Cooking is a fun activity, but a lack of organization can make the kitchen feel hectic. This begs the question: How to create the most effective kitchen?
There are a few adjustments you can make in the kitchen that will help you organize and clean up the space to make the cooking process straight-forward.
The kitchen is the life of every home and it gets the most foot traffic in the home.
We do everything from preparing coffee in the morning to entertaining and drinking at night – it’s the one space everyone uses. Why not organize it in the most efficient manner?
Here we’ll focus on the storage and organization in the kitchen to make using it a stress-free experience. Follow this expert advice to make the most out of your kitchen:
Develop A Work Triangle
In professional cook terms, this is called the “work triangle”. The triangle consists of the 3 most used appliances in the kitchen.
Think about the appliances that you use the most for your kitchen daily. Is it the stove, kitchen sink, and refrigerator?
Is it the counter, oven, and refrigerator? This is what you need to focus on – and remove the clutter between these three most-used appliances.
The triangle differs based on the activity you carry out. If you bake a lot, you’ll likely be using the counter and the oven the most along with your fridge.
If you have something standing between these appliances like a kitchen island (which you can move), then move it to a different location.
This blocks your path between the key appliances and makes you less efficient.
Alternatively, bring these appliances together and structure your kitchen in a way that they’re right next to each other. This way you don’t have to move the kitchen island.
The keyword here is: Location. For maximum efficiency in the kitchen, each appliance has to be carefully laid out not where it looks good but where it saves you time while cooking.
You have a certain work station in the kitchen and if you line up the appliances in a way that the distance is kept to a minimum (right next to each other), this creates the most efficient kitchen possible.
The newest and trendiest kitchens harness the dynamic of this work triangle and they’re designed in a way that there’s the minimal distance between the fridge, countertop, and stove.
If you don’t want maximum efficiency, you can give some distance between the essential appliances but make sure you don’t have to take too many steps to move between them.
Common Items Within Hand-Reach
We always have our “favorites” in the kitchen – these are the items that you use commonly for cooking. Most of them are stored in hanging cabinets.
Organizing the most common items can make a significant impact in performance. For instance, you can re-structure the items in your cabinets to make the most essential items easy to reach.
If you have wine glasses that you use once a week and you place them at the bottom of the cabinets while the everyday favorites are at the top, you’ll struggle every time you have to cook.
Place the items you don’t use often in a remote location, and keep the essentials within arm’s reach. This not only applies to the cabinets but the countertop as well.
Keep storage for flours, herbs, spices, etc, within arm’s reach in glass jars on the countertop. As a chef, you have to have these essentials up close.
Everything from salts to seeds to oil/vinegar has to be located near the stove.
Label The Essentials
If you have closed containers, make sure to mark them down with labels. All you need is a painter’s tape and a sticker to label all your tools and staples.
This takes half an hour of work at best and it allows you to organize your essential more efficiently.
While this step seems unnecessary, think about the time it takes you to open a container and find out if it’s salt or sugar.
When you have a label, you only have to read it and grab what you need. Alternatively, purchase transparent containers so you know what you need at a quick glance while you’re cooking.
Organize Work Stations
Similar to how you organize the main work triangle, you can allocate work stations for different tasks in the kitchen.
For instance, you can prepare a station for food preparation where you carry out an essential activity for food prep such as peeling, wrapping, packing, etc.
You can also have a cooking station, cleaning station, storage station, etc.
The idea here is to organize the kitchen by storing items related to that specific task at a certain “station”.
In the cleaning station of the kitchen, you can place appliances such as your dishwasher and the sink.
In the food preparation station, you can station all your chopping knives and bowls.
Once you organize the kitchen in stations, you will naturally recognize where you’re supposed to carry out certain activities and prepare the kitchen for maximum efficiency.