Some days, I feel like my kitchen is one big junk drawer.
Three reasons that I need some storage help:
• I’m short, so I use the top part of my upper cabinets only for storing specialty serving dishes (gravy boat etc.) that get used a couple of times a year… which probably means I don’t really need a gravy boat after all.
• I’m sure there is a better way to store my bakeware, too, but that angled corner lower cabinet has so much room for random stacking! Never mind that I’m always cussing when I try to actually find anything in there, because I have to take everything out to see the inventory.
• Don’t get me started on the cleaning supplies under the sink.
Thankfully, there are people out there in Design/Build Land who think about this stuff and are willing to help The Great Unorganized!
According to Steven Randel at Houzz.com, there are three zones to consider: The Refrigerator Center, The Sink Center, and The Range Center.
Depending on what you’re doing in the kitchen, items related to the task should be stored around one of these three areas.
Refrigerator – Nearest to where you are receiving and/or prepping food.
a. A countertop next to or across from the fridge – Helpful for a number of reasons: setting down groceries when you come in from the store, retrieving things from the fridge or freezer, and food prep.
b. Staples storage (pantry or shelving) – Canned goods, spices, boxed foods, and other basic ingredients are more convenient to get to when you are prepping.
c. Small appliances and utensils – A mixer, food processor, juicer, toaster, etc. can all fit neatly away if you have deep shelving or an appliance garage at the countertop level. Utensils like measuring cups, mixer accessories, various sizes of bowls, and graters should also live near the garage or in shelving above where those appliances are stored.
d. Cookbooks – If you have room for a narrow upper cabinet, with just a couple of shelves, having your prep instructions close at hand is always nice.
Sink – Ideally, between the Refrigerator and Range. Otherwise, the sink should definitely be in the center of the kitchen because it gets the most traffic.
a. Cleared countertop space – Dedicate some space for those dirty dishes. Having trash and recycling containers near the sink makes for faster cleanup too.
b. Everyday tableware – Dishes, drinking glasses, cups/mugs, and silverware should have dedicated space closest to the sink for easy dishwasher emptying.
c. Clean up – Since the sink is also central to the cleaning stage of cooking, it makes sense to have dishtowels, rags, cleaning supplies, and related items somewhere near the sink.
d. A cut above – Dedicated knife storage, along with cutting boards and scrapers, should be close to the sink too, since all that chopping/slicing/julienne-ing can make such a mess.
Range – Where the magic happens.
a. Counter space once again is key – Particularly any kind that is heat-resistant.
b. Drawers for accessories – Potholders, hot pads/trivets, tongs, and other items for handling hot cookware will need to have their own space.
c. Serve it up – Platters and other serving dishes placed near the range make it easier to serve hot food while it’s still hot.
d. Ovenware vs. pots and pans – Keep like things together in common areas for easy reach. Warming trays, cookie sheets, broiler pans etc. can go in taller cabinets made for them, while pots and pans can fit in drawers.
e. Another appliance garage? – Waffle irons, electric grills, kettles, etc. make sense to store near the range as well.
f. Spicy! – Having all the good flavors in your food means having all the spices and seasonings right at hand when you’re cooking. There are quite a few options now in cabinetry for spice storage, so ask a designer for some ideas.
g. Drawer organizers – “Where’s the spatula?” is always the cry at our house, so having a dedicated drawer with enough space for larger utensils – oh, the blessed potato masher! – would be a treat.
Of course, you may need more than three zones to work in. Maybe you have a little one who likes to be your sous chef and needs a little space to work. Or like at our house, the kitchen table has a lot of duties, as the homework station/work-at-home table/craft table/mail station… maybe a separate surface for at least some of those activities could help with organization.
Whatever way you use your kitchen, these three zones are a place to start in getting your kitchen arranged the way your family uses the space, and what accouterments you need near you to get it all done.
Call today for an appointment with one of our designers – you could have kitchen storage nirvana sooner than you think! 734-669-4000 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.