Thursday, 5 June 2014

Undersink Cabinet Organization!

Hi honeys,
Back with another little organizing project.  So we finished the tiny little mudroom/entryway at the front door and the mail sorting system (and printable) for the hallway and most recently we completed organizing our lower hall.  

For my next little project I chose the cabinet under the sink in our kitchen. I thought it was a small enough project to complete in a day, and I had an idea of how I wanted it to look. So, here it is, warts & all, before & after :)

What is it about cabinets/cupboards that makes them gather clutter? Is "out of sight, out of mind" to blame? Or is it, with busy lives spent constantly trying to keep up with our schedules, that on very busy days, we feel we've achieved our goal by making our homes look tidy & presentable if guests arrive unexpectedly?

We'd all love for our entire homes to be hospital clean and Ikea organized every minute of every day, but what if you wake up every morning already feeling like your schedule is already running away from you. Too much to do and not nearly enough hours in the day to do it.  Well, sometimes tidy is great too :)  My hope is that eventually everything we have in our home will have a place it belongs and so there should be no need to chuck things into cupboards in an effort to tidy up.

So, on to the ghastly photos of my under sink cabinets and the horrors therein :) This is the left hand side of the cabinet, directly under the sink.

<sighs> too much stuff just thrown in there, probably to tidy my worktops.  One great purchase I made a while ago is the little grey plastic set of drawers you can just about see behind the flasks & travel mugs  :) This little set of drawers is marvellous, holds so much and sits so neatly under the sink.  More of that later though. 

So, first thing I did, as with every organizing project I start, is to empty the cabinet completely.  Sort like item with like and make sense of what's there. Put to one side things that shouldn't be there and belong someplace else. Once sorted, and edited of items no longer needed, or that belong elsewhere. I then did my favourite part! I scrubbed the now empty cabinet to within an inch of its life lol. Then I set about putting everything back :)

Hmm. Still not pretty but definitely more functional, far easier to work with. So, on to the details ...

I'd mentioned the little grey set of drawers earlier. They fit so well in that space they could have been made for it.  The drawers hold the following:

Drawer one: I keep soap pads & scourers in here.....

I always get rid of the packaging before putting soap pads & those little scourers you can see in the photo (at the back of the drawer) away in the drawer.  I don't want to be standing at the kitchen sink with wet hands, find myself cleaning a pot or casserole dish and opening the drawer to fetch a soap pad & having to wrestle with packaging.  So they sit in this little drawer, ready to be used to clean my pots & pans at a minutes notice :)

Also in this drawer, you can just see the package at the side, is something called "fat traps" I bought from Betterware a while ago.  Quite a clever idea, they address the problem of what to do with the old cooking oil when you change the oil over in your deep fat fryer. With these you just wait till oil is cooled and then drop in one or two of these little pads which then soak up the oil. The pads can then be disposed of in your rubbish bin.

Drawer two: as you can see from the photo is where I keep my bottles of Zoflora disinfectant. This little drawer holds over a dozen bottles. I can't help it, I'm obsessed with these little bottles of floral disinfectant, it smells fabulous and has so many uses. My favourites include Lavender & Rose, but my go to scent is the flowershop variety. Daft thing to be happy about but I swear they just fill me with joy :) Just a tiny, tiny capful mixed with the water in the steam mop before running it over my floors makes the whole house smell heavenly :) NOTE: do check your steam mop manual before trying this, ours is a little Pifco model and it works fine but do check, ok?

Drawer three: This is where I keep my anti-bacterial wipes.  The other little lilac box you can see in the drawer is a whitener for lace & net curtains etc. I have a beautiful vintage lace bedspread that I adore and (very carefully) use this occasionally to launder it.

As I said this little set of drawers is so useful & the perfect size for that space. We bought this one from a store called Home Bargains for less that £5, it's also available at Asda, and probably lots of other places too.  So, back to our "after" photo.

Sitting on top of the set of drawers are spare coasters, and spare candle light bulbs for our fire in the Living room.  At the side of the drawers are just a couple of cleaning products I like to keep by the sink, although most of my cleaning products live in a cupboard by our back door, and the washing up liquid lives on the window ledge in front of the sink.

Next are our collection of flasks and travel mugs, next to those are tumblers & glasses.  Above the glasses is a  Variera shelf insert from Ikea.  I so love these little shelves! I have a couple of them (bolted together one above the other on my desk)  They're available in two sizes and I also use them to organize washing supplies by our washing machine.  Although there I've bolted a smaller one above the larger size.  I'll blog about that soon :)

The little Variera shelf allows me to use the extra height in the cabinet and I've put my favourite daisy mugs underneath the shelf, with the beakers which I use to put hubbys fruit smoothies in for him to take to work :)

On the right hand side of the under sink cabinet there were dishes, mugs and well, more mugs! So badly organized and impossible to safely take things out of.  Basically it was a mess and looked like this.......

What a horror! Who could find anything in this mess of dishes mugs and assorted container lids without emptying the cabinet out? This needed organizing! So again I emptied the cabinet out, sorted, got rid of chipped or otherwise damaged things and ended up with this.......

The upper shelf I used two trays (with a tea towel on each tray to protect mug edges from chipping) to store mugs. On the bottom shelf I sorted dishes by size and used a little wire shelf to make use of the extra height to store side plates.  I'm sorry I don't know what the name of the shelf is, I got it at Asda in their sale for £1.50 recently though.  At the side are our large coca cola tumblers, we use these for our (very rare these days) treat of a cola ice cream float :)

So, what do you think honeys? I'm trying desperately to eliminate clutter one cupboard at a time :) Do let me know what you think in the comments section below, I'd love to hear any hints or tips you might have for organizing cabinets. It's onto my tall larder cabinet next I think, which I already had an attempt at organizing a while ago, I'm not really happy with it though.

I hope you're having a fabulous week & not getting caught in the rain too much, been pretty much torrential here yesterday & parts of today. Oh for some sunshine honeys, it's June and feels more like October with its grey skies and rain. Oh well, when it's miserable out, there are organizing projects to start :) Sending heaps of hugs honeys xx 

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