The space underneath the sink tends to be roomy – it spans from the height of the sink to the floor and is also quite wide – but it can be difficult to organise thanks to the several obstacles we encounter: the inside of the sink itself, the U-bend, and maybe even the water valves. For this reason, many people don’t take advantage of the space. Whichever way you look at it, it’s difficult to adapt any sort of organiser to the space underneath the sink, and so we often lose a lot of space.
Until now! Finally, we’ve found a product that helps us make the most of this storage space: an extendable shelf. A simple yet functional piece, which will help us take advantage of the cupboard under the sink.
What do we normally store underneath the sink?
It’s not particularly innovative, but most households would agree that the space beneath the sink is used for storing cleaning products, or the bin, or both.
If you use it to store cleaning products, you lose all the space between the products and the top of the cupboard. However, this problem could be solved by installing an extendable two-level shelf. In this way, you create double the amount of space: you could organise the smaller products on the top shelf just below the sink, and the taller products can go below them on the bottom shelf. Additionally, though we may call it a two-level shelf, in reality, there are three levels: there’s a gap between the bottom of the cupboard and the first shelf that can be used for flatter products, such as cloths and sponges.
But what about the U-bend – and the water valves, if any? Easy! Each shelf is made up of several modular shelves (rectangular pieces the width of the shelf, which can be removed), so you can easily remove the pieces that get in the way. Simple, right?
There’s no bigger waste of space than only using the cupboard under the sink for the rubbish bin. It’s true that nowadays there are many different sizes of bin available, those with several compartments for recycling, or even those with a little drawer for your bin bags, but still, it’s really difficult to make good use of the entirety of the space you have available. For this reason, people normally keep the bin and their cleaning products in the same place.
However, if we do this, we end up stacking containers and boxes between the bin and the wall. There are two drawbacks to this: one is that we, again, lose a lot of space above the bin and the products; and the second is that every time we take out the bin to change the bin bag, throw out the rubbish and clean the bin, we end up pulling out or knocking over the cleaning products. By using an extendable shelf, we eliminate both these issues. You can adapt the space around the bin by adding shelves and adjusting the horizontal bars to make them longer or shorter. This way, when you go to throw out the rubbish, everything else will stay in place.
Another way to make the most of this space is to install your shelves to measure, by removing the modular pieces necessary to create room for the U-bend and the water valves. However, this option can be really inconvenient when it comes to cleaning – think about how dirty it gets around the bin and wherever you store cleaning products. So, a better solution would be to use a removable organiser under the sink. Likewise, our needs may also change. Maybe they change the packaging of your favourite products, or perhaps you buy a new bin, or even take the bin outside for the summer but need space to store it inside during the winter. With an extendable shelf, you can adapt the size to your needs.
What if I want to take even more advantage of the space?
A great way to take advantage of the space under the sink is to optimise the storage space on your extendable shelf. For example, by adapting the size of your product containers to the height of the shelves or the cupboard. You simply place the smaller bottles and boxes on the lower shelves, and the taller products on the shelves with more height. Easy! You should also avoid placing products upside down or at an angle, to prevent them from spilling if they’re not closed properly. Another good idea is to use boxes to store smaller products (dishwasher tablets, stain removers, etc.); not only will they take up less space, but it’s also easier to keep them tidy.
Although adjustable shelves don’t leave much room for anything else, there’s always the option to combine them with other ideas in order to get the most out of even the smallest of spaces, something we keep in mind every time we come across a tiny kitchen! And we often forget about a particular cupboard space that can be very useful: inside the door. It’s true that you can’t use this space for big objects, but you don’t have to look far to find a number of flat, narrow objects in the kitchen. There are different baskets or small drawers which can be screwed or glued (much better and easier to remove) onto the inside of the door, for storing little bottles, brushes, bin bags, or rubber gloves, etc. You could even install a horizontal bar to hold the bin bags and release them one by one. This way, they’re easy to find and stay rolled up tidily. Another good option is installing hooks to hang cloths, spray bottles or any item that has a hole for hanging.
All the aforementioned ideas have been developed for the cupboard under the kitchen sink, but they could easily be transferred to another room in the house: the bathroom. The bathroom sink has the same issues as the kitchen, since both house the inside of the sink, the U-bend and the water valves, making it difficult to organise the space. So, you can apply the same solution here: removable shelves that help you make the most of all the available space. In addition to everything we’ve already said, we must bear in mind that both the bathroom and kitchen are areas where things get wet, so we need space to let things air dry and avoid trapping moisture and creating damp problems.
So, as you can see, all you need is an extendable shelf with removable modules, and a couple of bright ideas, to help you make the most of that big, awkward space under the sink.