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how to organize kitchen cooking

The immediate benefit of organizing kitchen cooking items: Two people can work at once without tripping over each other.

Tripping over one another might be OK for a night of Twister among tipsy newlyweds. It's not so good for grown-ups-with-children types packing butcher knives on their way to the sink.

Here's how to organize kitchen cooking items so everyone stays safe - and can maybe still have a bit of fun in process.

Organize your cooking area into these groups:

cooking (as in the actual heating of food):

Around the range, put all things need for cooking. Pots and pans go in the cabinets directly underneath. Hang hot pads by the range. Put a jar of utensils on top of the range, but include only those utensils you use at least once a week.

slicing and dicing:

Near the sink, create a workstation with all the paraphernalia you need to wash, peel, and chop foods, including knives, butcher block, peelers, scrub brushes, bowls, etc.

food preparing:

Here's where you would group scrapers, colanders, mixing bowls and spoons, whisks, measuring cups and spoons, blenders, and your food processor. Try to contain them all in one cabinet.

baking:

Arrange all the things you'll need for baking in one cabinet.

Then organize the items inside plastic storage containers for grouping like items. I put our collection of cake and ice cream sprinkles and candy toppings in a big plastic box. When it's time to frost cupcakes for class, we know right where to go.

Nearby, in a second see-through container, we'll find baking soda, baking powder, and sugars, everything we need to make cupcakes. (Except the flour. To chill out any wiggly creatures that might make a home here, I put my flour inside a zip-close bag that calls the freezer its home.) You don't have to be so finicky.

But you should at least place your opened sugars (brown, powdered, and regular) and flours in airtight plastic containers or zip-close bags to close in freshness and contents and close out nasty bugs that love to cozy up, then divide and multiply there.

snacking:

Make kids more independent and let them fix their own breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. In an accessible, low cabinet (far away from the stove), station snack foods for the kids: peanut butter, bread, jelly, raisins, cereal bars, cereal, chips, and zip-close bags.

This is also a good spot for storing lunch boxes. Grouping these items makes it easy for kids to pack their own lunches.

coffee drinking:

In the cabinet above the coffeemaker, store filters, flavorings, grinder, beans, sugar, teas, and all the stuff you need to perk up your mornings. That way you can enjoy your first cup without having to search around with your eyes half open.

storing dishes:

Oh yeah. You eat in the kitchen too! So you'll need to make room for your daily dishes, your serving dishes, glasses, and utensils in here, as well.

Put them all in one area, please, and as close to the sink and/or dishwasher as you can get them to minimize the time spent putting clean dishes away.

Visit the Clean Organized Home Store for the organizing tools and supplies you'll need to streamline your kitchen.



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About the Author

Tara Aronson

Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.