under the sink - week six - keeping the home fires burning


I tried to think of a catchy title for this post but there really is no way to make cleaning under the kitchen sink sound fun, romantic or exciting.  It is what it is...

"When you think about it, cleaning is really a form of decorating.  All of us have been in ordinary and even humble homes that held considerable charm simply because they were faultlessly clean, just as we've seen the charm of otherwise lovely homes ruined by dingy shower curtains, streaky windows, and scuffed floors.  So dislike cleaning though I might, the only way to make sure your home's beauty shines through is to master the basic task of keeping it clean."  Susan Waggoner, Simple Country Wisdom

I have to admit I have been planning this post for the last couple of weeks but just couldn't muster up the desire to get started.  The thought of removing everything that has been shoved under the kitchen sink for the last four + years seemed a little daunting.  But thanks to you and my commitment to this series I did just that.

Look at all this junk!  I am amazed that it all fit and that I was able to open and shut the cabinets to get to the few things I actually use under there. 

Okay, are you ready?  Here's the list...

Bissell OxGen 2 (for a carpet cleaner I got rid of two years ago), Easy Off oven cleaner, Fabuloso Oxy (I purchased this cheap cleaner at Walmart and was just about knocked out by the fumes, why I kept it I don't know), nearly empty Febreeze, Pine Sol, DIF wall paper stripper, empty gallon water jug (why ????), dried out bleach scrubbers, Blade plumeria air freshener, old oil sock rags, Wrights silver cream, gas grate cleaner, 3 partially used dishwasher rinse aids, bottle scrub brush, plastic grocery bags, sticky out gunk remover, espsom salt (I was looking for that the other day), Kabaam bowl blaster, LemiShine dishwasher cleaner, 2" angled paint brush, 3 bottoms to plant pots, 4 sink plugs in various sizes, 2 unlabeled spray bottles, putty scraper, bottle nipple cleaner, butter knife, soap pump top, old tooth brush, 4 new scrubber sponges, 6 old scrubber sponges, 7 packages of flower crystals, 1 1/2 magic erasers, leather cleaner, hand soap refill, bargain brand dish soap, various disposable gloves, liquid cascade, powder cascade, 2 bags of cascade in pouches, comet cleanser, Lysol toilet bowl cleaner, orange glow wood polish, Murphy's oil soap, Clorox cleaner with bleach, store brand cleaner with bleach, scotch guard, carpet cleaner spray, Raid, 3 market bags, 1 old dish drainer and a partridge in a pear tree!

Seriously...who bought all this stuff?  The first thing I did was purge what I know I will never use and placed it in a box to be taken to the next local toxic recycling event.  Then I began sorting through what is used daily/weekly for cleaning and what has no business under the kitchen sink.

Seldom used cleaning agents went in a small plastic tote to be stored on an empty top shelf in the laundry area and everything else went in the garage where it belongs.

I wiped out under the sink area and reorganized the cleaning tote so that I could just pull it out when needed and carry it around as I am cleaning.  I found pretty containers to house my sponges, packets and pouches and I left enough room for stock up supplies as they go on sale.

I know I use a lot of commercial cleaners.  I have tried to go natural and have found that for me, a combination of both works best.  I use home made cleaner for my windows and floors, which I put in the two spray bottles with new labels, but for the bathrooms and kitchen counters I like a little bleach and a clean smell.  If you know of a good, more natural cleaning product that I can purchase commercially, I am all ears and I will give it a try as things run out. 

I admire those of you who have made the adjustment to all home made products but I think we all have a level of time and comfort that works for our families.

Next up in our series is the kitchen.  You can only imagine how much I'm looking forward that one, right?  In reality, this series has taught me so much about myself, my limits and my comfort levels.  Little by little I am tackling areas of my home that I have been avoiding and I am loving the organization and simplification that results from it.  I hope you are, too.

Till next time...

xo, Patty


  1. Patty, I have an R.O. system under my sink , so I really have to limit my cleaning junk. I use a white vinager and water mixture to clean lots of things. The best cleaner for mirrors is rubbing alcohol, cuts grease and drys streak free. Smiles, Susie

  2. Patty,
    You did an amazing job of ridding and re~organizing!!! I use Caldrea Natural based cleaner available at Target! May seem pricy @ first, but when you buy the concrete and dilute into your re~usable bottles...it is actually more economical that Pine ~sol, Mr. Clean, etc. Safe for the environment, pets...and YOU! Instead of fumes that make you hold your breath...you get herb and spice infused aroma! Thanks for continuing this series. Makes me remember to purge the plastic bag bin, under the sinks, and all those other "stash away" places on the Prairie!!!

  3. Your under sink area looks much like mine!
    Hey, I messaged Elaine, but didn't hear from her. If you have your grandson, and can come swim, I was hoping Elaine and Q could come too. And ask Shelly. We can keep it really simple, and just order pizza, and swim!! It might be ugly and ghastly hot, but the pool will help!!
    Maybe the 17th?

  4. Hi Patty! Maybe your kitchen post will put me in the mood to scour my kitchen. I love that quote because I really believe that cleanliness makes things pretty. Right now I am going to take a nap. I'll clean later. Promise.

  5. I really need to do this, but if I do, there will be no pictures...no one would want to see what I have been hoarding!

  6. Patty,
    It sure is satisfying to organize, isn't it?
    I am in charge of organizing and cleaning, and our house is relatively small, so I just try not to keep too much stuff around.
    My sister makes her own cleaners and referred to the book Clean Home, Clean Planet several years ago to come up with her cleaners.

  7. Way to go! We just moved and realizing that the movers wouldn't take all of those cleaning products really made me think. Like you, I buy too many different things. Really some Liquid Lysol or Mr. Clean can cover a zillion purposes. I like a little bleach too but am trying to use it less and less...mostly because I splash it accidentally. :)

  8. My sink is almost bare beneath due to fostercare regulations. I keep my grocery sacks under there. I made another run to the grocery store today continuing to fill the pantry back up from the big clean-out a few weeks ago. Finding the items on sale helps me to stock up faster!

  9. You had me laughing Patty. Your under the sink looks just like mine did a while back. I did clean a lot of stuff from under mine too. If feels good doesn't it.

  10. SO funny..How brave you were...It's amazing how much stuff you can fit under the kitchen sink...You've given me an idea..Hmmmm

  11. I just did this a few months ago.. Cleaned under my kitchen sink and under the sinks in the master bath and amazingly I've managed to keep it all organized LOL

  12. yeaaaa! I a proud of you. I did that not too long ago under my laundry room sink and now I need to do just what you did- the kitchen sink. Great job.

    On Monday I got on a drawer cleaning kick in the bedroom. I cleaned out and donated a bunch of stuff and organized all our drawers. It felt so good. Now you have given me the kitchen sink mojo. xo Diana

  13. Patty, good for you! I need to do the same thing. I cleaned the area under my sink out a couple of years ago, but it is definitely ready for another sorting.


  14. I had to laugh when I saw what you were posting about today. You are a brave woman. I laughed because it looked so much like under so many of my sinks have. You did a great job of purging and making that an organized space. Under RV sinks is usually where the pots an pans have to go, so I have learned to cut back to about 4 products for cleaning. Great idea to use jars for storing even under the sink. And that vintage bowl for dish washer soap is perfect. I'm anxious to see your kitchen segment. I love the color of your cabinets by the way.

  15. Well done Patty. I need to do that but am pacing myself this week and just cleaned up wood on the floor the puppy was chewing. He will eat anything and is a full time job.

  16. really is everything and the kitchen sink. Installation was well thought out and simplehttp://plumbingjudge.com/


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