When you resettle into your new home one of the first rooms you should set up is your kitchen. The kitchen is the center of household activities for most families.

1. Identify your work triangle

Simply put, this will be the most frequently used space in your kitchen. The 3 points of the triangle are made up of the sink, stove, and the refrigerator.

Kitchen Work Triangle via Wikipedia
Kitchen Work Triangle via Wikipedia
2. Identify major work zones.

Map these out using temporary sticky notes before unpacking the first box.  They are :

  • Cooking
    Where: Around or to the right of the stove
    What: Pots, pans, and tools used during cooking, like wooden spoons
  • Prep Work
    Where: Close to the largest work surface within the work triangle
    What: Mixing bowls, measuring cups, and tools used to prepare meals
  • Serving and Entertaining
    Where: Closer to the dining area with the exception of everyday utensils
    What: Large serving platters, carafes, cake stands, holiday themed items
  • Food storage
    Where: Locate a space near the refrigerator but away from household cleaners
    What: Tupperware, ziplock bags, aluminum foils
  • Clean-up
    Where: Typically under the sink and additional cabinets around the sink if not needed for prep and cooking
    What: Towels, rags, sponges, cleaning solutions
3. Decide on the location for everyday dishes and utensils.

Use cabinets and a top drawer most centrally located to the dishwasher

4. Find overflow sites.

Often there is just not enough room for everything to fit in the kitchen. If you are downsizing to a smaller kitchen you will need to identify satellite locations for extra items.

  • Move serving and entertaining pieces to the dining room
  • Set-up shelving in the garage or basement to store overflow appliances and less frequently used cooking tools
  • Bulk cleaning and paper products can find a home in the laundry room
5. Maximize hidden storage.

Kitchens are full of nooks for hidden storage. Here are my favorite ways to add more space:

mug hooks

  • Add cup hooks and stemware holders to the underside of cabinets
  • Install spice racks on open walls. In addition to spices, store teas, medicines, and small prep tools on these mini-shelves
  • Hang a pot rack. Getting pots and pans out of your cabinets can free up a ton of space
  • Place shelf stackers inside your cabinets to double your storage for plates, bowls, and prep tools on these mini-shelves mugs

What creative kitchen solutions have you come up with?