Friday, July 1, 2011

Planning Kitchen Zones

I was working this past week with a client who had just moved. It was a pleasure to be able to set up kitchen zones right from the beginning. One of the secrets to a neat and organized kitchen is to utilize zones. If your zones are working, you should not have a lot of kitchen clutter.

I look at 6 zones in the kitchen.

Food Preparation Zone - This is usually the largest zone in the kitchen. It is either between the sink and refrigerator or the sink and the oven. This is where you would have your cutting boards, knives, mixing bowls, spices, food wraps, mixers, blenders, and measuring cups/spoons.

Cooking Zone - This is near the oven and stove-top. This is where you would have pots, pans, cooking utensils, pot holders, bake ware, recipes, and cookbooks. Many people now get most of their recipe's on line and can let go of a lot of their cookbooks. However, they may have some family favorites they just want to hold on to. In this small efficient kitchen, we determined that her cookbooks would go a step or two away into the adjoining laundry room.

Daily Dishes Zone - This is close to the sink/dishwasher. You would have your daily dishes, bowls, mugs, glasses and flatware here. Flexibility is key. My client's sink/dishwasher were on an island that overlooked the living room and there were no overhead cabinets. She just turned around and used the cabinet on the other wall for her daily dishes and her special occasion dishes were stored in a cabinet above her refrigerator.

Food Serving Zone - This is near where you eat. You would have your placemats, napkins, trivets, and serving pieces near this zone. A nearby pantry could store these items. Some families who eat in an adjoining room store these items in that room.

Food Storage Zone - This would be the refrigerator and pantry. If you do not have a pantry, you would use a cabinet.

Cleaning Zone - This is usually under the sink. This is where you would store household cleaners, detergents, rubbish bags, sponges, and towels.

The real key is to be somewhat flexible with these zones depending on your kitchen layout and space. If clutter starts to accumulate in your kitchen, it is very likely your zones are not well laid out, so take some time and reevaluate. Every item should be close at hand for each type of task so it is easy to reach and easy to return to its home.



Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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