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Kitchen Tip of the Week: Location, Location, Location

Have you ever been in a cooking or baking frenzy and rushing around to get a bunch of things made? Or trying to beat the timer to get out your potholders to get the hot foods off the heat before they burn? You rush over to the spot you THOUGHT you stored the needed items, only to find they aren’t there. OR you realize that the pot holders are in the last drawer, furthest from the stove, and you find that you’re cursing yourself for putting them over there!

I have found that it really does matter where I store things in my kitchen. Yes, my kitchen is extremely small and I could probably reach every drawer if I stood in the middle of the kitchen floor and just leaned. πŸ™‚ BUT, when I am in a hurry I find that even in my tiny kitchen, it’s still better to have the cooking utensils by the stovetop and the baking utensils over by the counter that I mix everything on.

I did some research, after days of frustration, and read about creating “stations” in the kitchen. Genuis! Since I use my kitchen very often, several times a day in fact, I loved the idea of designated areas for different tasks.

I rearranged some cupboards and now have a beverage cupboard. I keep our hot cocoa packets, coffee filters, mugs, tea bags, and any other hot beverage related items in that cupboard. I put the coffee maker directly under that cupboard, on the counter, so everything is easily accessible when we go to make coffee. 

The microwave sat on our longest countertop, essentially cutting that space in half. 😦 I moved it over to a small countertop by the stovetop, leaving that largest area completely open. I made this my baking counter and stored all baking related items in the drawer and cupboards below. I separated my utensils between two canisters – one for stovetop cooking and one for baking. All the spatulas, knives, and other things used when I’m cooking, I placed in a canister and next to the stovetop. All the other things (spatulas, whisks, wooden spoons, etc) used for baking, I placed in a canister and in the cabinet below the baking counter, along with the baking sheets, mixing bowls, baking pans and other baking related items.

I keep my pots and pans in the lower cabinet right next to the oven/stovetop, with all the lids in the drawer under my oven. My baking dishes (glass), I store in the lower cabinet on the other side of the oven. I keep all of our drinking glasses together in a cabinet, and all the plates, dishes, and serving bowls together in another cabinet. 

Keeping things organized and grouped by type really helps out when we’re busy making things, or when my husband is rushing around in the morning to empty the dishwasher of the clean items. I think he finds it easier to know where things go because they are with other like items. 

Anything to make putting dishes away faster is a plus here! We’d like to spend our extra time with the kids, not searching every cabinet to see where a whisk might go! πŸ™‚

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