WHO Week Two: Setting Up the Kitchen Stations
Welcome to Week 2 of the Whole House Organization Challenge. A challenge were we declutter and organize the whole house. Today we’re organizing the kitchen stations.
Setting up stations (or zones) keeps you from scurrying about from one end of the kitchen to the other to locate things. It helps you find (and maintain) your “rhythm” when cooking. I like to think it also helps me to prepare tastier meals.
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How to Organize Your Small Kitchen Like a Pro
Even in a small space, clearly defined stations or zones are important. There are 5 main stations that I use my kitchen. They are:
- Food Prep Area
- Non consumables
1. Washing Station: Soap, scrubbers, towels, and jewelry catchers
This is obviously the place where things, including your hands get washed. You may have already started one of these. But here are some ways to tweak it.
- Add a tray to corral daily use items. I purchased one from a local thrift store. But if thrifting is really not your jam, check out this one from Target.
- Place a pedestal towel holder on the tray for your dish towels. Large drying towels go in the back, and the dish washing cloth in the front. This keeps the sink area free from clutter.
- Use a small bowl for jewelry. Why is this important? I once had a coworker who took off her wedding rings to do some cleaning in the kitchen. For the life of her, she couldn’t remember where she placed the set. After more than a MONTH of literally being sick about it, spatting with the Mister - and blaming the kids - she found them. They were on top of the fridge! Need I say more? Get yourselves a jewelry catcher ladies.
- Keep scrubbing tools in a nearby drawer. Or turn your faux cabinet fronts into pop-out drawers for extra storage using this front tray kit from Rev-a-shelf.
2. Cooking Station: herbs, oils, pots, utensils, hot pan holders, daily spices
This is where all the yummy hot stuff gets made. It’s also the area in the kitchen that can be the most difficult to keep uncluttered.
Other Ways to Set Boundaries and Further Define Your Kitchen Stations
- Use Command Hooks to keep pan holders on the insides of the doors.
- Pair down your cooking utensils – trust me you really don’t need 4 turkey basters. Place the remaining utensils in an attractive vase and keep it near the oven or cook top. If (like me) you don't like to see knives stored openly, say on a magnetic strip, use a handsome knife block.
- Corral commonly used spices on a tray, and keep it near to the oven or cook top.
- Store pots and pans in the cabinets closest to the oven or cook top.
- Keep dinnerware nearby for easy plating, whenever possible. TIP: Did you know that Dollar Tree has great restaurant quality all-white plates? Click here to order your own online for only $1 each, AND have them shipped for FREE to the Dollar Tree nearest you.
3. Food Prep Area: bowls, measuring spoons, chopping boards
This area, which is totally separate from the eating area, is where you do all your chopping, meat and vegetable trimming. It can be a small area of counter top, an island, or a cart with a butcher block top (see photo below).
4. Non-Consumables Station: plates, cups, bowls, wine glasses, storage containers, pots and pans, small appliances
I am fortunate to able to have three small cabinets, and a lazy susan, that are all dedicated to storing non-consumable items in my small kitchen. I even created an open shelf area that allows me to display some items, and use them at the same time! The area below floats just over my prep area.
5. Consumable station: Anything related to food. Of course, we've already covered this area. But if you missed it click here.
And there you have it, the 5 major stations for every kitchen - large or small. Of course feel free to add or subtract as your needs and space permits. Tell me, have you organized your kitchen into zones yet?