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Maximize the space above your kitchen sink with these pro tips

Tackle the journey to total organization one cabinet at a time.
TODAY Illustration / Natalia Kostikova / Getty Images

As you tackle your organizational goals room by room, you’re probably realizing how big of a task you’ve signed up for. There are so many little spaces we forget about that seemingly develop clutter overnight. The best way to manage what can be an exhaustive list of tasks is to break it down into bite-sized pieces. For example, instead of starting with the entire kitchen, start with organizing underneath the sink. Then, once that’s done, go up north and organize above the kitchen sink.

Whether you’ve got a cabinet or an open concept up there, Shop TODAY spoke to three professional organizers to get their insight on how to make the space work for you.

Tips for organizing above the sink

Organizing a cabinet above the sink

Similar to organizing underneath the sink, you’ll want to start by decluttering your cabinet space above the sink. “Decluttering is the name of the game,” Shantae Duckworth, owner of Shantaeize Your Space, quipped.

Once you’re done removing unnecessary items, it's time to determine how you want to utilize that space. “The possibilities are endless, for sure, with that space because it is pretty decent sized cabinetry and it’s a great way to keep things out of reach of children,” she added if you plan to use it as a medicine cabinet. Other ways she mentioned using your cabinet for included storing cleaning supplies or your go-to coffee essentials.

Tiffany Smith, owner of SimplyPut Organizing, also recommends using the cabinet for storing additional supplies that you often use at the sink like dish soap or detergent. “Even though it’s behind a cabinet door, I like to have everything still organized...inside of a tray or some type of a container. It keeps items from spilling over and creating clutter,” she told us.

However, Smith noted that how you use your cabinet will ultimately depend on your specific kitchen layout and your needs. If it makes sense to use that cabinet for spices, use it for spices! If you decide to go that route, Smith likes to take her organization one step further and decant her spices into labeled glass jars. Not only will it be aesthetically pleasing, it can also take up less space having jars of the same size instead of different shapes and sizes across brands. Once decanted, she recommends using something like a tiered organizer rack, pull-out drawer or turntable to keep them in order. “Organization is all about the look and the functionality, so we want it to be accessible for the user and whatever the item is or the space that it’s in,” she said.

Now that your space is decluttered and items are sorted, there’s one important step left before actually buying organizational products: measure, measure, measure. It’s the one thing Alexia Ford, founder and owner of Georgia-based Passion Organizing, stressed most that she said people often forget to do when organizing any space. Measuring its interior will help you ensure that you buy bins and containers that will actually fit in there, instead of guessing and having to go through the return and exchange process.

Organizing open space above the sink

If you have an open concept or a window above your kitchen sink, you can have a little more fun with how you organize this area.

Ford’s go-to tip remains the same in this instance: Always measure first. This way, you can make sure whatever organization product you choose isn’t too big and won’t block any other cabinets or windows in the area.

Ford, Smith and Duckworth all mentioned using this area to store things like a dish drying rack, mugs, drinking glass sets or other essential dinnerware. Mugs can be organized neatly with the help of a shelf board, Smith suggested. Or, if there are cabinets on either side of the sink, Duckworth suggests playing off those and turning the sides into wine glass racks.

If you'd rather use this area to elevate your kitchen aesthetic, find a decorative item that can serve double duty like an attention-grabbing fruit basket. However, if you have enough room for everything in other places and don’t have anything left to store above your kitchen sink, don’t feel pressured to utilize that space.

“Sometimes, less is better. I don’t like clutter. I don’t like to put things on walls just because. I want it to make sense and look intentional and look nice,” Smith said.

Best products for organizing above the sink, according to experts

iDesign Linus Lazy Susan Turntable

When looking for a Lazy Susan, Smith trust brands like iDesign and Madesmart to provide high-quality options. She suggests this one for not just spices, but also for organizing other ingredients like oils. "I actually love to use the turntables for storing them because most of the time you have multiple and if you put it in a turntable, it’s easy to access," she told us.

Madesmart Lazy Susan

Another mention of Smith's, this turntable keeps it basic with a white colorway that is sure to fit into the aesthetic of pretty much any kitchen. The reviews are filled with happy customers who are raving about how well it worked for them, with some even saying they went back for more.

Brightroom Plastic Turn Table

Brightroom, Target's newest in-home organization line, caught Smith's attention with this plastic turntable. It has higher walls than a typical Lazy Susan, which is ideal for keeping things from spilling out when you turn it to get what you need.

Aozita Glass Spice Jars

Smith likes these jars for decanting spices and keeping them organized in your cabinet or in a pull-out drawer. They are also bestsellers and have over 21,000 verified five-star ratings. The set comes with 24 jars, shaker lids and metal caps, two kinds of waterproof pre-printed labels and a funnel.

Lynk Professional Slide Out Double Spice Rack Upper Cabinet Organizer

Once your spices are decanted and your jars are labeled accordingly, keep them looking neat and orderly in this sliding space rack recommended by Smith. This particular rack from Lynk Professional comes in five different sizes that range in size and width.

iDesign Linus 3-Tier Spice Rack

If you want to try a different approach to organizing your spices, try this three-tier rack that comes recommended by Smith.

Joseph Joseph DrawerStore Compact 2-Tier Knife Organizer

Keep your knife sets safely and neatly stowed away with this organizer. Smith prefers to have her countertops as clear as possible, and a compact block like this one she recommended keeps them out of sight.

YouCopia UpSpace Water Bottle Organizer

If you want to store water bottles above your sink, an organizer like this one Smith suggested is an easy way to do it. By laying your water bottles down flat, not only can you store more bottles at once, but you also avoid the potential to make a colossal amount of noise when they inevitably topple over.

The Home Edit 5-Piece Laundry Edit

Although it's technically meant for the laundry room, Duckworth loves this set for organizing in the kitchen. "You can totally use [it] to maximize that cabinetry if you want to use it for cleaning supplies or coffee," she said.

Anchor Hocking Stackable Square Glass Canisters

Ford likes these clear containers to organize your cabinets and keep everything looking uniform. Ranging in size and price, they give the impression that you shelled out the big bucks without actually having to do so.

Threshold Stoneware Westfield Dinnerware Set

For your open space above/behind the sink, Ford recommends keeping a classic white stoneware set there. She calls it creating a "Pinterest-pretty" look that keeps everything crisp and clean. This particular set she recommended comes with a dozen pieces: four cereal bowls, four salad plates and four dinner plates.

Thomson Pottery Basic White Stoneware Mug (Set of 8)

Another all-white set that's recommended by Ford, these mugs not only look great but are an exceptional value. For less than $20, you'll get eight 16 oz. mugs — perfect for the person who always finds themselves playing host.

Kraus KRM-10 Over-The-Sink Multipurpose Roll-Up Dish Drying Rack

To help keep countertops clutter-free, Smith raved about this roll-up dish drying rack that is laid flat over the sink that eliminates the need for a traditional stationary one. Recently having purchased one for herself, she loves how easy it is to clean — it's dishwasher-safe — and stow. "If you lack [kitchen] space or you need some extra space, maybe you’re hosting a dinner or something, it’s easy to roll up and store it somewhere else," she said.

Pengke Stainless Steel Rotation Fruit Bowl

This is another one of those nifty tools that, when not in use, can be rolled up and put away. Smith likes this for its ability to serve as both a decorative and functional item. "It makes my fruit look nice when it’s out and I can put it away when I don’t have any fruit," she told us.

Outshine Extra Large Bread Box

If you like to leave bread out on the counters, Smith recommends using a bread box — this one, to be exact — to store it in a way that's both stylish and functional. She likes that you can store several loaves of bread in here at once and, essentially, hide them in plain sight.

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