How To Organize A Kitchen Into Zones For Easier Cooking!

 
Today, my friends, we are going to talk about organizing the kitchen. But not just organizing the kitchen, but organizing the kitchen into ZONES for easier cooking that group like tasks together to make working in the kitchen easier and more efficient.
To do this, first we must look at what tasks are performed in the kitchen most often, and then designate zones for those tasks and organize the zone so that it has everything needed for the tasks. Sound complicated? It’s really not!
Let me share with you the zones in my kitchen.
 On this side of my kitchen, I have 3 main zones…the baking zone, the breakfast zone, and the food prep & cooking zone.
Let me take you through each zone so you can see how organizing by zone works. 
 The baking zone…it’s where you create delicious things….hopefully!
 I bake a few times a week, so this zone is necessary for our kitchen.
{If baking doesn’t happen in your kitchen, then you definitely don’t need a baking zone.} 
This is how my baking zone is set up: everything I need is within easy reach and I can stand in one spot and grab everything.
As a baker, I highly, highly recommend placing flours & sugar on the counter…it just makes baking so much easier and enjoyable then having to lug out containers out from dark corners! 
You can see that I have everything I need….mixer, flours and sugar, mixing bowls, etc.
 Here is the ‘baking drawer’. All the measuring diddly bops are in here, along with cookie scoops and spatulas. I like 2 sets of measuring cups and spoons because I bake a lot and I often make a few things at a time and I find having 2 sets works best for me.
 In the cupboard above the mixer is this basket of baking essentials that I just have to pop out when I am mixing up some yummy recipe. It holds: vanilla, baking powder, baking soda and salt…things needed for almost every baking project.
 
 The next zone I want to share with you is the breakfast zone.
 We use the toaster every day and the blender is used often for fruit smoothies in the morning. 
 
Directly above the blender is the cupboard that holds things that go on toast.
We didn’t always have a breakfast zone per see…it was the last zone I created.
For a long time, I kept peanut butter, etc.,  in our pantry, which really made no sense whatsoever. Every time toast popped, you had to go into the pantry to get something.
So I moved the peanut butter and jam, etc. next to the toaster.
So now when the toast pops…the butter, peanut butter and jam is right there.
It works so much better to have these items in the breakfast zone!
 
 And here is the food prep and cooking zone.
This is where everything needed for cooking is.
Utensil, oils, knives…etc.
 This area works for chopping vegetables to go into a frying pan or other tasks for cooking. 
 
Directly above the breakfast zone and the food prep & cooking zone are the dishes needed to plate food, or hold cereal or toast.
I have increased the space by using some portable shelving that adds another level.
I love using these gadgets for increasing storage.
And here’s a tip from me: I keep reading from other sources that only one set of dishes is needed.
I beg your pardon….but I beg to differ on this one!
I think a supply of dishes is needed to get the whole family through a day of 3 meals.
If you have to reach for dirty dishes to wash before a meal is served, or dinner plates are being used for toast instead of a side plate…then you need more dishes. Simple fact.
There is nothing worse then having to stop before a meal and reach into a dishwasher full of dirty dishes looking for dishes to wash.
Who has time for that?
 
Here we find pots and pans in the lower cupboard next to the stove…within easy reach of the food prep area. 
 
This drawer next to the stove holds food wraps and baggies.
In the back is a basket with utensils that are needed, but not used very often.
 
This drawer holds utensils that are used all the time and is next to the stove as well. 
And this drawer located under the food prep area  is the spice & utensil drawer.
 {I buy a lot of spices in large Costco size bottles and they are in the pantry.}
 
The last zone is the lunch making zone. This area is closest to the fridge and provides space for putting together lunches in the morning. 
Here, I keep a basket with snacks prepared for lunches, along with  napkins.  
 
And just a step away from the lunch making zone is the fridge with these items organized for lunches. 
  The last areas I have to share are the glassware cupboard, soda stream station and the beverage center.
When organizing a glassware cupboard, it helps if the glasses can stack and the glassware is somewhat uniform in size, as opposed to having mis-matched odd & ends that don’t stack at all.
Also, I like to keep mason jars with the glassware because we love drinking out of them and use them all the time for drinking, as well as storing food.
So I made the decision to store the mason jars where it makes sense in our kitchen.
 We love our soda stream, and we keep everything together in this small sliver of counter by the fridge.
We use it most often to make sparkling water, with flavored ‘soda’ being a treat for the weekends only. 
 And lastly, because I have such a small kitchen and counter space is at a premium, I purchased these cabinets to create a beverage station.
This area works great and it keeps traffic out of the main work area of the kitchen. It’s always a good idea to have a beverage station set up closest to the area where the coffee or tea is consumed…like the dining table or breakfast nook.

I know that my kitchen is very small, and not spectacular or lovely, but I have made the best of the space I have, and it works brilliantly for us most of the time. One advantage of having a small kitchen is that it is easy & fast to clean up…which I love. And nothing is more than a step away….which is also an advantage. And because I have very limited cupboard space, all the food is stored in the pantry.

How To Organize A Kitchen Into Zones for Easier CookingI have helped family and friends organize their kitchens and have found that although lots of people have ‘organized’ kitchens, they often don’t have things organized in a way that makes sense for the tasks that are performed. You can set up any zone in your kitchen for the way you need your kitchen to work!  For instance, do you have a baby? Set up a baby food area where everything needed for feeding the baby is all together.

Zone organizing works! I bet a lot of you have zones already and don’t even know it. You may just have to do a little tweaking to make the kitchen function a little better….you know…rethink a few things.

So tell me….will you be doing a little zone re-organizing? What zone will you be creating/re-organizing first?

To see some of my other organizing projects:
A  Breakfast Zone, go here.
 A Beverage Center, go here.
 Packing School Lunches, go here and here.
 An Organized Mudroom, go here.
 
And don’t forget to check out my organizing boards on Pinterest:
Organized Desks & OfficesThank you so much for visiting me!
xo

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Comments

  1. says

    You have no need to apologize for your kitchen! It is lovely and so well organized! I absolutely love the addition of a breakfast and lunch station. My mornings get crazy with things spread out everywhere. This would make a big difference. I love the light in your space and your dish collection…it looks fun! Have a wonderful day and stay warm!

  2. says

    Wow Angie! You have covered everything here!
    Makes me want to skip work and head home and re-organize my cabinets – and, man- they could really use it!!

  3. says

    Your kitchen is definitely orgaized and I like the zones. Ours is not large either and is very similar to yours in how I have it organized. I only have one set of everyday dishes, but when I replaced them a few years ago I bought multiple sets, Corelle in plain white, with like 20 place settings or something. I do dream of a pot cupboard like yours. Ours is one of those nasty corner cupboards that always needs reorganizing.

  4. says

    My kitchen is even smaller than yours, but I do have zones, I just hadn't names them, I guess. I have the baking zone, it's set up much like yours. I also have the lunch making zone, it's right in front of the fridge and I have the coffee making zone. I don't mind my small kitchen until I'm making lots of cookies and bread on the same day, then it's just TOO small.
    You have got to be the most organized person I have ever seen! Good for you if you can do it, I can't.
    Hugs, Cindy

  5. says

    Just love your blog and looking forward to being a regular follower. Great great tips… and now I'm realizing my kitchen is so not set up in good zones. :) PS ~~ Love love the idea of prepacking everything for lunches!!

  6. says

    Love your kitchen organization! I, too, am a "zone" girl :) A couple of years of some injuries, illness, etc. means a few of my kitchen areas have gotten a little hairy…I really need to attack my pantry cupboard and one or two others.

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

  7. says

    Love this post about the zones. I would love to get my kitchen organized but with a soon to be 82 yr old, that wouldn't be nice for him to enter the kitchen one day and not be able to find anything LOL

    I especially LOVE your drink station. I have built one for my husband and I down in the basement out of convenience but so we don't disturb dad each time we want a hot drink.

  8. says

    You inspired me to spend some time zoning my kitchen! I also have a smallish kitchen with white cupboards and the same blue counters you have! Have also been using your bill pay binder system for a year now. Works well for me. Thanks for the great ideas!

  9. says

    I sooo love your beverage station. I'm working towards one of them. Great kitchen organization.

    I'm having a STRUT YOUR STUFF Social hop. I'd love for you to hop on over, grab a button and come show off your best projects. Or, just come link up your blog!!

    http://mydailyphotojourney.blogspot.com/2013/01/strut-your-stuff-social-hop.html

    I'm also looking for Pinterest Pinners to feature every week. If you are on Pinterest and are interested in being featured come link up! Who knows you might meet some other great pinners and gain a few great ideas.

    http://mydailyphotojourney.blogspot.com/2012/12/looking-for-pinners.html

  10. says

    I love this! I am currenlty putting in a new kitchen and this has given me so many ideas. I love the baking zone as I bake at least once a week, yet currenlty my cake mixer is hidden in the depths of my pantry and I have to lug it out everytime I want to bake something.

  11. says

    I read this post at Kelly's Korner in the middle of the night while feeding my baby. After that all I could think about is how the zones in my kitchen are all messed up. You better believe that first thing in the morning my husband and I were re-arranging the kitchen counters. And as it turns out, I love where I've moved everything to. Thanks for the inspiration.

  12. says

    Love this! I have a lot of zones, too, I realize now from reading this, but definitely could use some tweaking! Thanks for being a follower of my little blog. I'm trying to grow a bit. Maybe we could work on something together?

  13. says

    You have more counter space in your baking/breakfast/cooking prep corner than I do in my whole kitchen! At 1 time I had a nice large kitchen like yours, & I had it all sorted out just like yours! Now that it's gone, I realize how much I miss it. It's nice reading how yours is so organized knowing that if I could, I would do the same all over again. :)

  14. says

    OMG I love you girl :) I try to be this organized in my teeny tiny kitchen, but it's such a struggle. I'm so happy to know that I'm not the only person with a Keurig AND a Tassimo 😉

    I'm off to organize some more.

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