The space under my bathroom sink was a chaotic mess and a source of longstanding guilt for me. But every time I set out to conquer it, I felt overwhelmed and would quit before any progress was made. Finally, to streamline the process, I mapped out five ways to tackle the beast. My method worked—and I can now report, it’s a simple and affordable way to maximize hidden space. Here’s my five-step plan.
Photography by Dalilah Arja, unless otherwise noted.
1. Pare down.
Every organization project begins with clutter removal: Part with the stuff you don’t use anymore and products that have expired. I was amazed to discover that after doing some editing, the number of things I had to organize was actually quite manageable.
2. Eliminate packaging.
Remove cotton balls, toilet paper, Q-tips, etc., from their plastic and cardboard and give them dedicated jars and baskets.
3. Utilize the vertical space.
Invest in a shelf or pair of stackable bins to maximize the airspace in your cabinet. And install hooks on an inside door or wall to hang things, such as a blow dryer and washcloth. Searching for the perfect hook? Peruse the Hooks in our Shop section.
4. Bring back the lazy Susan.
We’re not big fans of 1970s-style rotating circles on dinner tables, but for cabinets, they’re invaluable. They make it possible to access items that would otherwise be stuck in the far back.
5. Consider hierarchy.
Organize under-the-sink products by how often you use them: Place high traffic items near the front within arm’s reach and less frequently needed goods in the back.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original ran on October 8, 2014.
Featured photograph by Sarah Maingot, courtesy of Twig Hutchinson, from Expert Advice: Tips for a Softly Moody Bedroom with London Stylist Twig Hutchinson.
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