How to Organise your Kitchen

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HOW TO ORGANISE YOUR KITCHEN BY ZONES

Does your kitchen frustrate you every time you use it? Do you open cupboards and things fall out on your head? Whether it is new or an existing, if it is not properly organised, your kitchen will be an ongoing annoyance. The good news is, it is not a hard thing to fix. If you organise the space by zones, you will be cooking with fire in no time!

I first came across kitchen work zones in a Martha Stewart magazine years ago. She described a coffee work zone with coffee beans, cups, sugar, etc all in one place. Previously, I had my cups stored with the plates and bowls and was trekking back and forth across the kitchen. Having a coffee zone set up made making a coffee a snap which is exactly what one needs first thing in the morning! Click here to link through to Martha’s Bedford kitchen coffee station for inspiration! (Depending on your lifestyle and amount of space you have, additional zones could be set up for breakfast, drinks, electronics,etc.)

I love Tupperware for organisation. It is lightweight and modular and you can “Tetris” the containers around in your cupboard if needed. It works particularly well for spices, which I buy bulk and decant into tiny containers. Sealed containers also protects your food from insects and bugs; an ongoing problem in a sub-tropical climate such as Sydney.

In the middle of writing this blog post, I took another look at the zones in my own kitchen and realised they could be improved upon. There is now a dedicated drawer for baking; I even moved the baking powder and baking soda into this zone out of the spice area. Which has the knock on effect of freeing up space in the spice area for a rejig. Not to mention noticing that some items are out of date, and containers need a wipe down. Keeping on top of the kitchen organisation is never ending! At least once you have established the framework, the maintenance is not so daunting.

KITCHEN ZONES

Cooking Zone
Oven
Steamer oven
Deep fryer
Electric pressure cooker
Electric fry pan or wok
Microwave (Can also be located in the snack zone if that is its primary use)
Food prep area
Tap for filling pots
Storage: fry pans, sauce pans, pot lids, cooking utensils, salt, pepper, spices, oil, vinegar, oven mitts, fire extinguisher

Food Prep Zone
Between sink and stove, but close to fridge
Knife storage
Cutting boards
Measuring and mixing utensils
Small appliances: food processor, blender, casserole and baking dishes, cookbook storage, graters

Baking Zone
Counter space may include marble or stone slab for rolling pastry
Electric mixer
Food processor
Measuring and mixing utensils, mixing bowls
Food storage for baking ingredients; flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa etc.
Baking tools: tins, cookie cutters, rolling pins
Cake decorating equipment
Cookbook storage

Cleaning Zone
Main sink
Dishwasher
Compost and recycling bins
Storage for cleaning materials, tea towels, paper towels, garbage bags, everyday dishes, flatware (near dishwasher)

Snack Zone
Close to refrigerator, cup and dish storage
Includes microwave and toaster, coffee and tea making equipment and materials, water cooler, snack foods, microwave safe dishes and covers, snack plates

Eating Zone
Eating surface and seating: table and chairs, breakfast bar and stools, built-in nook,
Storage for dishes and cutlery and placemats

Container Storage Zone
This zone is often overlooked, then squeezed into an inaccessible spot which requires deft manoeuvring every time you want to access a container to store leftovers. Space allocated to these items, along with a spot for those pesky lids, will make it easier to dish out leftovers, make lunches, and whatever else you use containers for!

The above is just a guide to get you started. There may be some overlap between each work centre. Where you plan to put what will depend on your cooking style and needs, the size of the space, and the placement of zones. In my own kitchen, I do not have enough space to store all my appliances within the kitchen. The only appliance on display is the coffee machine; the toaster, electric pressure cooker, blender and food processor are housed in a cupboard adjacent to the kitchen for easy access. Additionally, I store my cookbooks in a bookcase next to a chair so I can research recipes and meal plan in comfort.