A couple weeks ago, my sister-in-law texted me a picture of Mrs. Meyers Vinegar Gel and asked me if I had used it before. I use my Norwex rags for almost all of my cleaning, but if I use a cleaning product, it is almost exclusively Mrs. Meyers., which was why my SIL asked me about it. I told her that I hadn’t ever seen it or used it.
She then proceeded to ask me if I ever used vinegar to clean and what I used for certain cleaning tasks. I told her that I’ve been meaning to use vinegar for a long time, but have never actually done it. At this point, I got lazy and didn’t want to text a list of what I use for each task, so I decided to take a video of under my kitchen sink where my cleaning supplies are housed.
Disclaimer: This is, in no way, a professional video. I thought that my SIL would be the only person to see it, but once it was done, I decided that I had to show it to you to prove a point.
I am very intentional about not accumulating things, not buying stuff we don’t need, getting rid of things we don’t use – and this still happens. ALL THE TIME. It’s a good reminder that organizing and minimizing and decluttering is an on-going project. And that no one does it perfectly.
As you can see from the video, we don’t have a lot of cleaning products, but what we do have makes up the majority of what we keep under our kitchen sink. I consider this space to be “unfinished” in that I would still like to do more to leverage some of the vertical space that is currently unused. But, for now, it works for us, so I don’t have a lot of urgency in crossing that task off of my eternally long to-do list.
What do you put there?
What makes this space a trouble spot for everyone is that the plumbing makes it awkward. It’s tall and deep, but the pipes through the middle of it and gigantic garbage disposal make it hard to leverage those two assets. As you can see, we use this space for dishwasher pods (our dishwasher is adjacent to this cabinet), Cleaning supplies & dish rags. The majority of what is housed in this space is used in close proximity to here. The exception being the Mrs. Meyers Vinegar Gel. 🙂
Where do you start?
The best way to maximize this space is to locate where you have the biggest chunk(s) of open space. In the case of our cabinet, it is between the wall & disposal and between the pipe and wall. These are unobstructed rectangles, which is storage perfection.
I bought this two-tiered drawer organizer (similar) knowing that I’d use it in this space, but not sure what I’d put in there. It fits perfectly between the pipe and the wall. I couldn’t put the drawers up against the wall because I needed to be able to pull them out and the cabinet door is in the way, so it sits in an inch or two in. Our most used supplies, dish soap, cleaning wipes and sponges, are housed in the front of the top drawer. The back of the top drawer holds our other less-used cleaning supplies.
The bottom drawer is the perfect spot for dish rags. One of my favorite features of this particular organizer are the adjustable dividers which allow you to use every inch of each drawer.
After putting the drawers in, I moved over to the other big chunk of space and looked to see what the next tallest item is. At least six years ago, a friend moved out of his house and had Swiffer wet mop and dry mop refills that he wouldn’t use. I took them thinking that I could find a use for them. You can see how that went. The wet mop pads are used more than the dry, so they served as a step stool for the dishwasher pods, which are accessed daily. The dry mop refills are all the way in the back. I don’t know why…. As I’m typing this, I’m thinking that I should just throw them. Six years, people. It’s been six years and one of the boxes remains unopened.
What about the pipes?
Think of maximizing this space like doing a puzzle. Match the spaces you have with the items that need to go in there. Originally, I had put our dish drying mat between the drawers & wall, but it was awkward reaching around the side of the drawers to pull it out and it almost always got stuck on the cabinet door hinges. The pipe that runs almost all of the way to the bottom of the cabinet created the perfect wall on the other side of the drawers to hold the mat. This would be otherwise wasted space, so getting that to fit made me feel like I hit the jackpot.
I put lemons in my disposal at least once a week, so I threw those in a Rubbermaid leftover container and put them at the front of the cabinet.
At this point, I took the random hodge lodge of what was left and put it in a shoebox container, which fit between the pipe & the mop pads. The trick to this part is that the disposal is low enough that nothing tall can fit in the back of the container. We have a plastic bag holder attached to the cabinet door that, when shut, takes up space at the front of the cabinet, so the shoebox had to sit back a little bit. This took some maneauvering of what went where and it’s not pretty, but everything is easily accessible. And, most importantly, what needs to be accessed most is very easily accessible.
I considered getting rid of one of the bottles of vinegar, but didn’t pull the trigger. Do you clean with vinegar? What do you clean with it? How do you use it?