Congratulations on moving into your new home! You are probably thinking there are so many boxes that you will start putting items in the cabinets and drawers to get the clutter out of the way. Well, let’s not get into a hurry while unpacking. You just bought a new home, and it is time that you start thinking about a new kitchen system.
The kitchen you had before probably did not have the same layout, and if it did, was your setup practical to the flow of maximum usage? Since you are about to start fresh and clean, you should consider the five zones of the kitchen layout for efficient and maximum use of your new kitchen.
This zone is the area where you are going to store your food items. The perishable site can be divided into two sections: refrigerated and pantry items.
When you come home from the market, this zone is where you will put up your groceries. You will need to make sure that you keep this zone organized. This will help when you take inventory for your next trip to the market.
When placing new items into your perishable zones, make sure that you follow the FIFO (first-in-first-out) rotation system to ensure that you are using the older inventory first, so your groceries do not expire.
When you put away your refrigerated perishables, take note of the old inventory and look for mold or aged items. Also, remember to keep your raw products away from your ready-to-eat items to prevent any food-borne illnesses caused by cross-contamination.
Non – Perishables (Non-Consumables)
This zone is for storing your everyday dishes, cutlery, glasses, and cups.
When arranging this zone, keep in mind the cleaning zone and the frequency of the dishes you use the most. These zones go hand in hand since you will have to wash the dishes, cutlery, and glasses you use.
You will also want to consider your preparation zone. While prepping your meals, you will have to use your non-perishables for chopping, stirring, mixing bowls, and more. You want to ensure you do not have to walk across the kitchen to get the cutting board and the other direction for your chef’s knife.
This zone is for storing your cleaning supplies. This zone contains your sink, dishwasher, drying rack, and garbage & recycling bin.
The best advice is to clean as you go. If you currently do not clean as you go, this is a good habit to create. The items you should keep stored in this location are your cleaning chemicals, sponges, dish towels, and all other items needed for cleaning.
You will want to keep all your chemicals together and put them back when you are finished with them. You will not want to have the bleach out while cooking or prepping. You might get the chemicals in your food and make people sick.
This zone is where you will do the prep with your perishables. This could be a kitchen island or a countertop/worktop.
Your preparation zone is next to your cleaning area. You will want to ensure that while you are prepping, you rinse your dirty dishes and add them to the dishwasher as you progress with your cooking. Not only will this save time with your clean-up, but it will also keep you from cross-contaminating any food.
This zone is why your kitchen exists; it is where you will be cooking your delicious creations. This area consists of your oven, microwave, and stovetop or range.
You will want to keep the cooking zone clean and organized. All the appliances in this zone are going to be hot and have the capability to catch items on fire. Since you will be doing your cooking in this area, you will want to make sure that you place your oven mitts, potholders, popular seasonings, pots and pans, and cooking utensils in this region.
Moving into a new home can be overwhelming when unpacking and putting items in their place. If you realize that how you have arranged it does not work, no worries, you can always change your storage to fits your needs. The overall goal of the kitchen zones is to ensure that you create a flow in your kitchen and use the layout to its full potential.