How to keep a kitchen organized

March 30, 2011

Do you know where your crab mallets are? Amy Zantzinger knows where hers are. Her zeal for arranging pantry shelves and freezer drawers is rewarded with a comfortable, orderly and beautiful environment for cooking and entertaining. Here are some of her organizing secrets.

Like with like. Zantzinger’s No. 1 rule for kitchen organization is keeping all like things together. Then, when she’s looking for something, it’s in an obvious place. She has a designated drawer for measuring spoons and cups, a cork-lined slotted knife drawer, and a cabinet with three narrow roll-out drawers for platters.

Shelf liner. Ribbed clear plastic shelf liner is perfect for the bottom of deep pot drawers. It makes a nice cushion for pans and protects drawers from getting scratched.

Easy access. If you have children, consider stocking a cabinet where they can reach their own dishes and glasses. The Zantzingers built cabinets down to the counter with no backsplash to bring them closer to kid level. Consider installing a lower refrigerator drawer as well, and stock it with water and chocolate milk.

Fridge aesthetics. Have you considered artfully arranging the contents of your refrigerator and freezer shelves? When you open the door, it will be a calming experience.

Coffee station. Zantzinger calls her morning coffee station a “modern version of an appliance garage.” She has corralled her coffeemaker, filters, toaster and mugs in one cabinet. It has a pocket door that can be kept open during breakfast time and closed the rest of the day for an uncluttered look.

Fruit display. An arrangement of fresh fruit on a counter adds color and encourages healthful snacking. Zantzinger uses a tiered white ceramic stand to display her fruit.

The home and design coverage of Jura Koncius has taken her inside hundreds of homes, from tiny studios in Penn Quarter to country castles in Warrenton. Jura also hosts the Home Front live chat, Thursdays at 11 a.m. ET.
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