One of the biggest benefits of organizing is that it saves you time. Another is that it saves you money. Often, being organized saves you both at once, as in the case of being prepared when you are anticipating home repairs.

Let’s say your bathroom sink is clogged and the plumber is en route. The cupboard under the bathroom sink is often one of the least organized areas of the home. I’m not sure what it is about sinks, but actually any cupboard under a sink is usually problematic. It’s partly the pipes and partly the number and variety of objects such cupboards are expected to host.

Sinks in feng shui, the ancient Chinese art of creating good energy flow in a building, can also be bugaboos. In the case of feng shui, it’s the water element with all its potential leaks and clogs that can cause energy, or chi, flow problems, ultimately affecting your cash, health or relationships. Under sink cabinets also tend to be deep and dark, and human nature is to not venture too far and too long in such places, thus they get ignored, sometimes to the point they become dingier, moldier and even less attractive.

If you want to save time and money with a plumber, remove everything from under the sink and set it out of their way before they arrive. Make sure the work area is as clean as possible. In my experience, tradespeople tend to work better (don’t we all) in a clean, clear space.

If you want to save yourself a lot of time and angst, have your cupboard clean and organized before a plumber is needed. It makes prepping for them a snap. Get brave and shine a light in there. You may want to go ahead and install a stick-on battery operated light on the wall if it’s a particularly dark cupboard.

Remove everything and scrub out the cupboard if necessary. Measure to fit and put some drawer liner down (non-sticky type). Then sort and purge through everything that was in the cupboard. There’s usually lots of easy outs: expired meds, cleaning supplies you never use, old ankle braces you don’t need, hair products that never worked, nail polishes that have separated, etc.

Put like with like. All hair stuff together, all first aid items, all body lotions, all sunscreens, etc. Containerize these in manageable sizes, no bigger than a shoe box for each category. If it overflows and you can’t purge the category further, go to a second shoe box size container rather than a larger container (unless the items are very bulky, like bags of Epsom salts or bottles of cleaning supplies).

Label the containers if you are going to put lids on them and stack them and neatly put everything back into the cupboard. When you need to prepare for the plumber, it is very easy to move out containerized items and lift out the liner to give the area a quick wipe. Voila! You save time, money, and in the case of what’s usually stored in a bathroom sink cupboard, probably some light embarrassment.

Use the same methodology to prepare for any other repairs. If you’re taking your car in for maintenance, make sure the contents are organized and easy to remove before you turn over the keys. In the case of a car, sturdy bags with handles work better than box-type containers for moving things in and out.

If an electrician is coming over, clear the path to the electrical box and for extra credit, have the switches labeled as to what they control so that you don’t have to yell from across the house, “Is it off now?” You get the idea.

See your repair from the perspective of the repairman and try to anticipate what would make the job more pleasant, go more quickly, and would be generally helpful for the best possible outcome.