Solving the Big Issues: Riddle me this

I’m a complex woman, no doubts about it. Just ask my husband. Or Mother. Or my kids this morning who are dealing with a crazed lady barking at them because they keep waking up at 5am. As you know, I am a person soothed by cleaned floors. Crumbs are not acceptable in my house, let’s not talk about piles of clean washing (put them away people) and I’m not afraid to tell you all that I POLISH my furniture. As Mr Carson said in Downton Abbey, “I like things done properly, and I make no apologies for the fact.”


Something has come to my attention, and I believe that I am not alone. No matter all the high standards, the rules, the constant wiping and scrubbing, it appears that I CAN LIVE IN FILTH.

I give you, my cupboard under the sink.

That houses all my cleaning products.

It’s the least clean place in my ENTIRE house. It’s quite ironic really.

I don’t think I’ve ever wiped it out, nor do I intend to. I mean I went and took these pictures and then I just closed the cupboard again. Whatever. I remember cleaning out the same cupboard at our last house when we moved and thinking “Wow, I so should have done that 2 years ago.” And yet? Meh.

Does your cleaning/under the sink cupboard look like this too? Or is it a Martha Stewart inspired number with things in sorted containers ready to be pulled out in bathroom/kitchen/general sections? Will I ever wipe it? What will be the turning point?


  1. mine is the same and I attempted to clean it during the Organised Housewife’s 20 day challenge but it all got too hard so its still in the same state… totally grose! I just shut the door and ignore

  2. phew.
    we can still be friends.

  3. The OCD in me is freaking the heck out! How could one simply not organise categories and analyse the perfect system for under the sink. My OCD is totally bewildered, my brain on the other hand is rationalising it… it’s under the sink, it’s out of the way, no one really see’s it, it’s not really important… but then out comes the OCD again, in true outburst style: it is FLIPPIN IMPORTANT!!! So my verdict, give it a superb wipe out, then figure out some way, even a super boring way to organise. Your heart will be doing somersaults of joy, I can assure out πŸ™‚

  4. Oh my! I am no where near any of your standards but I do have a clean cleaning cupboard…..but that is only since I found Murchison – Hume…seriously take one look at their products and you have to order just because they are so pretty! I dare you x (P.S. My girls have the cough – vomit so I was up in sympathy with you at 5am!)

  5. ahh erm yeah, mine does. I noticed it yesterday and it grossed me out. I gave it a quick wipe (just around the bottles of cleaning products mind you!)…ie. the bits you could see, lol…and I have it on my mental list to go to the Reject shop and buy more baskets. For that cupboard and my pot cupboard. That one isn’t dirty but man do those pot lids and container lids seem to breed. Why are there always more lids than containers to put them on?

    xx Karen

  6. I have a simple solution to this issue: Buy a big flat bottomed plastic container and store all the products in that.

    When it needs washing you just put it through the dishwasher.

  7. I am shocked but smirking!
    I have this situation in my under sink laundry cupboard and I swoop down with one of those antistepic, anti-bacterial wipes that destroy our planet and wipe that gooey grime when it gets too much.
    Thanks for fessing up.

  8. Mine is surprisingly clean. Also because the bin is in that cupboard and it would upset me if a guest saw filth when popping something in the bin.

    On another topic I would love a post on how to prepare for guests staying. You seem to have a few so I figure you would have this sorted.

  9. Snap.

  10. As I sit here with clean washing piles from two days ago and crumbs on the table from the kiddies breakfast (which I will clean in about 10 mins), I can smugly say that yes, yes I have well organised baskets with all of my cleaning product in them with the corresponding sponge/cloth to go with…. So it seems I can handle clean clothes piles that the world can see but not an unorganised cleaning cupboard…Go figure??


  11. OMG. I have my stuff in caddies… one for the garden, one for cleaning etc. However, we will not be addressing the state of the floor to ceiling cupboard in my laundry today. ; )

  12. LOL i keep looking at my kitchen cupboards and seeing the same filth and yet i havent been motivated to clean them! But im generally a very clean person like you. Funny isnt it!!

  13. I am so OCD that my clothes hang in perfect colour order! However, until you did this post I have never given consideration to cleaning the cleaning cupboard. Mine is making your cupboard look tidy…

  14. Ours gets a clean out when you can no longer throw in and shut the cupboard which is approx every 6 months.

  15. Oh dear. In the words of Nike – just do it! (Please)

  16. I just cleaned mine out last week ( mines in the laundry) and it was shameful. It got overlooked for a couple of years!

  17. My husband is the clean freak here. I just like tidy. He needs to nuke the bacteria. Like the old Greek Dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding he has a thing for Windex and I often here him spraying away in toxic happiness late at night. So I have begun to undermine his operation by diluting his cleaners. Yes! Hold on to your unders Ms Mac for this will upset you but I keep the empties and decant and dilute for we always have multiples of each cleaner. It smells less chemically, is probably better for his health and makes me happy. Our laundry cleaning cupboard is ironically only tidied by me as I cull and decant. He always leaves it in a mess! Eventually he will be cleaning the stainless steel with slightly chemically water and won’t know the difference. Bwahhahah!

  18. Second Reject Shop or similar for these baskets although caddies are sexier and have handles and can also be found at these establishments. You won’t look back. πŸ™‚

  19. Exactly the same. It’s like washing up, you have to keep doing it once you start – so don’t bother!

    To clarify, don’t bother with the cupboards not the washing up. Washing up must be done πŸ™‚

  20. Ours is full of old shopping plastic bags. We compulsively keep them, but never use them for anything?!? They spill out every time you open it to look for a cleaning product.

  21. Haha, ours is the same. In fact, I’m pretty sure when we bought the place it looked like this already, courtesy of the previous owners, and I just put everything on top.

    Eeew. That has just inspired me to clean it. Back in a tick…

  22. are you trying to kill me?

    first no ironing and now this.

    My under the sink cupboard is like Martha’s but smaller (obviously)

    Visuals on blog somewhere if required.

  23. i’m totally picking up what you’re putting down there beth…

    BUT recently i decided that everytime i have a hot soapy cloth in my hand (only happens maybe twice a day?) i’d have a go at wiping those pesky ironically not clean spots around my house. IF i remember to… and probably if it doesn’t involve pulling a gazillion items out of the way to do it.. yep, there’s a few conditions there. oh well πŸ˜‰

    • Leanne…I’m a little unsure too. It’s cleaning products. It’s hot water bottles. It’s shoe polish. It’s light globes. I think there is even some metho and paint there.

      I REALLY like the idea of the cloth in hand. I have one in my hand at LEAST 27 times a day. I’m onto it!

    • glad to help out!!

      but oh the joys of not being a mum – cloth in hand only once or twice a day! i love it!!

  24. I love that you are now quoting Mr Carson.

    This post reminds me of Monica from Friends when she was vacuuming, and then bent down to vacuum the vacuum.

    There’s some of us in the world who vacuum vacuums, and some of us who sometimes forget which cupboard the vacuum is in. And all the wealth of people in-between. I keep my cleaning products on a rack, held in place by their spray nozzles. My teenage stepchildren steal my products when they clean their bedrooms once every blue moon, so now I’ve taken to writing EDEN’S SPRAY AND WIPE on the sides of all my cleaning shit. So annoying.

    I am making your chicken soup today for the first time, BabyMac Beth. Yessiree I am. So excited.


  25. Traci Sparkle Devlin says

    Mine looks very much like this also…. I kinda believe that if you can close a door on it, it doesn’t need sorting….all that stuff out on show on the other hand takes priority!

  26. I’m so glad to see your not completly perfect in the cleaning department!

  27. In my experience the turning point only comes when you spill a bottle of said cleaning supplies and have to wipe it up, plus any grime that managed to get attacked in the spill. Until then, it can look after itself.

  28. I thought the space under our sink was fairly clean, tidy and organised… until I met The Organised Housewife and she asked me to cleana it out. There was stuff right back there that really did NOT belong in my house. Now it REALLY is clean and tidy, and I am actually happier for it. Do it, woman!

  29. I am a basket person, boxes, tins, storage for in storage…EVERYWHERE.. Same under my sink, 3 containers filled with all the cleaning stuff so I just pull them out and clean. Can say I have cleaned the containers but weirdly enough they have never got dirty?

  30. Well what you do is…wait for your husband to realise he can’t possibly live with it any longer (the messy under sink cupboard)and then he’ll clean it out. Amazing really. Only took me ten years to figure that one out. He cleaned it just the other weekend, and he got lots of high praise indeed. Good luck Beth!

  31. Funny. This morning i pulled out everything from the cupboard under the sink and gave it a good clean. . . and yet there are mountains of folded washing sitting on my table that i just can’t bring myself to put away.

    rachel xo

  32. Same. I like Tessa’s ideas of the boxes for storage. I’m a bit of a boxes gal.

  33. Grab some little white plastic trays/containers. They are perfect as they collect spills/mess and are easy to wipe clean. They are also great as you can pull them out to see everything.

  34. I must admit I have sorted ice cream containers labelled for all my cleaning cloths and gloves and things separate for the bathroom and kitchen.
    The cleaning product shelf, while not 100% spic and span does have things lined up in neat rows based on where I use them eg kitchen, bathroom, general, car, etc.
    I think life is a little bit about contradiction though, help keep things interesting.

  35. My laundry cupboard is like this. Where does the muck come from when there’s only cleaning products inside?? It’s a mystery.

  36. ooo, we are like a photographic negative. My house looks like your cleaning cupboard yet my cleaning cupboard is suprisingly orderly. I stick my head in there when Im stressed.

  37. I had never really thought about my cleaning cupboard until your post, but needless to say, it looks like yours. However yesterday I had arranged with one of our school volunteers to help clean the canteen kitchen (ovens, fridges, pantry etc) before the school break. She first cleaned the cupboard under the sink, then proclaimed that cleaning could begin. Apparently its a a hangover from her OCD days and she cannot even think about cleaning without a clean cleaning cupboard! Go figure.

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