Storage question - near cleanup or near fridge?

Kristen HallockMarch 15, 2013

Is it better to store everyday glasses in the cleanup area where they would be easier to put away? Or near the fridge (opposite sides of kitchen with an island in between)?

I was thinking of maybe putting my glasses (pint glasses, small juice glasses, and kids plastic cups) in the island across from the fridge. I will have a 30" 3-drawer stack there. I could put the glasses in the middle drawer and the plastic kids cups in the bottom drawer. That way there when people went to the fridge for a drink they would have the glasses/cups right there too.

This is all new to me since I've always put glasses/cups in upper cabinets. But then my kids are always hounding me to get them a cup...

My layout

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Annie Deighnaugh

We have both....every day drinking glasses are closer to the clean up glasses such as wine glasses and rocks glasses are in the bar area which is closer to the fridge.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 9:46AM
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Our layout looks a lot like yours. The width of our kitchen, from window to opposite wall, is ~13'. We have our glasses by the fridge, close to the kitchen table. There is a narrow island between that cabinet and our d/w, but it is only four steps to put away glasses, not so bad, really. I like having the glasses out of the way of the cooking and cleanup.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 10:14AM
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Kristen Hallock

Thanks. I am thinking I can just unload glasses from the dishwasher to the top of the island and then walk to the other side and put them all away.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 10:29AM
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Here's our floorplan (reality diverges slightly from this layout - our island sink is at the end near the table, not the middle). I just walk the glasses 4 at a time over to the cabinet where they are kept (the uppers are shown as the dashed line btwn the fridge and pantry). It's not a big deal.

We do have the plates stored in uppers right above the dishwasher. I like that a lot.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 11:13AM
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Our set up is the same as yours. We put our glasses in the pantry next to the fridge for the same reason; ice, water and drinks are all right there. It was an adjustment when unloading d/w, but we now do the same as you mentioned, unload unto the island and walk around and put away. I feel the convenience of having glasses handy by the fridge far outweighs the inconvenience of unloading across the island.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 11:16AM
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You can have a tray or basket handy for moving the glasses en masse from DW to storage.

This issue highlights the thing I was trying to express previously: The arrangement (originally driven by the mega-fridge plan, now abandonned) of having the fridge separated from the sink with the island in between and the stove on the other wall is driving this problem, as well as lother efficient function concerns.

If the arrangement progression was fridge in upper LEFT corner (where MW is now) of the range wall, then the clean-up sink along that wall and then the range on the wall where the sink is now you would have more convenient, less backtracking, pathways for stored cold food en route to the stove. Plus with the clean-up sink closer to the fridge the the storage point for glasses would be closer to each.

The other advantage is that with the range on the wall where the sink is now, the present orientation of the island would be improved, i.e. you would have the long dimension opposite your range so it will function more conveniently as an added prep area. When the short dimension of an island is opposite a big action zone like the range you have to walk around the corner to get access to a wider space for prep. It just isn't as useful to be on a short end compared to being naturally placed on the long axis. (This is driven by the length of our arms.)

Also people (non-cooks) intent on getting a drink from the fridge would stay completely out of the aisle between island and range - they would naturally just take the straight pathway to the fridge. You could also put the glasses in a drawer on the the upper left corner (where prep sink is now) of the island, right at hand, convenient to both DW (though not in the the DW cab run) and the fridge.

The arrangement you have now creates a barrier island where almost every task means you'll be running around the island to get from one work zone to another.

As I look at your plan, I see a generously sized room that is that has morphed into a functional design problem because there is too much geography between the action zones. Without the island, in a much smaller space, this would not be as big a deal because there would be straight diagonal pathways (across an open middle) between the fridge/sink/cooker areas.

Islands are useful, attractive, and very popular now, but adding one completely changes the way you have to think about planning a kitchen layout.

On the upside, all that meal-prep trekking will burn off more calories so you can have a bigger piece of pie for dessert!

You could still use the fridge/pantry wall for pantry storage . It would make unloading the stuff from the store easy: you could plunk the bags on the island, and working in that aisle feint left or right as dictated by dry or cold storage. You could also have narrower-than-normal pantry storage along that wall and add some seating on the island (IIRC you were thinking about that at one...

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 12:01PM
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My daughter has her glasses by the fridge (on other side of the kitchen and island) and it is a PAIN to have to make multiple trips back and forth when unloading DW. Whereas, a person wanting a drink would only have to make ONE trip to get the glass, and go to the fridge. AND, it would be nice to ENCOURAGE the kids, DH, etc. to re-use the same glass (usually just used for water), instead of getting a new glass for each new sip of water!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 12:54PM
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Kristen Hallock

Liriodendren - sounds nice but my husband will not be up for moving the sink. i am just surprised since I went over this plan for years here and the layout has never stood out as a big problem either. I'm thinking about what you said though!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 1:08PM
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One thing I noticed about your layout that liriodendren's post made me reexamine is the location of your M/W. We've put ours in the pantry cabinet by the kitchen table. We also keep our storage containers (plastic containers, bags, etc.) in a drawer in this same zone, so putting leftovers away into the fridge is done right there.

We primarily use the m/w for reheating leftovers, and this activity can be done without going anywhere near the clean-up sink or the cooktop. I like it. I think I see room in your layout to move the m/w out of the work zone, too.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 2:26PM
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Kristen Hallock

I feel like the M/W is out of the work zone. Its in that corner and seems out of the way to me.

Where would you put it?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 2:36PM
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It's out of the cooking and cleaning work zone, but it's far away from the table. Who will be using the m/w? When will they be using it? For what purpose?

For us it is primarily to reheat leftovers for lunch or whatever. Sometimes for making popcorn. Sometimes for preparing an ingredient for cooking (melt butter, defrost an item). I put it close to the table where we eat. Easy access to the fridge and freezer, close to the eating zone and completely out of the traffic of the kitchen.

I would suggest that you can find a place for it in your deep pantry cabinet right next to your fridge, or on the end of your cabinet run on the window wall. Of course, that assumes that your use of the m/w is similar to mine.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 3:21PM
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Ditto what Liriodendron said. I didn't see your layout post before, but you've created the classic "barrier island" where you must walk around your island every time you want to get t the fridge and go to the sink to prep. That would drive me bonkers. It's the reason many I know IRL remodel their kitchens.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 3:40PM
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Oh that a prep sink sans faucet on the island across from the range? If so, ignore my comments. And maybe Liriodendron's. :)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 3:41PM
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Just as an alternate perspective, we have a similar configuration and really like it, despite all the warnings I got about barrier islands. :) (We went with a work table setup in part because of the cautions about a permanent island there, but have never moved it in 2+ years.) Our kitchen is only 13' wide, though, so that may help--it's not that far to walk around it. I do find I set things from the fridge on the island as I'm getting ready, and then go to the sink or stove or wherever. I prep a lot on the island and in the L in between sink and stove, and both work well. Mock it up and see if it works in your space.

We keep glasses next to the fridge, and when I empty the dishwasher, I sometimes collect them on the island and then put them away. The island would work equally well for storage if ours had closed storage (but it doesn't and we have a toddler, so sadly can't keep anything breakable there!) It's pretty second nature at this point, and very convenient for getting drinks from the fridge. We keep our toaster oven next to the fridge too and think that works well because the things getting cooked or toasted are coming out of the fridge or freezer 9 times out of 10. If we had a microwave, I'd put it there for the same reason, but YMMV depending on how you use it, of course!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 11:48PM
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I hated having my glasses all the way across the kitchen from the DW.
My new kitchen is perfect for us. In our new kitchen, the
DW is to left of sink. Storage for plates, glasses, silverware is to the right of the sink. In our case, the fridge is not far from this area.
But most of the time, you are grabbing a glass or 2 for drinks(maybe a few more for kids) vs unloading 10-12 glasses.
So, my vote is to keep the glasses close to the DW.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 9:20AM
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