The last thing you want to do is use this area as a dumping ground or let valuable space go to waste.

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Credit: Burcu Avsar

It may not be very big, but chances are your under-the-sink space is one of the more overlooked and undervalued storage opportunities in your home. But just because there's a winding pipe running through it, doesn't mean it needs to default to a second junk drawer.

"Due to their awkward size, these spots can often become a dumping ground for your bulk cleaning sprays, grocery bags, and supplies," says D.C-based organizing expert Rachel Rosenthal. "The good news for you is that under-the-sink organization is one of the quicker spots to dive into when reorganizing your kitchen. A couple of minutes can make this area a small but mighty powerhouse for your storage needs." From the power of hooks and rods, to simple ways to make the space feel less dingy, here are the best tricks for getting everything under the sink in excellent shape.

Clear Out and Categorize

Before you do anything else, take everything out of the cabinet. See what you have on hand, and toss anything that's expired, leaking, worn out (so long shriveled up sponges), or nearly empty. Then, categorize whatever you have left by sorting and grouping similar items. Rosenthal recommends keeping specialty cleaners (like granite and stainless steel sprays) in the kitchen, and moving items like toilet bowl cleaner and shower sprays to the bathroom or utility closet.

Lay Down Lining

To make regular upkeep quick and easy, cover the bottom of the cabinet with a wipeable liner (and pick something you actually like!). This will not only perk up the space, but it will also make cleaning up any leaks or spills a breeze.

Install a Light

One way to avoid fumbling around in search of your scrub? "Add a motion sensor light," says New York City-based organizer and designer Jeffrey Phillip. "It's a great way to brighten up the space and allows you to more easily see what you are storing or retrieving."

Measure Up

In order to optimize the space, you'll need to know exactly how much space you have. That's why Rosenthal suggests measuring to the left, right, and below any obstructions like pipes. "Use these measurements as your boundaries for storage. Anything that can't fit within those boundaries should be stored elsewhere."

organized under the sink

Nod to the Rod

Another Martha favorite storage trick: Hang a tension rod across your cabinet for your spray bottles. Suspend them by their spray triggers and easily free up space for more supply bins and baskets below. If you have many (or particularly heavy) bottles, opt for a screw-mounted option; otherwise, a heavy-duty tension rod will do the trick.

Go Vertical

To further maximize the space, Rosenthal likes adding stackable storage-like bins, drawers, and sliding shelves perfect for smaller supplies and loose pieces. If you can, choose see-through stacking bins for even easier access. We like to decant dishwasher pellets in a clear big for easy access and a seamless look.

kitchen sink organizer

Utilize the Door

When in doubt, hang it up. This is especially optimal if your surface space is limited. Hang small baskets on the inside of the door for sponges, or hooks for cleaning brushes and gloves. "The doors are great additional real estate for over-the-door bins," says Rosenthal, "perfect for plastic grocery bags or hair supplies [in the bathroom], and door-mounted containers."

Spin Easy

To navigate around the awkwardness of the drainpipe, Phillip recommends adding a Lazy Susan or turntable to the side of the pipe. "This is a great way to make use of the deep space under the cabinet. In the kitchen, use it to store cleaning supplies; in the bathroom, you can use it for storing lotions and hairsprays."

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