Q: I just moved into brand new house with a really beautiful kitchen, but I don't have a clue as to where to start, expecally a double lazy susan in the bottom cabinets. Should I put food, pans, baking stuff...I honestly don't know what is best and most desirable. Thus far I've placed all my dishes and glasses close to the kitchen table/sink/washer and now I am trying to decide about the other. I am so tired of making decisions please help!
Tip #1: I have been married 15 years and have 5 kids. We just recently moved into a new home also. I just unpacked as quickly as possible and did it without much thought. I started living and cooking and realized that as I was cooking I found certain supplies needed to be moved for easier access. I then moved them.
Until you USE the space for a while you may NOT have a clue where to put stuff. Just try a few simple ideas and if these don't work for your particular style of kitchen living then MOVE stuff to where it IS easier!
1. I like pots and pans, measuring cups and baking utensils on either side of my stove.
2. I put spices near the stove or preparation area.
3. I put glasses, cups and mugs near the refrigerator. Also, put a coffee pot or tea maker near the mugs.
4. I like my pantry full of food, not toiletries or paper products. I put paper plates, etc. in WITH the plates. High cabinet closest to the stove for easy plating of food.
5. I like my storage supplies, such as plastic bowls, foil, or plastic wrap somewhere near the refrigerator or freezer. That way when you get ready to save food, you are steps away from storing it.
6. I don't feel like my cabinets have to be just dinnerware or "hard" supplies. I put tea, coffee and filters in the same cabinet as my mugs, near the coffee pot. Why waste a trip to the pantry if I can get it all done standing in one place.
7. I don't always keep maintenance supplies under the sink either. I put trashbags near the trashcan, dishsoap in the cabinet right above the dishwasher (next to the dishes), etc. Friends think my approach is a little odd at first, then when I go to their house I see THEY are applying the same ideas in THEIR kitchens!!!
8. If you don't have kids, you can get away with storing glass, or breakable items in lower cabinets. Otherwise, you can get away with putting plastics and pans in lower parts.
9. I keep my cooking utensils near the stove, such as spatulas and large spoons. I keep eating utensils near the serving area, preferrably near the plates for guests to find easily if they are serving themselves. Nice silver or heirloom pieces I put in my buffet table or serving cabinet which I keep in the dining room. These things I only use on special occasions.
10. Due to the fact that I don't have many cabinets in my new kitchen, I have opted to keep blenders, toasters, Cuisenarts, etc. In high cabinets in my Laundry room off the kitchen space. Otherwise, I would have these items right next to the preparation area of your counter or near the fridge.
11. Dish rags or towels go near the sink.
12. Paper napkins go near the plates. Paper towels go near the preparation area. Dish rags or towels for cleanup go near sink. Fabric napkins or linens go in storage, such as your buffet table or pantry or laundry room.
Like I said, you can organize your kitchen, but until you USE your kitchen you may not realize the best possible storage solutions. Good luck, and enjoy your new home and kitchen.
Here are some tips that we use in our kitchen.
1. Top drawer = Store all things that CUT. (knives, egg slicer, veg peelers, small chopper-jar, ice pick, apple slicer, pizza cutter)
2. Middle drawer = Store all things that HOLD. (cooking spoons, forks, tongs, spatulas)
3. Lowest drawer = Miscellaneous stuff. (like hand mixer & beaters, extra sets of measuring cups & spoons)
4. Lower cabinets = Left side = All square/rectangle shaped plasticware
5. Lower cabinets = Right side = All round shaped plasticware
6. Another lower cabinet = Left side = All frying pans (turned upside down to keep pests out of them)
7. Another lower cabinet = Right side= All boilers/saucepans (also turned upside down)
8. A corner or remote-ish upper cabinet = EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS!
This is a space devoted entirely to supplies saved for times of emergency. (12 inch taper candles, these put out the most light & will burn for 12 hours straight, a long-barrel lighter, a straw to use to blow out the candles; extra flashlights & batteries; a can opener saved just for this cabinet; first-aid kit; a corded phone to plug in if you normally use cordless ones daily, walkie talkies & batteries, whistles.
A red notebook regularly reveiwed & updated as needed, that includes instructions to follow when storm watch/warnings are posted on tv/radio; phone #'s of utility companies in case of outages; updated photos of all family members and pets and vehicles; vehicle #'s such as tag & vin #'s;
List of instructions for when utilities are off. (ex. turn power switch to hot water heater off to avoid burned-out element when power comes back on, put jug of clorox by toilet and a large water container, fill tub with water.)
(These are only a few examples, you probably have your own list of necessities; the important thing is to be prepared ahead of time. It's not a question of IF an emergency will happen, but WHEN it will happen! Be prepared!)
More related articles:
Cooking Up a Plan: Organizing in the Kitchen
5 Kitchen Cabinet Organizing Tips
9 Traits of Organized Kitchens
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