The water bottle assembly and storage system

Some ideas I manage to conjure up myself…but others are best borrowed.  I was at a friends house for a party a number of weeks ago and noticed that they had dedicated a full kitchen cabinet for water bottles.  It was quite logical when you considered it.  The bottles otherwise would stack up on the counter or just float around the house.

So I borrowed from their idea, refined it a bit – and then implemented it myself.  Behold – the water bottle cabinet:


Now this is within my normal kitchen cabinets, it’s just that I’ve cleared out the random dishes/glasses that were on this one shelf, and then stacked all the water bottles in it.  Most of the dishes that were occupying this space and voted off the island were used sparingly – such as creme brulee & soufflé ramekins and tea stuff.  As far as implementation of the bottles, the real key here is stacking them like wine bottles, otherwise it doesn’t seem to work as well.  It also makes it easier to remove a specific bottle, compared to if they were vertical.

Now the system approach to utilization of said liquid container is also important.  Water bottles go into service directly from the cabinet via the sink (for filling with water or other liquid) to the transportation device (aka: bike, my hand for running, or gym bag for swim).  They are then consumed that day (or liquid tossed).

Once completed they go right into the sink and eventually the dishwasher.  No sitting around for days on the bike.  No sitting for weeks on the floor near the bike.  No lounging around in the gym or transition bag – just straight off the assembly line and into the cleaning station. This way I mentally know there are always ‘fresh’ water bottles since I can just look up in the cabinet and see the holy land for water bottles.   Whereas before I might ‘save’ a partially used water bottle for a day…or week or so…in hopes of finishing it off.  Of course, as we all know, that results in stinky bottles (which then require bleach).

And…if the whole system fails, I can just fall back to Hammer Gel Martinis, given the martini glasses are the shelf above.


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  1. i have a water bottle cabinet, but the water bottles are stacked perpendicular than you in your photo and i don’t think it’s as good…

  2. (to clarify, i think your method uses the space better than mine)

  3. Lesser

    My biggest problem is with the cleaning method following water bottle use. When I get home I am too tired and lazy to put said water bottle in the sink or dishwasher. When I take a look inside the water bottle, I tend to find nasty things one should never see clinging to the bottle. What is it about sports drinks that creates such nasty bacteria so quickly?

    • Soren Cicchini

      Sugar. Bacteria needs energy to reproduce.

    • Student Of Life

      Pro tip I learned from my time in the Marines (and further proven by my degree in Biochemistry) –

      If you’re too lazy to clean out your water bottle immediately after a workout – put it in the fridge until you can. Bacteria don’t like cold climate, so it’ll inhibit their growth. I’ve found that if I do this immediately after my run or bike ride, I can shower, clean my bike or other gear and my water bottle won’t be a petri dish. But Soren is right. The combination of warm water, moist air from condensation in the bottle, and the sugars in protein or fitness drinks is ideal climate for growing bacteria.

  4. this post musta been inspired after my pic in the “hump day haiku.”

    aha!!! i see now grasshopper. i must stack them horizontally. then there will be room for all the ones that aren’t fitting in my cabinet right now!!!

    you have a dishwasher?? LUCKY DUCK!!!

    and the lack of martini glasses is just sad. sad how triathlon just overpowers our previous drinking life…

  5. I like the way you have thrown a martini glass into the mix!

    It that pre or post exercise nutrition?

  6. Nat

    I have a water bottle cabinet too but mine is not organized as nice as yours. I think I’m going to have to do some switching around.

  7. This adds another chapter to your structured organized training plan.

  8. My wife would KILL me!!!!!

  9. I wish had that much energy to clean the water bottles as soon as I got off the bike. Mine lay in sink for hours and sometimes days… but I guess thats the good thing about my own water bottle cabinet… you can’t have too many of them!

  10. yeah, my water bottle cabinet is a big mess. it all falls out when i open the door– definitely doesn’t lead to frustration when i’m getting ready for a 5am workout…

  11. they are like socks….you find them everywhere in the house…
    i just rinse it with water..
    i put them above the fridge..every once in awhile it like in a comedy…open cabinet, and 5 fall out

  12. What goes into a Hammer Gel martini?

    And you may be able to autoclave a Nalgene bottle, but even that will not remove the growth resulting from a protein shake.

  13. creme brulee ramekins?? non-essential??? What time is the party?!

    You know what’s really funny? I only own ONE!

  14. AlanT

    I use sterilising tablets that are used for sterilising baby’s bottles when my bottles get skanky. Or when they are too bad I throw them away, after all they are less than $5 and Elite bottles are biodegradable.

  15. Dave Weber

    Seems like a lot if bottles I collect them two but probally should just toss out all but a few.