One of the secrets to a neat and organized kitchen is to plan ‘work zones.’ These zones are designed around the natural flow of activity, maximizing storage units and making sure that everything is where you need them, where you need them.
Creating kitchen work zones can save a lot of time (you don’t have to cross the kitchen to get a knife on the opposite end of the room) and also helps you create a sensible storage system that’s easier to maintain. Clutter can be an indication that your storage system is not working for you—it’s neat but inconvenient, so when you work you make a mess. Kitchen zones are ‘spaces that work’ so they’re neat and also very, very convenient.
One of the biggest zones in the kitchen is for food preparation. You need the longest uninterrupted counter space, hopefully between the sink and the refrigerator and the sink and the oven. Locating your food preparation zone here means that you have easy access to water, food and cooking sources. You may also want to keep recipes and cookbooks here, neatly stacked in a bookshelf.
The daily cooking zone should be near the oven and stove top. If your oven and stove are in different parts of the kitchen, keep the cookware the stove and the bakeware near the oven. Depending on your cooking style, keep the most frequently used items within hand’s reach. For example, if you usually use the hand blender to make sauces or whip up dressings, don’t store it at the back of the bakeware (which you rarely use anyway).
The daily dishes zone keeps the dishes and flatware storage near the sink, while the food serving zone keeps napkins, sugar bowls, salt and pepper and seasonings, etc. near the dining area.
You also need a food storage zone or pantry where you keep ingredients. Segregate the items you tend to use everyday (like canned tomatoes or oil) with those that you know will be used sporadically (like cake flour).
Kitchens are often used for doing ‘messy art’ with the kids. You can also create an arts and crafts zone where you can keep toys, art materials, aprons, etc.
Photo from femaleways.com