The Rules of Kitchen Storage

How often you use your kitchen equipment dictates where you store it.

Brightly Colored Dinnerware for Everyday

Brightly Colored Dinnerware for Everyday

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - House Works

DK - House Works, © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Everyday items, like bowls used for soups or desserts, belong in "A" storage areas where you can reach them without undue effort, and where they can be easily replaced after washing up.

"A" is for Every Day

Every kitchen has a few best friends: dishware, tools and equipment used each and every day. "A" kitchen items include plates and glasses, bowls and mugs, tableware and serving spoons, saucepans and skillets, kitchen knives and cutting boards, a can opener, teakettle or coffee pot.

They've earned a home in the prime storage spots in the kitchen. "A" storage areas are those easiest to reach: kitchen counters, the front areas of cabinet shelves, top drawers and the fronts of lower drawers. Make the match, locating every-day kitchen tools in the prime real estate storage areas.

It's easy: Choose the most accessible areas in your kitchen to store the items you use the most.

"B" is for Often

You love your crockery slow cooker but use it only once a week or so. It's a member of the "B" contingent: kitchen items that are used often but not daily. In their ranks are items like graters, strainers, roasting pans and mixing bowls.

Assign the "B" brigade to "B" level accommodations: lowest or highest shelves in the cabinets or areas in the backs of drawers. To reach the land of "B," you'll stand on tiptoe or stoop a bit, but storage is reasonably accessible.

"C" is for Seldom

In the kitchen, "C" items are those arcane tools, seasonal items or single-use gadgets that just barely earn house room by being used once or twice a year. These also include small kitchen appliances which, left to multiply, can overtake even the largest kitchen, dangling cords and all. Give all "C" items a thorough clutter scrutiny before assigning them storage space in the kitchen — if you have never used that pasta maker, donate it to a fettuccine-loving friend. Most should be decluttered, but if everything on your shortlist of "C" tools manages to come into use once a year, well and good. This group includes seasonal cookie-cutters, holiday dishware, single-use gadgets like potato ricers, oversized serving dishes, canning jars or the waffle iron.

Consign "C" items to the dark reaches at the back of bottom shelves in the cabinets, or if they're decorative, perch them on top of soffits during the off-season. Small cabinets located over the refrigerator or oven, reachable only with a step stool, are a natural home for "C" items. Alternatively you can outsource them to other household storage areas. Store holiday dishes in the attic or basement, along with holiday decor items. Stack boxes of canning jars in the garage until time to make jelly, or tumble "C" cooking gadgets into a lidded plastic container in the attic, labeled "kitchen gadgets."

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