Halloween is coming up so I thought today I'd focus on the scariest place in everyone's home. Not the basement, no. Or the attic. That's so cliche. No, I'm talking about the ACTUAL scariest place in your house. The cabinet under your sink.
The one thing you never hear in realtor home listings is a glowing description of the cabinet under the sink. They can get away with calling a dilapidated shack "a charming blank canvas waiting for your special touch in Olde town." But it's hard to talk up the torture chamber of death under the sink.
A crispy J cloth in the original crumpled up shape shoved in the back corner, musty sponges, sticky soap drips, crumbs and guck all laid out like an adventure park with buffet for rats, mice, and centipedes.
As such, I like to avoid reaching into the cabinet under my sink which commonly houses things that crawl and sometimes bite me. Or *could* bite me. Nothing has actually bitten me while reaching under there but that's probably only because I always give my sink cupboards a few warning roundhouse kicks accompanied by a throaty devil sound before opening them.
Just to let 'em know I'm coming and am bigger than them.
Because of this aversion of mine (either to sink cabinets or cleaning under there depending on which way you look at it) I installed a tip out shelf.
That little spot underneath the front of your sink is the holy space. A clean, scare free, UNUSED space for keeping your counter tidy and your hands out of the sink cabinet.
Sure it can't hold a lot but it can hold a cloth, a scrubbie pad, a pot scraper and a little vial of dish soap. Those are 4 things that we use all the time but don't really want to leave sitting on the counter.
Table of Contents
How to Install a Tip Out Tray (Rev-A-Shelf)
I know DIYers like myself always say things are easy when really they're only easy for us and everyone else thinks a) it's hard and b) bloggers are assholes.
So. I would like to reiterate this really IS easy if you're comfortable with a screwdriver and bending under the sink.
- Tip out Tray - will include all necessary hardware
- 7/64th drill bit
- Ruler or tape measure
- The first step is to take your false front off. There will either just be plastic clips holding it on (like mine) or screws. Either way it's easy to remove.
2. Once you remove the screws or clips pull it off.
3. Clear out under your sink EEP a bit so you have room to move under there.
4. The tip out tray will come with very elaborate looking hardware. Don't worry. They're easy to install.
5. Centre your tray on the back of the false drawer face and screw it in place.
6. Test it by placing the panel back into position at the sink to make sure the tray doesn't interfere with the opening and closing of the tip out.
7. Place the right hinge against the right side of your opening so it is centred in the space and flush with the front edge.
8. Pull the hinge away and mark with a pencil where you want to screw it in. Pre-drill your hole. Screw the hinge in. Repeat for left side.
TIP: Pay attention. The hinges will be marked Left and Right.
9. While holding your front panel in place with one hand, slide under the cabinet and mark where the holes that attach the hinge to the drawer front are.
10. Pre-drill those marked holes.
11. Hold the panel in place with one hand like you did before and then from underneath the cabinet, screw the hinge into the drawer front. You will be contorted and squished but it shouldn’t be too difficult.
And you're done.
You'll soon be inviting friends and neighbours over for the sheer joy of making them jealous. Then you'll bonk them on the head to induce a little harmless short term memory loss, so you can show them all over again.
You can get the exact ones I have here online but most hardware stores carry some variation of it. This particular tip out tray is by Rev-A-Shelf.
TIP: If you buy a kit make sure it comes with the tray AND the hinges. The trays are also sold separately sometimes.
Any time you see me in my kitchen about to wash dishes I will be pleasantly using my tip out tray and avoiding all things under my sink.
As proof, here is an action shot of me pretending to casually reach for a plant to water it. That plant is now dead.
That's all there is to installing a tip down tray. No mystery. No real effort. No real explanation as to why cabinet makers don't just make them standard other than to anger me. And you. All of us really.
As for those mice under the sink - this mouse catching post will help you out with that. In the very near future I'm going to do what I should have done when I first renovated my kitchen - I'm going to install LED strip lights in that sink cabinet.
Because if you can SEE the scary stuff at least you know which direction to kick in.
→Follow me on Instagram where I often make a fool of myself←
....That ruler.......I need/want it! lol
Well, shit. I'm just going to go ahead and use this smidge of free time allotted to me by the new hire gods to finally install one of these things. Using your handy quick tutorial, of course. Before it was all hypothetical in my head, which would have meant a mess and extra swears. Now I can use your tutorial and the appropriate number of swears.
PLUS Ruffles with dip, haphazardly placed rage and rhubarb crisp? Woman - we are some kind of semi-messed up kindred souls.
I didn't notice the thumb nail or the pink screwdriver but I did notice the turtleneck. I got all hot and sweaty just looking at you (and not in the creepy way, in the "how can she wear a turtleneck in June?" way, since we are into such clarifications :))
The thyme plant died because you forgot to water it just ONCE, I suspect. Thyme is like that.
I love this hack!! But you must tell me, where did you get those beautiful pulls? I have been on the hunt for them forever and have not been able to get my hands on them!
Great article. How stable are those hinges? I'm making a drop down door out of the last step in a flight of stairs (enough space behind to store 2 large packs of toilet rolls. Why would I waste that storage?). I've tried different hinges and wonder if I'd need standard butt hinges as well as the drop down hinges. I need my door to open completely (at 90 degrees to the uprights).
I'm dislexic, both hands make an L, lol!
Luv the drop drawer! 😀
I've always thought this was a great idea... except for air flow. I've never lived with this kind of drawer before so I'm curious - Does the false front drawer allow for sponges to dry? Does it get gungy quickly?
Thanks in advance :)
When I was redoing my kitchen (it was after Karen did hers) of course I had to install the tip out tray as well. It is not, in fact, fully enclosed. What I mean is that when I open the bottom door of my sink cabinet and I reach inside, I can put my fingers into the tip out tray. If you scroll up and look at the photo of the plastic tray you will see that the front side (where it's attached to the front panel of the sink cabinet) is higher. So the tray is actually "open" all the time.
I don't bother putting my sponge in there, I use it to store neatly folded plastic bags (from a grocery store) that I use to line my garbage bin with.
Seeing the article reminded me all the swearing I did while installing this little gizmo. Unless one is as tiny and as limber as Karen (I am NOT) it's as easy to fold yourself into a little ball and do the installing from the inside of the sink cabinet. But a copious amount of swearing does help.
Yes they do get grungy. I design kitchens and actually don't advise using this type of storage. There are plenty of newer & great under sink storage inserts BUT if you already have this dummy panel with shorter doors on your sink cabinet, why not make use of this if it will be practical for you.
We've always done this in both the kitchen and the bathrooms. My parents had them in their 1961-built home. Why oh why aren't they standard?? It's 2020, for crying out loud. Ohhhhhhh...
By the way, I do love Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup. 😶 And I'm a picky eater.
my sink already has a tip out front, and i'm so busy doing other stuff that i shouldn't take time to read about stuff i don't NEED to do. BUT keeping my life in balance includes making time for fun, and you've given me my quote for the day with this: "bonk them on the head to induce a little harmless short term memory loss, so you can show them all over again"
Hi, long time follower. Unrelated to your cute tip out tray, I wanted to thank you for the “how to” on sweet potatoes, it worked perfectly and the resulting sweet potatoes are so adorable (early times.) I had tried before so your method was exactly right. Now for some sweet potato recipes? Thanks to you and Philip!
HI Terry! That's great. I still have a couple of pots to dig up but I have a bunch curing by the heat register right now. :) ~ karen!
I saw this and thought--what a great idea!! Then looked at my cabinet and the doors go all the way up to the countertop. pffft!!
Don't hate me; there are sooo many things worse than canned cream of mushroom soup.
(btw...Steve Jobs was an egotistical putz.)
My cupboards go all the way to the top too. But that didn't stop me. Instead, I found a Dollarama plastic basket on the sturdier side. It has that fake wicker looking weave in the plastic with small holes. You still see them all the time there. I took two short screws and some wide washers with small holes and just screwed the basket to my cupboard door, making sure to clear the framing and the sink. Much classier than the hook over the cabinet thingies they make, and invisible from the outside. I use it for collecting the dirty microfibre cloths that I have in place of paper towels. I don't want them in my clothing laundry baskets prior to wash day. Ick. Not good for heavy items, but it would certainly do scrubbies and sponges.
Hi! Thanks for the informative instructions…I noticed, on other sites, that the hinges are affixed flush to the bottom of the opening…didn’t make sense to me. So. Followed your instructions and all is great. Although it IS a pain in the arse to get behind to set the screws. Pretty handy myself and really enjoy modernising my 40 year old house…again, thank you.
Hi Penelope! Glad I could help. It's definitely a job that shows you exactly how bendy (or not bendy) you are, lol. ~ karen!
A quite clever and practical DIY for those seeking to keep their cleaning tools out of sight. Thanks for sharing the idea. Makes me wish I had someone in my life who cared about such things. The primitive single, unattached, retired guy in me lives more akin to your basic hermit bear in a cave........ albeit with window A/C, a 47" flatscreen Smart TV, high speed internet and a powered recliner - lol
A power recliner! I bet it's more comfortable than a bed! I'm a tiny bit jealous. ~ karen!
I've had it under a year, but it has provided some of my best TV watching, AKA sound sleep. Thank the various gods for a DVR with rewind. lol
What a great idea! I need this in my life! I have to say though that I'm one of "those" that stores things neatly away under there. So, nothing scary there unless you count my OCD!
Thanks as always for the roundhouse and throaty devil sound visual. My gosh you make me laugh and hubby appreciates it at 6 AM!😁
Have a wonderful day all😎
Ha! I'm not sure I'd like anyone laughing me awake at 6 a.m. either, so I'm with your husband on that one, lol. ~ karen!
Ran out and bought one today for MacGuyver to install right after the counter people called to say they’d be installing my new countertops next Thursday (insert happy dance). This will be a much easier install for him with an open top! I eliminated the built in soap dispenser. I don’t want any of that stuff sitting on my new counters.
In my last house the little genius made it a hidden spice shelf. I was sitting on a bucket taking a break from cleaning when I moved in and spotted the hinges. It was an “I’ll be damned” moment for sure! All her spices were there too. I loved that shelf!
Karen. Does the pig-on-a-pig have a purpose other than to look interesting?
That is its sole purpose. :) ~ karen!