No matter whether you’re a gourmet cook or make dinner out of a box, the ideal kitchen organization is the same for all; it’s based on traffic flow. Everything that happens in the kitchen happens in one of three specific work areas: a food preparation area, the area where you cook and serve the food, and the cleanup area around the sink.
The things you need for cooking should be stored near the stove. The major items coming out of a dishwasher – dishes and tableware – should be stored close to the sink. Get the idea? Don’t kill yourself to get everything in its “right” place. You may have the perfect spot for your pots and pans near the stove, but that giant soup pot just isn’t going to fit there. Live with the fact that some things are going to need a special place.
How To Make The Most Of Your Kitchen
To begin, take every item out of the kitchen. Get rid of things you have seldom, if ever, used or that you honestly have little chance of ever using. In the pantry and refrigerator, this means dumping containers with miniscule contents, chucking or giving away impulse buys you will never eat, and trashing stuff that is outdated. From there:
- Throw away broken or chipped items and objects that don’t have all their parts, like plastic lids that have lost their plastic containers.
- The ideal place for pots and pans is on an overhead pot rack you can build and install near the stove. Utensils for stirring, flipping and scraping can go in a drawer next to the stove or into the one built into the stove. Bowls, mixers, measuring cups/spoons, knives, and other food preparation items need to be grouped together near your countertop and cutting boards.
- Store pot lids in shallow bins added to the backs of cabinet doors.
- Hang some cooking utensils inside a cabinet door on hooks that attach with adhesive.
- Seldom-used items go on top shelves or in awkward corners of cabinets.
- Some say you should expand kitchen space by installing another shelf under the sink. This is not a brilliant idea. It assumes there will never be a problem with plumbing and that you or a plumber will never need to access the valves or pipes under the sink.
- Place plastic containers, with lids on, in a cabinet. Keep as few as possible to discourage keeping leftovers too long.
- Purchase and use only see-through plastic or glass storage containers. While recycling is commendable, using old soft margarine containers means you can’t see what’s inside them; food gets lost and spoils.
- Post a note on the fridge for every container of leftovers you put inside.
- Reduce the number of objects stored permanently on the countertop. The counter needs frequent cleaning, and it is your primary workspace. However, do store kitchen knives on the counter, placed in a block made for that purpose.
- If you do things that generate paper in the kitchen-mail, homework, bill paying, etc. – either do it someplace else or create in the kitchen a tidy place to put it and a system for clearing it out regularly.
- Regardless of where you use herbs and spices, keep them in a place where they will stay cool and dry.
- Lazy Susans provide easy access to items in corner spaces.