The secret of the greatest starred chefs is organization ! When it comes to kitchen storage, even before embarking on the most sophisticated recipes, it all starts with good tools at hand, an optimized work surface and carefully stored food. We explain how to have a kitchen organized down to the smallest detail.
When it comes to kitchen storage, what is easy to say is not always easy to do. So having a tidy kitchen is not necessarily easy, especially when you have to juggle between a béchamel, a quiche Lorraine and a batch of macaroons. Accessing the right ingredients at the right time, having the right utensils on hand, clearing the worktop to cut up the vegetables while removing the dirty dishes without clogging the sink where the potatoes must be drained … success in a recipe is sometimes a matter of the obstacle course ! Yet even the best cooks do not have 6 arms, and must be able to count on an ergonomic workspace. Especially since a tidy kitchen is also a guarantee of hygiene and allows to keep an eye on the stock of foodstuffs, to better preserve them, thus avoiding wasting. So how do you go about making this room organized and functional ? If, alas, you have to resort to a certain method – even the best laid out kitchen will never put itself away by itself – there are some tips that can make your life easier.
I – A foolproof kitchen organization
First of all, consider the overall layout of the room. Whatever its size or configuration, it is essential to preserve a relatively small activity zone around which the essential cooking, storage, preparation, washing and disposal areas will be articulated. Even when you are lucky enough to have a large kitchen, it will be a question of responding to a paradoxical equation by grouping these functions together in a minimal space. The whole dilemma being to have enough space without running everywhere, to have everything at hand without cluttering up the available space. This is why it is recommended to provide a certain number of upgradeable solutions in the layout of your kitchen . Depending on the size of the task, it will be a question of adapting the workspace which does not need to be the same depending on whether you are preparing a fried egg or a coq au vin.
In a small kitchen , you can enlarge your activity area by equipping yourself with folding kitchen shelves or sliding extensions (photo) that you will unfold occasionally, but also by taking care to encroach as little as possible on this space. For this, it is better to favor sliding closet doors, and try to exploit all the voids in the room, such as baseboards, cupboards or even the undersides of shelves. It is also necessary to be careful to choose light and easy to handle seats, favoring stackable, foldable models or even systems of boxes that will store the waffle iron.
In general, it is also advisable to respect a certain hierarchy by storing utensils and food as close as possible to the work area, according to their frequency of use. Because the pans are used more regularly than the deep fryer, there is no question of storing them in the same place.
Finally, whatever the furnishing style of your kitchen, it is important to provide ergonomic handles and opening and closing systems to facilitate access to your cupboards and drawers. If yours doesn’t have one, it’s relatively easy to install it yourself.
II – Organize your kitchen drawers in every nook and cranny
It’s every storage freak’s best friend, so the drawer is a must-have in your kitchen. However, it should not be installed anywhere or store just any element. First, its contents must be accessible, and visible, which is why it can only be installed in the low elements of your kitchen, preferably below the hob or worktop for immediate access. Then, unlike a sliding closet , an open drawer will obstruct circulation, and therefore should not contain objects that need to be constantly on hand.
Everything else is possible, starting with its size which can vary at will and can accommodate both cutlery and pressure cooker. Some drawers are even envisaged as real cupboards mounted on a slide. On the other hand, it is essential to exploit its full capacity. There are rack systems for this that allow you to control both the height and the depth of the drawer. It is also recommended to compartmentalize the thinner drawers to effectively mark out their organization.
Finally, the drawer can be particularly relevant in some unexpected spaces of the room such as its baseboards or the underside of a low kitchen oven.
III – Organize your kitchen cupboards logically
As with kitchen drawers, the main issue with kitchen cupboards is to make the most of the volume they provide. Although they can be fitted both below and above the worktop, it will be difficult to access their full height. You can choose to store the less regularly used items there, such as the raclette or couscoussier, or to equip the interior of your cupboard with articulated arm systems (Lapeyre) to bring its contents within easy reach.
The other problem frequently encountered during kitchen planning is the angles formed by the furniture, which make corner cupboards difficult to access. To respond to this loss of space, it is possible to provide sliding solutions or interior fittings systems on turnstiles (from all specialists and kitchen designers). Finally, for full use of the volume of your cupboards, the back of the doors can also be fitted with clever storage modules . And if you are not very handy, some manufacturers offer dressers ( Mobalpa ) considered as a walk-in closet , for optimal indoor use.
VI – Organize (and release) your work plan
It is arguably the most important element in any kitchen. Since this is where all your cordon bleu talent will be exercised, it is important to take special care of it. First of all, because of its size, because the more space you have, the less difficult your task will be. In addition to the sliding or folding systems, it is also possible to provide other additional locations by overflowing on the sink or cooking area, or by providing side tables or ingenious reinforcement shelves.
There are also many solutions to decorate your work plan with integrated storage for utensils, bottles, trash or even outlets. Some manufacturers also offer storage systems integrated into the worktop : drawer concealed in its thickness or hatch installed at the rear to accommodate storage or even a kitchen hood behind the cooking area.
Finally, and this is where your practical sense could come into play since it is necessary to approach the work plan as an operating table around which all the basic tools of the cook must be located. Shelves, hooks, suspension ramps, all means are good for having condiments and herbs, tea towels or knives on hand since they will be called upon several times per recipe.
V – Organize food arrangement
To ensure your recipes have all the flavor they deserve, you still have to store your food properly. Because proper storage will not only allow you to get your hands on it more easily, but also to keep an eye on your stock and preserve its freshness longer.
The first element concerned is obviously the refrigerator which should be organized according to some basic rules. Do not overload it, arrange food by family from the coldest zone to the least cold zone, and by expiration date from back to front.
But many accessories can also help you optimize the interior storage of your fridge : stackable storage boxes, additional drawers and racks, bottle racks, ice cube tray with reservoir and other anti-frost mats .
For dry foods, which should be protected from light and humidity, choose airtight jars and boxes rather than industrial packaging, making sure to postpone the expiration dates using labels. This precaution will ensure better conservation of food, but also better use of storage volumes.
Finally, there are many ingenious systems, visible or not, for storing spices and condiments near the work area, and even growing your own fresh herbs directly in the kitchen !
VI – Organize your kitchen by optimizing smart elements
Because a kitchen has multiple unexploited spaces, many practical accessories will allow you to take advantage of the smallest space available. Pyramidal shelves for storing dishes, pans or plates, supports for storing lids, cups or glasses, storage decks, tea towel holders, all systems that ensure maximum use of volumes in all areas. kitchen storage furniture .
Around your sink too, it is essential to provide solutions to facilitate its use. In the cabinet located below first, with organized shelves, sliding baskets or systems allowing easy access to your kitchen bins for easy emptying of waste.
Around the water point, it is then possible to optimize the space thanks to storage bridges, ergonomic drainers or even baskets and trays to be fixed on the sink. Finally, if you were still running out of space despite all these precautions, it is still possible to use the top of the kitchen cabinet , provided you take some aesthetic measures. The more do-it-yourselfers can install doors to transform this space into a closet, others will fall back on storage boxes adapted to the available volumes.