soap and detergent (more on that in a moment)
- Other kitchen and dining room cleaners
- Sponges, scouring pads, and toothbrushes for cleaning
- Vegetable scrub brushes
- Small trash can (if you have room and not a lot of trash)
- Recycling bin
- Rubber gloves, buckets, and other miscellaneous cleaning supplies
When returning items to the cupboard, group like objects together so that you don’t have three open packages of sponges or 2 bottles with the same cleaner hiding in different corners of the cupboard.
And that’s it for your ten-minute task today! Yay, you! But if you feel like the job’s not quite done yet… read on.
- If you have some empty bins or boxes lying around the house, use them to corral the items under the cupboard so that it looks neater and the supplies are more accessible. If you don’t have anything handy, plan a trip to the dollar store for some inexpensive plastic baskets and bins that will do the trick nicely. Consider a shower caddy to contain all your household cleaning supplies in one handy-dandy portable case.
- When I did this exercise myself, I determined that the collection of empty jars I was storing under the sink would be better off elsewhere. When I kept them under the sink, they always ended up in unorderly stacks that aggravated my husband to no end, and for good reason. I took some extra time to organize another nearby cupboard that actually was much more conducive to making the jars useful and accessible. No more haphazardly stacked jars in my cupboard under the sink! (And my DH breathed a huge sigh of relief.) You may want to reconfigure some of your storage to remove certain items to another space in your home.
- If you have a lot of chemical cleaners, consider simplifying and downsizing your collection. I’ve reduced my entire cleaner collection down to a few basic ingredients: oxygen bleach, vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and occasionally some washing soda and borax. The ones I use in the kitchen stay under the sink, but the rest go in the laundry room or hall closet. I’ve pinned some great posts to the 28 Days to De-Clutter Pinterest Board that will give you some suggestions for easy homemade cleaners if you’ve never experimented with them before.
- If you’re up for a minor construction project, consider turning the false drawer under your sink into a storage space for sponges or other small items. You could also modify this bathroom sink set-up to fit under your kitchen pipes. Or if you’re not really into scrap wood and drills, maybe just a simple project like inserting a tension rod to hold spray bottles.
Let’s De-Clutter Together
If you completed today’s 10-minute task, I’d love to hear about it! Tell me all about it – and show me a picture – on the 28 Days to De-Clutter Facebook Event page. Bloggers can grab the badge below and write a post – I’ll link to it in my next post and pin it to my 28 Days to De-Clutter Pinterest Board, and share on Facebook and Twitter. And everyone can join in on the Twitter conversation by using the hashtag #28daystodeclutter.
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