Under Sink Storage: The #1 Genius Solution (+7 Simple Options)!

Looking for under sink storage ideas? Whether it’s for your kitchen or bathroom, this is primo space that usually gets used incorrectly! Let’s talk about why this happens and what to do instead!


Confession: one of the first things my eye goes to when analyzing a kitchen’s success is what they did for under sink storage.

95% of the time, my heart sinks.

Because 95% of the time, they’ve gone with a cabinet.

I can’t even yawn about it. I just want to close my eyes and shed a tear.

Concrete sink with cabinet under sink
The under-sink cabinet in our old Spanish Canary Islands rental home...

Because if you have a choice on whether to have cabinets or something else under your sink,

you should NEVER choose a cabinet.

Why not? Read on!

Under sink storage

Why Are Cabinets Under Sinks So Common?

Long ago in the world of home building, when sinks began to come into the kitchen (hello indoor plumbing!), people had an open space below their sink.

Then as kitchen builds evolved, they started “hiding” this space with cabinet doors.

It became the standard and, sadly, remains considered “the standard!”

Everyone builds cabinets there (or leaves it open) because it’s cheaper to do. Unfortunately, it’s not utilizing this primo space for all it could be!

Under sink storage

Let’s Look at “The Usual” Solutions for Under Sink Cabinets!

Now, while keeping your under sink cabinets is not my #1 recommendation (I’ll share that below)…

…I have rented and lived in many places where I’ve had to utilize the under sink cabinet to the best of my ability! πŸ™‚

A before picture of our master bathroom with a double sink and pink tiled vanity.
Here’s what our bathroom vanity looked like before we changed it to THIS!

In fact, we’ll soon be moving into another old house with under-sink cabinets that I will HAVE to live with for awhile until we get all the higher priorities finished before I can really tackle that kitchen.

So before I tell you what I recommend for the most efficient solution to use under your kitchen, laundry or bathroom sinks, I’ll play the “Let’s Make the Best of What We Have” Game (which I love, because that’s reality for many of us and presents a fun challenge of its own!).

Here are my favorite 7 “second-best” solutions (or temporary solutions) to your under sink storage woes!

Under bathroom sink storage

Option #7: Mobile Under Sink Shelves

This is usually the first thing people try, and it’s not all bad.

The good:

  1. You can take advantage of more of the vertical space.
  2. You can organize more categories.
  3. It usually makes people feel like they’ve organized their under-sink space and they can walk away, dusting off their hands and telling themselves they’ve done all they could. πŸ™‚

Under sink shelves present problems, however. Such as the following:

  1. The shelves are difficult to get into the cabinet
  2. Sometimes they simply don’t fit without interfering with the pipes and/or garbage disposal.
  3. The shelves are often at set heights. Most of the products you need to store will then have to be placed on their side instead of standing up, which brings in another host of problems.

Under sink storage ideas

Option #6: Baskets or Caddies

It’s no secret I love baskets for certain types of storage.

Usually I prefer the woven baskets, but basket-esque containers can come in all shapes and sizes:

What I like about this solution is

  1. It’s super easy! Saves my time!
  2. They’re not permanent; they don’t destroy my cabinet interior.
  3. They’re flexible: if I end up changing them out later for something else (as I often do during my testing phases for interior storage spaces), baskets and containers are so useful I’ll probably use them in other places (such as in drawers).
under sink storage with clear bins to hold supplies.
source | similar clear bins

However, what’s not great about these is:

  1. They’re not utilizing the vertical space.
  2. It’s still a pain to get to the stuff in the back.
  3. It’s overwhelming visually. And I get visually overstimulated/visual clutter triggers my stress! (Even if you’re not conscious of it, it’s probably doing that to you too!)

Under sink storage

Option #5: Lazy Susans

I enjoy using the word “lazy” when describing myself, both in order to make myself chuckle and to entertain my listeners…

…so I love the idea of a “Lazy Susan.” I mean, it’s right there in the name! πŸ™‚

But I also hate them. (Sorry, Susan.)

under kitchen sink storage with clear lazy susans to store supplies
source | similar lazy susan

The idea is that you can easily access what’s behind them, and it works, and it’s fine…but it’s just not ideal. It’s not that much greater than the containers.

What I hate about them is the wasted space. That’s why squares and rectangles are better; you’re truly utilizing every inch.

Speaking of utilizing every inch…

Under sink cabinet

Option #4: Utilizing the Back of Your Cabinet Doors!

The back of cabinet doors can be a great place to utilize anything small that you want to hang!

Command hooks work great for hanging things such as a dish towel or a sponge that you use often in your kitchen but don’t want to leave out.

But I do have a few warnings about this solution…

For one, you’ll have to take the depth of your “extra” storage into consideration. Such as below, these little containers “stick out” into the actual cabinet cavity and so you have to set back anything on the main interior. Make sense?

So you’re not actually “gaining” space by utilizing the back of your doors, let’s be clear.

Making things a little more accessible, yes.

Just watch your depth.

I don’t love the above solution as a whole, but there are some circumstances in which it’s the best solution for you and your lifestyle (and what you’re storing, using, and utilizing in your kitchen systems)!

If you haven’t figured out your perfect kitchen placement for every single item yet, you’ll 100% want to let me teach you in 1 day.

Diy under kitchen sink storage ideas

Option #3: Tension Rods!

If you want to go with baskets or containers low, tension rods can be a great short-term solution to utilize more of the vertical space in your under sink cabinet!

You can hang cleaners from them, lay towels or gloves over them, add hooks to utilize…plus it’s an easy and temporary solution!

Under sink SHELVES

Option #2: Built-in Shelves!

Better than the pre-made plastic ones mentioned above in #7, the built-in shelves will utilize every inch of your space AND can be perfectly spaced to fit exactly what you need!

Still, they don’t perfectly solve all the problems (as I’ll discuss below) and still can be difficult to get to the far back of…

Under sink cabinet

Option #1a: Slide Out Shelves!

This isn’t actually our #1 recommendation overall (that comes further below), but it’s our #1 recommendation if you can’t do our #1 recommendation. πŸ™‚

Why?

under sink cabinet with slide out shelves for storage
source | similar slide out shelves

Drawers are better than cabinets and shelves for a number of reasons. Below your sink, this option is better than shelves mainly because you can pull them out in order to get at what’s in the back.

And here’s another variation on that…

Under sink storage bathroom

Alternative #1b: Stackable Clear Drawer Bins Inside Cabinet

Here’s what someone did in their bathroom, and to me it’s on the same level of the inner drawers, just in a different material format:

under sink storage ideas for bathroom. Mult-stacked pull out drawers
source | similar stackable clear drawer bin

What I don’t love about the above “inner drawer” options is:

you have to completely open your cabinet doors first in order to pull out the drawers.

Bleh! (I told you I was lazy. πŸ™‚ haha)

But honestly, that adds another step and when you’re standing in front of your sink with wet hands or in the middle of a kitchen mess, you don’t need extra steps and hassle! You need fluidity and ease.

THAT, my friend, is why I recommend the following…

Under sink storage IDEAS

Our #1 All-time Favorite Solution & Recommendation!

You need to change to 100% drawers! Plain and simple.

(Click HERE to see how you can do this super easily–we teach you step by step!).

There’s no one size fits all when it comes to under kitchen storage but there is an easy way to figure out exactly what would work best for you! Our kitchen organization guide helps you go through all the steps to figure out exactly what you need!

White kitchen with drawers under kitchen sink for under sink storage
FREE: Grab our Design Mini-guide HERE!

Why do you want to do this?

  1. You’ll utilize every inch of space.
  2. You’ll have instant access to ANY item under your sink, regardless of whether it’s at the front or back!
  3. You’ll have the ease of no cabinet door to open first in order to access the next “step” of getting to what it is you need.
Under sink storage idea of built in drawers under sink
MORE than enough storage! They’re so effective, we never even had to use 100% of the space for what we needed!

Even under our bathroom vanity, we replaced our cabinets with drawers!

Wooden vanity with drawers under sink.
See our full bathroom transformation HERE!
Wooden vanity with built in drawers under sink. Storage ideas
We show you the insides of ALL our bathroom vanity drawers (including the “secret” ones) HERE!

If you’re still not clear on why drawers are so much better than cabinets, you’ll want to see my 5 Genius Reasons Drawers are Better Than Cabinets!

Under sink DRAWERS

“HOW Do I Get Drawers Under My Sink?!?”

Easy breezy: we teach you HERE!

Truly, everything you need to know is in there.

How to design everything, build them properly, or just how to convert your cabinets into drawers!

If one day I can walk into 95% of homes and see drawers below sinks, I will be able to die happy and have them inscribe on my tombstone, “Her work here was done.”

(Yes, I can be lazy and dramatic when it comes to drawers.)

Under sink STORAGE IDEA

WARNING: Don’t Do Anything Without THIS First!

If you’re trying to get your kitchen organized and together, to improve it and therefore improve your life…

…you need to have your SPECIFIC kitchen system in place for yourself!

If you haven’t already worked that out (and 97% of people have not!)…

…then I can promise you, YOU NEED THIS. It’s the kitchen organization method I created and teach step-by-step, and

WITHOUT IT, you cannot even HOPE to intelligently figure out what to place below your sink!

(Even the drawers. Trust me. If you don’t know precisely who and what and how and why and when…you don’t know what size or type of drawers to do in the first place.)

Start here. We spent 1000s of hours creating it and streamlining into easy steps so that you can do it FAST and SIMPLY. (And without having to pay me thousands of dollars to custom-design your own kitchen for a major remodel.)

You can thank me later.

Next…

If you’re new to us or our blog, grab our Design Mini-guide for FREE TODAY!

For more storage, design & organization ideas, check out:

  1. AVOID under sink trash storage!
  2. How we organized our bathroom vanity!
  3. Score big with “How to Save Money On Your Kitchen!” (plus what doesn’t work!)
  4. 21 Kitchen Hacks That Make Life Easier!
  5. See why you should do drawers instead of cabinets in your home!

PS: You can see all our home projects HERE!

PPS: If you’d like our help on your own home, check out our Design Guides & Plans or book a Design Consultation with us.

Leave a Reply