Cooking/baking work zone
This is the work space, in which heat is applied to food. All the prep work is already completed – the fruits/veggies are washed, cut, processed, etc. Now it is time to cook or bake the food. The tools included in this section include: pots, pans, woks, utensils for sirring or flipping, pot holders, oils/vinegars, herbs, cookie sheets, cooling racks, cake pans, muffin pans, and ramekins.
It is important to make sure all these tools dedicated to cooking and baking live near the stove. After all, the stove is where you will be cooking/baking the food. So when you are ready to cook that asparagus, you want to be able to quickly grab that pan and pair of tongs – you don’t want to wander to the other side of the kitchen searching for your tools in another random cabinet. You also want the salt & pepper within an arm’s reach, as well. Keep all the pans, pots, and woks together in a lower cabinet, sorted by size. Make the ones you use most often more easily accessible in the front of the cabinet. All utensils used for stirring or flipping food on the stove should be in a drawer near the stove or in a dedicated cup on the countertop. Oils/vinegars and herbs should in close proximity of the stove, but avoid putting them within a foot of the stove – the heat could affect the flavor and potency of the flavors. Instead store the oil/vinegar bottles in a cabinet. Cookie sheets, cake pans and other baking tools also need to be close to the oven, preferably all together, stacked sideways, in a nearby cabinet.
Beverage work zone
This is the area, in which beverages will be prepared, stored, and served. If you have a bar in your home, this will obviously serve as the beverage work zone. In this case, store other beverages (water, juice, soda) and bar accessories in the same space, if space allows.
If you do not have a bar in your home, then simply store all your beverages near each other. You may want to keep certain beverages cold – dedicate a door shelf or two to beverages. As far as wine, make sure to store all wine horizontally (so the cork stays wet) and out of the direct sunlight or heat. Keep other drinks – from mineral waters to sodas – in refrigerated drawers, a small refrigerator, or simply in a designated section of your main refrigerator.
The items that are associated with the beverage work zone include: wine, beer, sodas, juices, teas, strainers, coffee, coffee maker, corkscrews, ice buckets, stemware, glasses, mugs, strainers, stirrers, and coasters. All of these items need to be corralled together in a dedicated drawer.
To view the rest of the posts in the Home Organization Series, please click here.