Unless your home only has pedestal sinks, you know the pain and pleasure of under-sink storage. That precious real estate under the sink in your kitchen or bathroom is typically inside a cabinet, though some under-sink storage (particularly for floating sinks) consists of drawers.
Having a cabinet door and an enclosed space for storage in these key rooms is a blessing and a curse. You can fill that space with cleaning supplies, a random assortment of extra tools or gear, plastic bags you plan to reuse, and so much more—the curse being that the space under your sink can quickly become cluttered and too full for any new necessities to fit inside. This space can also become a drop zone. If every new cleaning tool or spray that comes into the house gets stashed there and promptly forgotten, you know there's room for improvement.
If you’re at the point where your latest bottle of multipurpose cleaner or container of disinfectant wipes can’t fit under the sink because of all the other supplies inside, it’s time for a reorganization project. Luckily for busy people everywhere, this under-sink storage makeover only takes a few minutes.
Using the power of a tension rod (which you might already have), you can nearly double the storage space under any sink, making more room inside for storage—or just making the space less overwhelming. This trick works best for under-sink cabinets with sturdy sides and a door. If you have a pedestal sink, a floating sink, or a sink stand with drawers, other organizing ideas may work better for your situation.
Picking a Tension Rod
Before purchasing a tension rod, measure the width of the cabinet space. Pick a rod suited to that length: It should fit snugly between the walls and have non-slip pads at either end to prevent sliding. Pick a thin rod that won’t take up too much space, and go with the lowest-profile option. No one will be seeing this tension rod, so you can pick the most basic option and leave the ornate ones for your window treatments or shower curtain. Finally, check the weight guidelines for the product. This tension rod will be holding heavy bottles of liquid, so you want a strong one that can handle the weight. If in doubt, err on the side of a too-strong tension rod.
The Simple Way to Double Your Under Sink Storage
Equipment / Tools
- Multipurpose cleaner
- Microfiber cloth
- Vacuum with hose and crevice attachment or hand vacuum
- 1 tension rod
Take Everything Out of the Cabinet
Remove all cleaning supplies, tools, plastic bags, and other miscellanea that may have accumulated under your sink. Use this as an opportunity to declutter the space. Anything that doesn’t belong in the kitchen, the bathroom, or that exact space may be better placed elsewhere.
Throw away old or forgotten cleaning supplies, such as old sponges or fraying cleaning rags.
Clean the Cabinet Space
Vacuum away any dust or grit, then use a multipurpose cleaner and microfiber cloth to clean the bottom of the cabinet. If there are any signs of leakage from the sink or mold or mildew, address the issues before moving on. While you’re at it, vacuum along the base of the cabinet with a hand vacuum or using a crevice attachment to pick up crumbs, dust, dirt, and hair that could have accumulated in that hard-to-reach spot.
Install the Tension Rod
Wedge the tension rod firmly between the two cabinet walls, so the rod hangs across the width of the cabinet. Place the rod below the bottom of the sink and about midway between the front edge of the underside of the sink and the edge of the cabinet. There’s no exact measurement, because each under-sink space will be different, but make sure there’s plenty of room to maneuver around the rod. Also check that, if the rod were to fall, it wouldn’t catch on any of the sink’s plumbing.
Before moving on, check that your placement works by hanging one spray bottle from the rod. Is the bottle elevated off the bottom of the cabinet? Can you easily close the cabinet door? Is there room to reach around the hanging bottle? If the answer to all these questions is yes, you've placed your tension rod well. If no, reposition the rod.
Organize the Space
Hang spray bottles—anything with a trigger nozzle—from the tension rod. By moving as much as possible off the base of the cabinet, you reduce crowding (and possibly make room for items from other areas of the home). You’ll also be able to easily grab any spray bottles, which you likely use regularly, without having to dig through the rest of the cabinet.