Stash It All: Know the 3 Zones of Kitchen Storage – Part ONE

1. The Sink Center

The sink center should be between the refrigerator and the range center, or cooking area, for maximum efficiency. Since sinks get the most use and traffic of any spot in the kitchen, centrally located sinks and dishwashers work best.

Plan to have the most uncluttered countertop space in the sink center. The area in and around sinks is used for food-preparation tasks involving cleaning and cutting, as well as washing and cleaning up after meals. Place trash and recycling containers strategically so that tidy disposal happens effortlessly.

Storage at sink centers includes places for everyday flatware, dishes and glassware, as well as activities involving waste management, dishtowel placement and storage, cleaning supplies, polishing and drying.

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Storage at sink centers includes places for everyday flatware, dishes and glassware, as well as activities involving waste management, dishtowel placement and storage, cleaning supplies, polishing and drying.

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Place cutting boards and knives at a midpoint between the sink and refrigerator so you can easily access items from the refrigerator, cut and chop as necessary, and dispose of the remnants to the sink center, which holds the refuse containers.

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When organizing your kitchen, look for ways to store items related to each other, such as mugs near the coffee station, as shown here.

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Sink, dishwasher and cleaning supplies. Minimalists can find sinks as small as 12 inches in width and dishwashers at 18 inches in width. Big families may require two 24-inch-wide dishwashers and a 36-inch sink.

Dishes, glasses and flatware. The smallest kitchen needs at least 18 inches in width of wall and base cabinets, while gourmet cooks and large families should begin with 42 inches in width of upper and lower cabinets.

Cutlery, cutting boards and small appliances. Minimalists begin with 12 inches in width of wall and base cabinets, while big families should begin with 42 inches.

Trash and recycling. Depending on how you recycle, compost and dispose, begin with 12 inches in width of base cabinets and go up to 36 inches in width for a big household.