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Oct 232012
 

Intelligent Classification of Kitchen Spaces

Not every kitchen needs to look alike! A kitchen is a room for food preparation but we may use our kitchens in different ways.  Some of us may cook a five-course dinner from scratch, others may heat up already-prepared food from the supermarket, and yet others may simply open the take-out containers from the pizza shop. Most of us have probably done each of the above at one point or another.

One’s kitchen needs to suit her needs in order to be effective and efficient. So start by figuring out what it is that you do in your kitchen. Are you taking care of the occasional bill in there? Are you slaving away over the stove for hours a day? Do you predominantly eat out in restaurants and use your refrigerator to store snacks & beverages? There are no wrong answers, but in order to make your kitchen work for you, you need to make your kitchen cater to your particular needs.

The first step in finding some order in our kitchen will be to clear our countertops of all items. Remove things like the blender, CD player, coffee maker, food processor, hand soap, oils/vinegars, recipe card file, mail, telephone, and anything else on there. Now think about how often you use these items that sit on perhaps the most useful surface in your kitchen – your countertops. Are you a daily smoothie drinker? Do you make coffee every day? Do you actually listen to CDs while you are in your kitchen? What about the food processor – does it need to sit on the counter?

If you do not use an item at least FOUR times a week, find a place in a cabinet for it – it doesn’t deserve a space on the countertop. The countertops are best left minimalist! It makes it easier to cut fruits/vegetables and perform various food prep tasks, when we have more room on the countertops. Do not crowd your countertops with stuff you do not use very often. All the items that are used on an infrequent basis need to be hidden behind cabinet doors. You may leave the rest of the items – stuff you use daily or every other day – on the counters. Before you return these items to the countertops, make sure to wipe them down first. Now let’s move on to the organization of the kitchen as a whole.

We must evaluate the kitchen in terms of work zones – or spaces, in which very specific food-related tasks are completed. Here are the most common work zones:

  • Preparation
  • Cooking/baking
  • Beverages
  • Food storage/pantry
  • Tableware
  • Cleanup

To view the rest of the posts in the Home Organization Series, please click here.

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