10 Jan

It’s (hide and seek) Trash Day!

Black & Decker jigsaw

We have been up to our ears in germs around these parts of late. What with the hubs’ swine flu and Mr. Lou’s allergies to life my kitchen counter looks like an Osco pharmacy. (We don’t even have Osco’s in these parts, I’m paying homage to my Chicagoland roots – holla!) I’m certain we’ve gone through 1,000 tissues and paper towels in the last week alone. So of course the first task to knock off this year’s Domestic Bucket List had to be the under cabinet trash can.


I spent a long time looking for a chocolate brown trashcan when we moved into this house and this was the only one I liked.

The problem is the domed top invites overfilling. I’m sure you can see the proof encrusted on the top (and trickled down the front). And the darn top never stays on. I was tired of having spaghetti sauce (and who knows what else) on my fingers every time I pitched something and the lid fell off to the floor. Yep, it had to go.

I had priced out the under-the-counter trash contraptions locally and online and holy cow are they expensive! I perused some DIY and old school carpentry sites (shout out to Bob Villa) trying to figure out how to fabricate a slide-out option myself. I got lucky over the summer when I popped in on my old next door neighbor’s garage sale. Ok, so it was more of a slam-on-the-brakes-while-engaging-in-drive-by-rummaging (don’t those people irritate you? Just park already!) operation that led me to this score:

Can you see the price? Ten. Dollars. For real.

So I ponied up the cash and grinning ear to ear took my newest prized possession home where it sat until today to be installed.

$10 trash can

Yes, I endured another 6 months of saucy, germy fingers out of sheer laziness.

Part of the reason I waited so long was because the cabinet I wanted to use (between the fridge and the dishwasher – directly below my fancy espresso machine) had a shelf that needed to be removed.

cleared cabinet

I wasn’t sure how to do it at first because it seemed built-in to the cabinet. I chatted up the guys in the kitchen department at Menard’s and they had a display for the crazy expensive gadgets in a cabinet identical to mine. So, I squatted down and stuck my head in there and found they had just notched out the shelf to fit the trash can. Rocket science apparently.

So, I had to get a new jigsaw.

Black & Decker jigsaw

I didn’t like the notched out look and just removed the entire shelf. I made 3 straight cuts with the jig and then smacked the shelf with my hammer. It only took a few swings for the shelf to come right out.

smack hammer

Turns out, it wasn’t really built-in. See the grooves that it was laying in?

open cabinet

I pitched the broken pieces into the old trash can (ironic I know) and then installed the base of the metal sliding unit. That went in with 4 wood screws. Because the cabinets are fabricated of MDF (medium density fiberboard) I did pre-drill my holes to prevent splitting and chipping. Sometimes just going straight into faux wood with a screw mucks the whole thing up. Pre-drill to be safe.

slider install

At this point, I could have attached the top, loaded a bag into the can and plopped it right in but part of the goal was to avoid dirty fingers. Since the type of slide I had was too narrow to justify re-engineering (like this) I knew I was going to have to manually open the cabinet door, reach in and pull the can out. But I had no intention of grabbing the garbage can itself so I had to get creative. And I had an idea…

Last week I found this awesome Ikea plant shelf crying all alone sitting on top of a trash pile outside a local gym. I figured it would come in handy for something and brought it home. One of the rungs was broken (probably the reason it was discarded) and was almost exactly the size I needed.

trashed plant stand

With some scrap wood, I boxed out a frame and installed it to the front of the metal slider. Then I drilled a hole for a handle (a random drawer pull I had on hand) and it was done.

pull out frame

Only, I hated it.

That gaping hole showing the white plastic can was hideous. I put on my thinking cap and came up with a very scientific solution.

Cardboard. But not just any cardboard. Wallpaper covered cardboard.

under cabinet trash can

Genius right? I know.

The best part is that *if* anyone happens to slime it up, it’s completely washable. 100% germ-free for. the. win.

I knew once I snapped and posted my dirty secrets there would be no turning back. Lots of other bloggers said I was ‘brave’ (read: crazy) for sharing but I am no different from the rest of you. And what do I care? I’ve got nothing to hide – except my trash can. 🙂

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. See that space to the left of the trash? (scroll back up, I’ll wait…) I’ve got big plans for that little spot. (Check out the updated reveal here!)

What kind of trash can do you use? Do you love it? Would you prefer your trash out of sight & under the cabinet? Am I going to wind up hating this pull out version too?

22 thoughts on “It’s (hide and seek) Trash Day!

  1. Hey Jenny, I've seen those laundry basket cabinets all over Pinterest. I'm sure someone has put plans together for you already (have you checked out Ana White's blog?) I was thinking of doing something similar in my closet. Let me know if you get to yours before I get to it and tell me how it turned out! 🙂

  2. I love it DEE!!!! We have a large stainless trash can because we produce way more trash than reasonable. (Even while recycling and composting, we have at least a bag each day to go out — dang diapers!) Anyway – I would LOVE to be able to hide my trash under a cabinet and your solution is perfect (if I didn't need like FOUR of them :/) Love-love-love the wallpaper spicing things up 🙂

    • Ok so the *only* gripe I have about the stashed trash is that it's not technically covered. Sure it's in the cabinet but the other day I pitched something stinky & it came back to haunt me every time I opened the door. Thankfully the Febreeze is hanging right next door so a spritz tamed the stink. 🙂 And the best part is the wallpaper didn't get soaked! SCORE!

  3. I have T.H.E. best garbage can ever! It's in a moveable island that my man designed for me (his own idea). We often have a *homemade Christmas* and this was a gift for me and I love it! It has a pull-out that on one side that holds one of those Rubbermaid wrapping paper containers that was revised to hold a black garbage bag (no point fooling with those little bags, right). Wish I could show you a pic.

  4. I'm not a blogger, just a retired, broke old gal, who has kind of lost my way. I don't have the space to do much of anything, but love to get ideas from blogs like yours. Enjoyed your inventiveness (is that a word) with the garbage can.. no room but liked it. Look forward to more of your posts. Have a great day.


    • Hey Arlene, thanks for dropping in! I'd love to know what kind of space you're in and help you with any small space solutions you may need. Shoot me a message or drop a line right here & let me know. I'm right there with you – 'retired', broke & wandering. Glad you're around for the journey. 🙂

  5. I really like your hidden trash. I have a very small kitchen but if it were larger, I would definitely use your idea for my home. I used to have a wicker hamper that I mod podged fabric designs on to match my kitchen and I loved that but I had to get rid of it ~ it started to break apart ~ and now I have a stainless steel one…nice but I would definitely prefer hidden!

  6. I am really impressed!! I love that you came by and linked up this very cool DIY home project!!! I have a big trash can (it's still constantly full). Thanks so much and I hope you can come by every week! I have to go through your blog and see what else you've done that I might possibly be able to do. Best wishes for a happy weekend. Linda

  7. Okay so my trashcan hangs out at the edge of our kitchen no problem. The problem is that I'm a recycle fanatic and no container to put the recyclables in. It's so bad my boyfriend even told me I need to find a container or something. I'm trying to find a spot in my future renovations to make it all work but I'm stuck now with finding an expensive solution or getting a junky tub. Love your choices! Lots of food for thought. Or the trash.

    • "..or trash." – Love it! Up til now we didn't recycle (because the City doesn't make us) but I'm *trying* to convince the folks in this house that all the Pepsi I drink should do more good (for the earth) than bad (for me). So, the intent is to use the choco-can for recycles. If I stencil the word right on the lid it will magically happen. Right? Right???

It's so quiet in here - please, say something!

%d bloggers like this: