The tasks we perform in a kitchen fall into specific categories:
- food storage
Since we can so easily identify specific tasks, why not divide kitchen equipment and gadgets by task and store them in site-specific areas? Here are the guidelines you need for creating a kitchen that gives you access to all the tools you need exactly when and where you need them:
- In one area, as close as possible to the sink, place all of the food preparation items you need. This includes tools such as a food processor, your favorite bowl and a salad spinner.
- Near the stove, store your pots and pans. I like to keep pots and their lids together.
- Baking has evolved into a special occasion for me, so I don't mind if these items are not right next to the sink. If you bake every day, you may want your baking pans, mixing bowls and measuring cups nearer the sink. In either event, be sure all your baking supplies stay together.
- The dishes, glasses, silverware, napkins and placemats are organized so that the actual task of setting the table will be speedy and enjoyable. In other words, they too are in one established area. We know the first three have traditional places to occupy. Napkins and placements should be in a drawer closest to the table or counter where you will be dining. You want to plot your command stations in a logical flow of energy consumption. If the place mats, as an example, are stored at the opposite end of the kitchen from the eating area, you are wasting steps. Wasted steps equal wasted time. Direct your life force, don't squander it.
- Don't forget to establish a home for containers and other food storage items. What can be more wasteful than walking in circles looking for foil in one area and those infamous plastic storage containers in another? Avoid setting up the kitchen in such a way that you constantly mutter under your breath, "I can never find anything in this kitchen!"
- Store small tools in drawers in related clusters. You don't want to be confronted by a rolling pin, a knife sharpener and a tea ball in the same place. If you are blessed with enough drawers, keep baking items together, cooking utensils in another and specialty items such as that pizza cutter in a third.
- Lots of cooks like a container on the counter that houses their most frequently used tools. If you have the counter space, use an attractive container. Less frequently used tools can happily reside in the drawer.
- Don't forget to use drawer liners to prevent slipping and sliding. In addition, you may want to use small containers in varying sizes to house your tools. We wouldn't want to carefully divide everything and then discover a chaotic mess was forming in the drawer.
- Every kitchen has one drawer I have dubbed "the macho drawer." Here you will find a screwdriver, perhaps a small hammer, some picture hooks or nails. There are wonderful multisectioned plastic containers aimed at tidying this drawer and its tiny treasures. Keep the macho supplies to a minimum, and store them low to the ground in one of the deep bottom drawers. If you have room for a small toolbox in the pantry, you might free this drawer completely.