Thursday, October 6, 2011

Organizing the Kitchen Zone

If you are following the zone plan, October is a great month to organize your kitchen for a couple of reasons. First, you will soon be in that kitchen a lot preparing foods for the holidays. How much easier this will be if everything is organized and at your fingertips. Secondly, this is a time for many canned food drives so while you are in there cleaning out your pantry, find foods that you have bought and not used (but have not expired) and pass them on to a charity.

You will also have zones within your kitchen. There will be a cooking zone, a food preparation zone, a dishes zone, a food storage zone, and a food serving zone.

The cooking zone includes the stove, oven and microwave as well as your pots, pans, bake-ware, and cooking utensils. As yourself when organizing in this zone if your lifestyle has changed. Are you still holding on to items just because you once used them? Are you doing as much baking as you once did? Are you still using the big pots and the roaster? If the answer is "Yes, but I only use them seasonally." then store these seldom used items with the seasonal decorations and clear up space in your kitchen for day to day food preparation.

The food preparation zone includes the refrigerator as well as cutting boards, knives, mixing bowls, spices, mixers, blenders and measuring cups/spoons. As you sort like items together, continue to get rid of multiples and items you are no longer using. When organizing your refrigerator, set up zones there as well. Have a diary zone, a snack zone, a leftover zone, a fresh produce zone or whatever fits your life style. Having zones in your fridge helps you save money, time, and make the best use of your space.

Your dishes zone will include your sink and dishwasher as well as your dishes, bowls, mugs, glasses and flatware. Keep the items you use most frequently on the easiest to access shelves. Get rid of cracked, broken, or no longer used items.

Your food storage zone is the area you use as a pantry. Donate foods that have been hanging around and not used. Toss out expired items. Group your foods into categories the same as a store might. Have all soups together, pasta together, and group vegetables with vegetables, and fruit with fruit. This helps you see what you have and keeps you from losing items on the back of the shelf.

Your food serving zone may be partly in a dining area as it includes placemats, napkins, trivets, and large serving pieces. As you organize these items give away or toss unwanted or unused pieces.

Now your kitchen should feel less crowded and you will enjoy using it to prepare your holiday treats.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

No comments: