How to KonMari Under a Sink – KonMari | The Official Website of Marie Kondo

How to KonMari Under a Sink

What is it about dark corners that tempt us into storing clutter? From basement shelves to attic crawlspaces, we tend to think that what we can’t see won’t affect us. Nothing could be further from the KonMari Method™! When you commit to tidying your home the KonMari way, you quickly discover how much better a space — and your mind — feels when even its hidden storage spaces are tidy and organized.

As you embark on a tidying festival in your home, you’ll soon arrive at one of the most precarious spots of all: under the sink. Whether in the bathroom or the kitchen, here are seven tips for facing long-forgotten products and cleaning supplies.

01

Take Everything Out

The KonMari Method™ endorses always organizing by category, not by location. If you have multiple bathrooms, or store cleaning supplies under both the kitchen and bathroom sinks, pull every last item out and gather them, so you can see them in one place. Don’t panic if you’re surprised by the volume — that’s not uncommon! — the next steps will help you tackle everything with ease.

02

Discard Expired Products

Medicines, sunscreens and even cleaning supplies lose efficacy over time. Check each container for an expiration date, and discard any items past their prime. Cleaning supplies don’t always include a date, but the typical shelf life is at most two years (bleach begins to lose its oomph after just six months!). All-natural supplies, such as distilled vinegar and baking soda, are the exception. They can last three years or even longer — yet another reason to commit to green cleaning products!

Reminder: When discarding supplies, don’t mix or automatically pour down the drain! For the same reason you shouldn’t combine different products when cleaning, even expired products need to be disposed of properly, following local disposal regulations.

03

Discard Travel Sizes and Samples

If you’ve been holding onto hotel shampoos or product samples to use when traveling, ask yourself this: When was the last time you really did?

Most of us hold onto these items for months or even years and sometimes never remember to pack them. During research for The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie discovered that sample products last only a few weeks and at most a year. As she puts it best: “To use outdated cosmetics, especially when you are supposed to be enjoying your travels, seems foolhardy.” Instead, let them go with gratitude.

04

Let Go of Products That Don’t Spark Joy

Many undersink items are necessities, but if you tend to buy fad beauty products or cosmetics, only to stuff them under the sink when you’ve lost interest, it’s time to discard them. None of us needs to hold onto products from our “glitter phase” — unless, of course, glitter still brings you joy!

05

Wipe Items Clean

Items still collect dust under the sink! Before organizing your remaining products, wipe everything clean with a damp cloth, including the cupboard floor. You should also make sure lids are screwed on tightly and any other containers are properly closed.

06

Pick Your System

Now that you’ve pared down your undersink goods to the essentials, organize like with like. Pick a system that works for you — color with color, craft with craft, task with task. Gather nail polish in one organizer, along with other manicure supplies. Combine two open boxes of bandaids into one. Pour small amounts of beauty or cleaning products into reusable glass bottles that fit them properly. We recommend using simple trays, canisters or repurposed jars to subdivide the undersink area, creating tidy spaces for related products to live together in harmony.

Tidy Tip: Stackable containers, especially clear ones, are an undersink’s best ally — they make the most of tiny cupboards by using vertical space!

07

Restock Low Supplies

If you discarded expired items, you likely weren’t using them often enough to repurchase them. Wait until you have a need. One exception proves the rule: cleaning supplies. Make a list of any expired items you discarded but use at least every month. You’ll want to replace them with fresh supplies. Knowing now how long it takes to use them up, buy a smaller size this time — or better yet, switch to those longer-lasting, sustainable cleaning supplies!

As you finish this tidying project, you may feel like you’ve thrown away so much. But the beauty of the KonMari Method™ is that you will only need to do this once. Organizing undersink items in one go — and discarding what no longer serves you — will teach you what you need, what sparks joy, and what simply doesn’t. With eyes open, you will no longer feel the need to accumulate all those unused samples and excess supplies in the first place!

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