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Kitchen Storage Zones: Where and How to Store and Organize Your Kitchen

We’ve written quite a bit about storage and organization in your kitchen and other areas of the home including what organization tools to use, how to organize your pantry, and even how to turn wasted kitchen space into valuable storage space. Today’s blog takes a different focus on kitchen storage as we take a look at the three storage zones of the modern-day kitchen, according to architect, home design expert, and Houzz contributor Steven Randel.

In a recent Houzz article, Randel discusses the importance of proper kitchen storage and laments of the daily irritations of a poorly organized space. He reconfirms what Marie Kondo and other organization experts have told us all along--poor storage and organization is one of those seemingly small things that eventually make us hate our homes in a big way. (We wrote about other details that will make or break your love for your kitchen here.) According to Randel, dividing your storage into three zones is the key to creating a kitchen you’ll never grow tired of.

The Fridge Zone

The refrigerator is part of the prep zone of the kitchen for good reason--it’s the first place you go when you start prepping for a meal. The fridge should be placed nearest the entry used most for bringing groceries inside. The pantry and a small countertop space should also be nearby. Having a countertop space next to the fridge gives an easily accessible space to temporarily place groceries while transferring them to their proper homes in the fridge or pantry.

Randel suggests filling the cabinetry space surrounding the refrigerator with kitchenware or food prep staples like mixers, mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, and cooking tins for cakes, pies, and muffins. Small appliances like can openers and the coffee makers should also be stored in this area. Shelving near the fridge is also a great place to store your cookbooks since they’re often the first tool you need to prepare a meal.

The Sink Zone

Placed between the fridge and the stove for maximum efficiency, the sink zone should contain the most uncluttered countertop space and storage for dishware, flatware, and polishing and cleaning materials like towels, wash rags and dish soap. This is also the best area to place trash and recycling cans, preferably under the sink or in cabinetry designed specifically for storing receptacles.

Cutting boards and knives are typically stored midway between the fridge and sink for easy access for both prepping and storing. Drinking glasses are often stored in the wall cabinets closest to the sink and dishwasher, but a newer trend of storing them in drawers designed to hold drinking wares.

The Range/Cooktop Zone

The basic rule for this area is this--anything used or involved in cooking should be placed here. This includes pots, pans, baking sheets, small cooking appliances like microwaves, toasters, indoor grills, and breadmakers. Cooking utensils and spices should also be stored in this zone, and serving dishes, table linens, oven mitts, and potholders have a home here as well.

Want more details on the three kitchen storage zones, like suggested measurements for each area in every zone? Check out the original Houzz article here.

Want a cabinet designer who understands the importance of proper storage and organization zones and how to implement them into your upcoming kitchen renovation project? You want McCarley Cabinets. Click here to request your free project estimate.

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