The North Virginia kitchen is the central hub of activity in the home, and that means that sometimes things get a little chaotic. It doesn’t matter if you are single, a newlywed or part of a large family, a kitchen that isn’t organized, just won’t function as it should. It will take you longer to prepare meals, two or more people in the kitchen will cause congestion, and you will probably notice that a lot of food is wasted unnecessarily. By looking at the physical setup and design of your kitchen, you can work outwards and organization your kitchen in such a way that it runs much more efficiently.
Establish your Workstations
In a kitchen, a workstation is typically reserved for specific activities. These workstations should reflect the needs of you and your family, so what works for someone else, may not work for you. Food preparation workstations are usually located close to the stove and oven, which allows you to quickly transition between the two. Workstations near the sink are used for organizing dishes, but can double as food preparation areas for tasks such as cleaning vegetables or preparing salads. The reason that we start with workstations is because they will largely dictate how you organize your storage areas.
Allocating Storage Areas
Storing items in the most efficient way is both a time and space saver. When at a workstation, you want the items you are going to use within arm’s reach. You wash your cutlery at the sink, so those items should be organized in a nearby drawer. Your cooking implements, such as pots, pans, utensils and appliances need to be close to your food preparation workstations, stove and oven. However, to ensure that you have enough space, the implements that you use most often will take priority. Similarly, store food items according to where and how often they are used. When there is cross over between workstations, either store the items in an area that is central to both, or purchase two of each item if you need to.
Optimizing Storage Areas and Items
Now that you have allocated all your items to storage areas, it is time to optimize. Most people tend to use the same combination of items frequently in the kitchen, so where possible, organize these items together. For instance, you may bake a lot, which would mean storing your rolling pin, mixer, baking tins and other related items in the same place. For food items, create a system for rotating your stock. This means that when you are putting away groceries you bring older items to the front, and store your new items at the back. By rotating stock in this way you will cut down on food waste, and it is easy to see when you are running low on a particular item. For some homeowners, finding available space for storage in the kitchen is a big problem; however, there are ways to combat this. Storage racks attached to cabinet doors or walls will free up space for utensils and other implements, and also allow you to store items closer to where you need them. An attachable or free standing, multi-tier spice rack will do the same for your food storage areas.
Working Smart in your Kitchen
Your favourite food stuffs may not come in containers that are conducive to good organization, so you will have to improvise. You can do this by storing certain items in reusable containers, however, there are a few rules you should adhere to. Make sure that containers stored together are of a similar size and shape, which will allow you to maximize space by storing them side by side or stacked on top of each other. Label your containers according to their contents, with the labels facing out. Choose containers that aren’t too heavy so you can store them in higher cabinets, and avoid containers that are difficult to open. When preparing or cooking food, clean as you go. There is nothing more detrimental to organization than trying to negotiate around utensils that you are no longer using. Multifunctional appliances and utensils are a great way of cutting down on both time and labour. An electric hand-whisk, carving knife, blender and coffee maker, are must have accessories for a well-organized kitchen. Kitchen lighting is an important and often neglected aspect of ensuring that you are well organized in the kitchen. If you can’t find items that you need, or see what you are doing, then it might be time to consider improving the lighting in your kitchen. Under-cabinet lighting is essential to a well-lit workstation, where your back is blocking light from overhead sources.
If you are planning to remodel your North Virginia kitchen, keep these organization tips in mind as you plan the layout of your kitchen. Adding in the proper storage features in the right places from the start can make all the difference when it’s time to make use of that new kitchen.