Kitchen organization- food storage, tableware and clean up work zones: organize your home seriesOctober 26, 2012
Food storage work zone
In many homes, the food storage work zone exists in the home pantry. If you are fortunate enough to have the space for a large walk-in pantry space, then this will be where all non-perishable food is stored. If your home does not have a pantry, then you will simply store your food in one or more cabinets. As with full pantries, these dedicated food storage cabinets need to be organized intelligently.
The items that are associated with non-perishable food storage include pastas, cereals, canned foods, sauces, stocks, soups, snacks, chips, crackers, and cookies. As usual, keep like items together- keep all the cereals together, keep all the dried fruits together, keep all the soups together, etc.
Also try to keep items you use more regularly toward the front, making them more easily accessible and enabling your home (and kitchen) to function more effectively for you and your family. So if you have a shelf in your pantry (or cabinet) dedicated to grains, and you use rice a few times a week but use bulgur wheat a few times a month, make sure your rice container is near the front. This type of rearranging can really make a big difference in terms of kitchen utility.
Tableware work zone
This group of items includes everything necessary to actually serve the food: the serveware. It includes flatware, dishes, glasses, platters, bowls, napkins, place mats, and other decorative items for the table (candles, vases, etc.) As usual, keep the items grouped together logically. Group the spoons together, the forks together, and the knives together. Keep the plates & glasses nearby. And make sure all the miscellaneous items for setting the table are also within an arm’s reach, including serving platters, placemats, and candles. These items are typically stored in a cabinet in the kitchen, although sometimes people will leave some decorative table elements in a dining room armoire on display.
Cleanup work zone
Now that the meal is prepped, cooked, served, and eaten, we must now turn to the cleanup phase. We have to now clean the table, recycle what we can, compost what is organic, store any leftovers, and so on. To make this process seamless, the cleanup work zone must contain everything necessary to clean up after a meal.
It includes: plastic Ziploc bags, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, resealable plastic containers, soaps, brushes, trashcan, recycling and composting bins. All these items need to be in a logical place and near each other. Obviously, the soap and brush should be in/near the sink where the washing will take place. The Ziploc bags, foils, wraps and reusable containers need to all be stored together, probably in a cabinet, to make storing leftover food a breeze. The trashcan, recycling bin and composting bin should live near the sink, so that what’s left of the meal can be appropriately sorted (discarded, recycled or composted).