Organize Your Kitchen into Zones WiziHow

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organize your kitchenYou all have finished the first part of the Organize your Kitchen challenge, right? I hope you’ve sorted through all your cupboards and drawers and got rid of everything that either doesn’t belong there or you don’t use. If you haven’t done this step yet, there’s still time. Make sure to go back to “How Do You Organize The Kitchen?” (read that article here) and read & follow the directions there. Then come back here and read about how to organize your kitchen into zones.

This week I’m just going to get you started on rethinking how you organize your kitchen. You want to be as efficient as possible in here and the easiest way I’ve found is to break it up into different zones. If you read my purse organization article last week (read that article here), you know I separate my purse into zones by using different cosmetic pouches to coral like items. I organize the kitchen in much the same way, except I use different sections of cupboards and drawers to keep like items together.

Organize Your Kitchen into Zones

The easiest way to begin to organize your kitchen is to sit down and think about the type of tasks you do. Most people will have the basic zones: baking, food preparation, serving section, food zone, small appliance zone and cleaning zone. Some people might have additional zones like, homework or desk station, cookbook zone, canning or food hydration zone, or like me, a coffee/tea station. Whatever your needs are, figure it out, write it down and start thinking about where in your kitchen you will set up these zones.

The easiest way to explain how to organize your kitchen in this way is to walk you through my zones below. This is just a representation of what I do, not an exact plan for you to follow. Your needs may be different, but you’ll get the general idea.

Baking Zone

This area is to the right of my stove and has my cookie sheets, muffin and loaf pans, baking racks and the like in the bottom cupboard. Above there is a drawer with all our most used spices. Up above that is a cupboard and in there I have all items I use to bake. Things like oils, Crisco, flour, sugar, molasses, cornstarch; everything I would ordinarily use to make baked goods with. On the counter lives a canister with utensils like slotted spoons, spatulas, mixing spoons, etc. everything I would use to bake is right at my fingertips.

Food Preparation Zoneorganize your kitchen

This area is to the left of my stove, close by to the Baking Zone because I use a lot of the same items. Additionally, this part has items like cutting boards and knives, pots & pans down below, my mixing bowls, measuring cups &spoons, etc. The counter has hardly any items on it in this zone because I need most of this space for food preparation. If you’re low on space, you could totally mix the Baking & Food Preparation Zones together when you organize your kitchen because you will be using a lot of the same items for each. That’s why I keep these two areas close together; one to the right of the stove, the other to the left.

Serving Zone

This zone is obvious. I keep in here all my dishes; plates, bowls, soup cups, etc. I also keep my serving dishes here, trivets, pot holders, the silverware drawer is in the middle and on the bottom is the cupboard with my biggest serving platters and vessels. This area is also right next to the pass-through to the dining room table. I’m lucky I have a big open space with a ledge so I simply set everything up there and take it from the ledge when I swing around to the dining room. The one thing you won’t find here are the glasses. Those are in my coffee/tea zone, which I’ll get to.

Food Zone

This zone contains my tall pantry cupboard and surrounding cupboards and drawers. In this zone is all my dry food storage; canned and boxed goods, pastas, spices I don’t use often, unopened condiments, back-up flour & sugar, etc. All my food is organized in one place so I can easily see what I have. When you organize your kitchen, make sure to organize the food within this zone as well to make it that much easier to see what you have. This zone is also close by to my refrigerator.

organize your kitchenCleaning Zone

This area of course is by the sink. My cleaning supplies are kept under the sink; the dishwasher is to the right; towel & plastic food container drawers to the left. I can easily grab a container for leftover food from the left, rinse the dish in the middle and pop it into the dishwasher to the right. The fridge is next in line so I can easily put the leftover food away.

Small Appliance Zone

This zone is just what it sounds like. I have two Lazy Susans in my kitchen. One is in the food zone, for canned & bottled goods, the other is up by the stove and it is here that I keep my small appliances. My toaster lives here, the food processor, electric can opener, crock pots, etc. I keep as little as possible on my counter tops. If I don’t use it throughout the day, it doesn’t stay on the counters. This reason is two-fold. It makes your kitchen look so tidy, plus it gives you more room to work when the counter isn’t cluttered with stuff.

Coffee/Tea Zone

We are big coffee & tea drinkers here and so are most of the people that seem to visit. Because of this, I find it easiest to keep everything we use to drink the stuff in one area. This zone is also to the right of my sink, above the dishwasher. On the counter I do keep the coffee pot, sugar bowl and spoon rest, and now my Keurig and K-cup carrousel, yeah!!!  Up above in the cupboard are all the coffee cups on the first shelf, the second shelf has the glasses and the top two have extra coffee, filters, K-cups, tea bags, etc. I keep the drinking glasses in this area because it’s right by the refrigerator. Where do most beverages come from? That’s right, the fridge. So that’s why they comingle with the coffee stuff.

As you can see, I have a lot of zones, but you can do what you want, based on your needs and your space. The most important thing is to organize your kitchen in such a way as to easily find what you need for the task at hand, without having to rummage through a bunch of stuff you won’t be using for that particular job. Take this week to start mapping out your kitchen zones and next time we’ll organize your kitchen into these areas. Please feel free to leave a comment with the zones you’ve come up with. I love gathering new ideas.

Until next time, Organize Happy!

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