Organizing, Redesign & Staging

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Today I moved some things around (again) in the kitchen in my ongoing quest to have things "just the right way". And, no, that's not my kitchen in the pic (I wish!!). With that in mind, here's a review of Kitchen Organizing 101. In terms of the layout and where to store things:

  • In an ideal and efficient kitchen plan, the 3 most heavily used work areas should be laid out so that the lines that connect them form a triangle. If you find yourself crossing back and forth certain spots, examine relocating them closer together.

  • Set up zones to help things stay where they belong, such as a baking zone, cooking and spice zone, etc. Keeping all the "like" items together saves a lot of steps looking for things in the kitchen. You could have a baking area where you keep your flour, sugar, mixer and bowls, and utensils specific to baking.

  • Put things near to where they are used. Cups, glasses, dishes, cutlery should be ideally located in the drawers, cupboards closest to the dishwasher. Pots and pans beside the stove. Gadgets in the drawers right below the counter where prep work is done.

  • Group according to the 5 basic kitchen activities: cleaning (sink, dishwasher, trashcan, soap, rags, sponges, etc.), cooking (stove, pots, pans, microwave, toaster, etc.), food prep (countertop, mixing bowls, blender, measuring cups, etc.), food storage (refrigerator, Tupperware, canned foods, etc.), serving (dishes, linens, candles, flatware, glasses, etc.)

To better organize your kitchen:

  • Get rid of or move small kitchen appliances you rarely use; keep in LT storage with platters, holiday serving dishes, vases, etc.

  • Install under-the-counter items such as clock, TV, radio, can opener, a paper towel rack, spice rack, stemware rack, coffee maker

  • Under the sink, put hanging wire baskets/holders on the backs of cabinet doors to hold cleaning stuff, wrap, etc.

  • For deep cabinets, buy the slide-out baskets or shelves that come on tracks. The tracks can be mounted to the shelf with screws, and the basket slides in and out

  • Consider buying cabinet pullouts, tiered racks, specialty holders, flatware trays, drawer organizers and other kitchen organizers to help maximize space.

  • Use rectangular storage containers instead of round ones for using space efficiently.

  • Use clear plastic baskets in the freezer to hold like items such as chicken, veggies, etc., and in cabinets to keep small packets (gravy, Jell-O, sauces) together.

  • Use lazy Susan’s/turntables to hold things such as oils, vinegars, and other cooking ingredients, as well as spices, vitamins or medications.

  • Get a magnetic sorter box to hang on the side of the fridge for coupons, takeout menus, a notepad and pen, and other papers that tend to accumulate on the countertops.