How to organise under kitchen sink area: 13 storage ideas to streamline space

These expert-approved ways of organising under the kitchen sink show that the best storage ideas can also be the cheapest

Cream kitchen with Shaker cabinets and storage under a Butler sink to show how to organise under kitchen sink
(Image credit: Future)

Knowing how to organise under kitchen sink areas effectively makes it much easier day-to-day to navigate the space and find exactly what you need, when you need it, with ease.

Often, due to a lack of shelves and awkward spacing around pipework, the space under the sink can easily become one of the most cluttered zones of any kitchen - with all sorts of miscellaneous items quickly building up.

However, with smart under kitchen sink organisation ideas, this space has great potential to be highly functional. It is therefore a key area for consideration when organising a kitchen

13 easy ways to organise under kitchen sinks

To prevent the space from turning into a cluttered mess and bring you the best kitchen storage ideas for under the sink, we've asked professional organisers and declutter experts to share their tips and advice on the best ways to organise under the kitchen sink for a more harmonious space.

1. Consider what deserves space

kitchen countertops with storage basket and cleaning products ready to reorganize under the kitchen sink

(Image credit: Dunelm)

The under-the-sink cupboard is one of the most tricky spaces to organise because it feels all too easy to use as a dumping ground for all manner of items. The secret to unlocking its potential is to streamline its contents, similar to the process of organising kitchen drawers

“It’s vital to utilise this space because it’s usually in a central place in your kitchen," says Kate Ibbotson, a professional organiser and decluttering coach at A Tidy Mind.

According to Kate, the golden rule for your organisation under the kitchen sink is to "store it near to where you use it". This means that you will most likely want to store items related to dishwashing and cleaning in the under-sink cupboard. 

Before you start organising, it’s a good idea to think about what you’re currently keeping in this space and make changes as necessary. Kate suggests storing frequently used items in the under-sink cupboard since it’s usually an easily accessible space.

2. Think about safety

Given how often we clean our homes the handy under-the-sink cupboard typically contains a lot of hazardous chemicals and cleaning products to reach for with ease, that should be kept out of sight and reach of children. This is especially true of items like colourful detergent pods. If you have small children or pets in the household, it’s crucial to install reliable child locks for this space.

Ideally, you should consider keeping hazardous cleaning supplies in a more secure location instead of using the under-sink cupboard. Instead, when you organise under the kitchen sink, keep only child-safe items in the cupboard like dishcloths, extra sponges, and paper towels. 

Or better still consider cleaning with vinegar and cleaning with baking soda, which seems to be the best way to tackle all of the most popular cleaning hacks.

3. Measure and clean the area

Under sink with wire basket storage

(Image credit: Neat Method)

It might sound obvious, but before you set about with under kitchen sink organisation, it's important to prepare the area. This means cleaning your sink, cleaning the kitchen sink drain and cleaning the cupboard underneath so that it's fresh and tidy.

Once you've cleaned your sink, simply wipe down the cupboard underneath with disinfectant and remove any debris that might have fallen in there.

The next step is to measure up, to work out how best to organise it to utilise every inch of room. "We recommend measuring around your pipes to help select products that fit your space," says Ashley Murphy, co-founder of NEAT Method

4. Make use of retractable drawers

Pull-out drawer for organization under kitchen sinks

(Image credit: IKEA)

Make limited space under the sink go further with savvy storage designs, such as a retractable drawer solution. The ingenious VARIERA pull-out container at IKEA is a brilliant way to store more, as the container pulls out to provide easy access to cupboard essentials. 

The smart design utilises space that might otherwise be wasted because it can be fixed high and at the back of the cupboard, where it may be too awkward to put in shelves or hooks. 

Simply attach the guide rail to the inside of the cupboard, elevated above any items below, then attach the slimline container to store your smaller items up and out of the way to pull out as and when you need them. 

5. Store items in handy baskets

organization under the kitchen sink with handy baskets to store cleaning. products

(Image credit: Not a Boring box)

One of our top small kitchen storage ideas, baskets can be super handy when it comes to under the kitchen sink organisation because they can be easily lifted in and out, making it easier to maintain order. However, while installing shelves in an under-sink cupboard is possible, it can be tricky to make them fit. 

“The main issue with the under-the-sink cupboard is the pipes getting in the way. So another option is to measure and then choose individual boxes or baskets in different sizes so that you can make them fit perfectly in the space,” suggests Kate. 

“Keeping your most regularly used cleaning supplies in a portable caddy is a good idea so you can grab your cleaning kit quickly and take it from room to room as needed,” says Kate. If you have space, you could even have extra baskets dedicated to things like laundry (containing detergent, fabric conditioner, stain remover, and mesh bags for delicates). 

6. Install an adjustable tension rod

Under sink cupboard with cleaning bottles hanging from an extendable tension rod to show how to organise under a kitchen sink

(Image credit: Future)

If you still have lots of empty space above your storage containers and want to utilise it, you could also fit a short tension rod for hanging spray bottles from their nozzle near the top of the cupboard. 

We recommend the 30-50cm extendable Tension Cupboard Rod at Amazon to provide a hanging storage solution to maximise unused cupboard space.

This is a great kitchen cabinet organisation idea, and a particularly good option for anyone renting their home, as it requires no screws or other forms of permanent attachment. These also work well for storing kitchen cloths too, so is a great multi-functional organisation hack.

7. Add attachments to the door

The inner door of the under-sink cupboard is often an underutilized area to provide valuable storage potential, especially as there are many gadget options for making use of this neglected extra space. 

Kate suggests, “You can fit over-door storage in the form of pocket organizers,” she says. “Hooks can be really useful too, or compact shelving for your dustpan and brush, tea towels, scrubbing brushes or cloths.” 

As well as over-door storage, you can often also fix small storage items to the door more securely using 3M sticky pads or small screws.

8. Utilise hooks where you can

Hooks can be a particular hero when you organize under the kitchen sink, and also a great hack when organising a pantry too. Place a few self-adhesive hooks on the walls or inner door of the cupboard, and these can then be used for hanging things like washing up gloves (secured together using a bulldog clip), scrubbing brushes, or freshly cleaned microfibre cloths that need airing.

Try Amazon's Choice of Laolingsly Adhesive Hooks sold in a pack of 12 they attach to the cabinet doors or internal walls to add a storage element to an under-sink area.

Self-adhesive hooks are a great organisation under the kitchen sink option because they can be moved and adjusted super easily. If you find the hooks don't work in one part of the cupboard, you can move them simply and quickly.

9. Opt for clear storage

When you organise under kitchen sinks, it helps if you can see everything at a glance. Whatever type of storage you choose, Kate suggests opting for clear storage as the under-sink cupboard is a dark space, and transparent boxes or drawers allow you to see what you have quickly to help maintain your organisation long-term.

Kate also notes, “To utilise the height of the cupboard, you may need to stack boxes on top of each other or use drawers."

Many clear storage boxes come in stackable sets so that you can keep them organised more easily – with different sizes that slot into each other available from many homeware retailers. 

Plus, clear storage is brilliantly easy to clean. When they get a bit dirty, just empty out the contents and wash them in the sink with water and dishwashing liquid. 

10. Decant into stackable containers

stackable storage containers for handy organization under kitchen sinks


(Image credit: Getty Images / Olga Shumytskaya)

Decant your dishwasher tablets or laundry powder into airtight containers that take up less space than bulky merchandise boxes, and are easier to store than plastic pouches filled with washing detergent capsules. Choosing stackable containers means you can make better use of the space available, not having to wrestle with awkward packing or losing valuable storage potential. 

Storing the items you need to keep dry, like dishwasher pods, in airtight containers is also highly practical. 

"Airtight containers are not just for food, they work really well for storing dishwasher tablets and you can easily see when you are running low," says Lauren Allen, founder of Not a Boring Box. This solution is ideal if you are looking to switch to more sustainable living solutions, "Stylish and practical - you can buy your cleaning products in eco-friendly concentrated refills and dispense into these" Lauren explains.

11. Label everything

Labeled bottles to maintain organization under the kitchen sink

(Image credit: Etsy)

It’s easier to maintain an organised space when there’s a place for everything, and everything is in its place. That's where a simple yet effective labelling system proves invaluable. 

To make sure everyone in the household knows where things are kept and where to return them to after use, simply add a few labels to the storage you've put in place under the kitchen sink. Like these Unique Laundry Room Labels at Etsy for £2.70. With this efficient system in place, it will encourage all to keep the cupboard tidier for longer.

12. Try compact shelving units

Another option is to utilise a mini shelving unit or a combination of different storage solutions based on what your space allows. This is actually one of our favourite pan storage ideas, but it can work really well under the sink too. 

If you only have a small cupboard to work from, it is possible to get one-row shelf inserts that stand inside your cupboard to create another layer of storage. However, if you have a bigger space, it's worth getting something with several rows of shelves to maximise your storage space.

13. Keep shopping bags in order

cabinet unit a kitchen sink with the door open showing a bag dispenser to organise under a kitchen sink

(Image credit: Future)

Under the kitchen sink is often the place where reusable shopping bags live, which is fine provided they are neat and orderly – otherwise, it can be a chaotic mess that spills out every time the cupboard is opened.

Many retailers now cater to this problem with handy over-door storage solutions, such as this Simplehuman KT1166 Carrier Bag Dispenser from Amazon holds up to 30 Carrier Bags and provides easy access thanks to being mounted inside a cupboard door to provide an accessible place to store shoppers as a pleasing under kitchen sink organisation idea.

Tamara Kelly
Lifestyle Editor

Tamara is a highly experienced homes and interiors journalist, with a career spanning 22 years. Now the Lifestyle Editor of womanandhome.com, she has spent the last 17 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, and it’s with these award-winning interiors teams that she gained a wealth of knowledge and honed her skills and passion for styling and writing about every aspect of lifestyle and interiors.

A true homes and interiors expert, Tamara has served as an ambassador for leading interior brands on multiple occasions, including appearing on Matalan’s The Show and presenting at top interior trend forecasting events such as the Autumn Fair and Spring Fair.

With contributions from