What goes where?

peace_roseJune 1, 2009

I've been reworking the draft of our kitchen layout (thanks everyone!), and have been assessing what's in our current kitchen and trying to find a home for everything on paper. I want to put the right cabinets in the right places. Does anyone have a ready-made list of "what goes where"? Such as:

- Cereal and canned goods go in the pantry

- silverware and glasses near the dishwasher

- potholders go near the stove

- Most appropriate place for the trash can

- best place for storage of cookie sheets, measuring cups, etc.

- etc, etc, etc (Someone, somewhere must have done this before, right? Feel free to mention even the most obvious!)

This is like putting a puzzle together!

I'm sure there's some universals, and some that depend on the particular set-up. Ours is shaping up to be an L-shape with an island.

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The best place for trash is in a pullout cabinet next to the sink, in my opinion. We have a pull-out cabinet with two cans, one for garbage and one for recycling. So dishwasher is on one side of the sink, and the trash is on the other.

In the small shallow drawer above the trash pull out is where I keep all the instructions and warranty information for all my appliances. My appliances are more complicated than what I had before, so I need to keep the booklets handy, and it is good to have a convenient place for them.

For cookie sheets, etc., cabinet with dividers so they can stand up is best. We had plans for one, but our plans changed at some point, so we had to nix that. My range has a wide shallow drawer under it, so I keep a lot of those types of things in there. I also have a spot in my pantry where I put a metal divider thing where I keep larger cutting boards etc.

One thing that I like that I did is that instead of seating in my island, we have cabinets on both sides. I keep kid cups and plates and bowls in the low cabinets on the fridge side of the island, so the kids can reach for themselves. I also like having cups near the fridge when I have to get them three different types of drinks. I keep storage containers of cereal in those cabinets too, so the kids can get their own cereal, and keep the giant boxes of cereal in the pantry, and just refill the bins as needed.

I use a wide shallow drawer to keep place mats. It is right near the peninsula where the kids eat breakfast. I also keep napkins and paper plates etc. there. All the table setting stuff.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 7:43AM
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Our trash pullout is next to our sink, on the opposite side from the DW. However, now that I've been working in the kitchen for almost a year, I realize that it's not the best location. If you only have one trash pullout, I've come to realize that the best location is in the prep area. I spend a lot more time prepping and use the trash on & off much more than at the sink...especially since we have a GD.

Ideally, I think a kitchen should either have a trash pullout next to both the sink & prep space or one in each. If you cannot have the ideal, then having it in the prep zone is much more useful in the long run. Cleanup usually happens only once or twice a day for relatively short times...prepping is several times and for much longer periods and, like I mentioned earlier, produces much more trash than cleanup! (Remember the statistics of 70% of your time is spent prepping, 20% cleaning up, and 10% cooking...so it makes sense that if you spend 70% of your time prepping, the prep zone would be a better location.)

My biggest regret in my kitchen is the trash pullout location!

Have you read the "Read Me" thread? The post titled "Planning For Storage" has a list of what generally gets stored in which zone.

Here is a link that might be useful: Read Me If You're New To GW Kitchens!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 9:47AM
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I was planning on the trash on one side of the sink and the dishwasher on the other like many people do but I'm so glad my contractor (friend) told me where to put it. It would have been way too far away from my prep area and the stove. I really think it depends on your kitchen and the setup. I have been using it for about two weeks and it's the perfect location. It's not far from the sink but it's under the prep area so I pull it out and sweep everything in the trash. It also is very close to the stove and I have found this sooo great. I'm cracking eggs and throwing them in the trash when I would have had to walk walk walk over to the trash on the other side of the sink. I also didn't realize how much I utilized the trash when cooking at the stove. It has been a great last minute change that I love. My kitchen is still torn slightly apart so I don't have feedback on where to put anything else...yet. :) I can't wait to put all my stuff away. Good luck and I'm sure you will get all sorts of good feedback and ideas from these smart kitchen people.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 10:10AM
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I don't disagree with buehl re: the trash pullout. If you do a lot of cooking that involves a fair amount of prep, then you want a trash pullout near your main prep area. Ideally, you should have a pullout for prep and cleanup.

My range is pretty far from my trash pullout, and I realized early on that that would annoy me to no end when cooking, so I put a small trash bin inside a cabinet right next to the range which I pull out when I am cooking nearby. I would love to have had a pull out there as well, but there isn't a really good spot for one. We have refrigerator drawers and a corner cabinet etc. The small trash bin fits inside the cabinet and works well enough, but is slightly less convenient than a regular pullout would be.

I also have a garbage disposal in my prep sink, which is a few steps away from my range, so most food scraps go right in there when I am cooking nearby.

You really have to think about how YOU will use your kitchen. We only really do much cooking on the weekends, and even then we're not exactly gourmet cooks. We have three young children, so cook family-friendly meals. During the week, we make really simple things that don't involve a lot of prep, so the trash is more for cleanup than prep. If I made a lot of complicated meals, I would really want to have a full size trash bin near the prep area.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 10:10AM
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Thanks - this is very helpful!!! Locating where to put the trash can is proving to be quite a challenge on our layout, and it's not one of the things that's obvious in the kitchen magazines.
When I posted this I was hoping to also get a general list / rule of thumb where kitchen supplies might go. Does anyone have a link or know of a previous post somewhere on GW?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 10:51AM
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I organized the items in my kitchen according to the work "zones" I had arranged in my layout.

My prep zone consists of an island with a prep sink. In the cabinets under the island, I have everything I need for prep. My trash pull-out is at one end, and next to it is a large drawer where I keep two large stockpots and the box of trash bags. Above the large drawer is the shelf where my MW sits. The next cabinet has the really large stockpots (I do a lot of "big" cooking!). Next to that, there's the sink cabinet, and in the cabinet under the sink, I keep colanders and my chopper. The last cabinet in the island is a tray cabinet where I keep my cutting boards and cookie sheets (this is also directly across the aisle from my stove). I have three top drawers in the island. One drawer has a knife block in it where I keep all my knives. In another drawer, I keep all my other prep utensils, such as the garlic press, can opener, graters, etc. In the third drawer (the one over my trash cabinet), I keep miscellaneous junk that doesn't have an obvious spot elsewhere, such as chip clips, cork screws, etc. In the sink tip-out of the prep sink, I keep several of those little cheap, sharp paring knives from Pampered Chef, and a potato peeler.

In my cooking zone, which is the area flanking my stove, the narrow top drawer on one side holds pot holders and the wider one on the other side holds all my cooking utensils in dividers. In the drawers beneath the pot holders, I keep miscellaneous small baking pans, muffin tins, etc., along with the parts of my stove that I don't use a lot. Beneath the utensils, I have two wide, deep drawers that hold all my pots and pans. In the cabinets above, I keep spices to the right side of the stove, oils and vinegars above the stove, and coffee supplies on the left side (the coffee maker sits on the counter beneath this cabinet).

The clean-up zone is the area around my main sink and DW. Beneath the sink, I keep all my cleaning supplies and DW detergent. In the sink tip-out, I keep various scrubbies and my PC scrapers. In the tiny cabinet and drawer next to the sink, I keep dish towels and my soapstone oiling supplies (a bottle of mineral oil, a container of beesoil, and a large zip-lock bag with oily rags in it). The trash pull-out is directly across from the sink in the island, so it makes it convenient for clean-up, as well. Most of my dishes for eating, drinking, and serving are in the cabinets above the DW. The glasses are in the cabinet closest to the refrigerator. The silverware is in the drawer next to the DW, and beneath that, I have one drawer with other miscellaneous serving utensils and another with foil, baggies, etc. In the corner next to the DW is a lazy susan with all my small appliances stored on it.

Above the refrigerator, I keep my large mixing bowls and other seldom-used platters and trays. My "special" dishes are mostly on display on shelves to the right of the refrigerator, with the extras in cabinets beneath the shelves. Next to that, I have a broom closet, where in addition to the broom, swiffer, etc., I keep a container where I keep plastic grocery bags.

I have a desk where I keep a phone and phone message stuff, the dogs' cookie jar, a can with pencils, pens, and a pair of scissors, a stapler, and a clipboard with the grocery list on it. In the drawer under the desk, I keep miscellaneous junk and all our chargers. In the cabinet above the desk, I keep replacement lightbulbs, extra dog cookies, and a file box with all my appliance manuals and warranty info.

Next to the desk, I have pantry cabinets. These store all my dry goods, but since I have two cabinets like this, I have to organize where things go. I put all cans, jars, and bottles in one cabinet, along with cereal. In the other cabinet, I put all the staples, such as flour, sugar, rice, nuts, pastas, etc., which I store in stackable Tupperware Modular Mates. I also have small cabinets above the pantry cabs. In one of those, I keep all my Christmas dishes, and in the other, I keep baskets that I use for serving. In the cabinets beneath the pantries, I keep all my ovenware and additional serving dishes. In the middle, I have drawers where I keep all my plastic storage containers and reusable plastic plates and cups.

I have a large, nine-drawer chest in the adjoining eating area that stores a lot more stuff. I use one section for paper plates and plastic utensils. I use another for candles, centerpieces, and such. I use the last one section for placemats, cloth napkins, and table cloths.

Whew! I think that's everything!

As buehl mentioned, in the "Read Me" thread she has a great post about storage and zones. It's the second post in the thread.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 10:56AM
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Set lists are impossible since we all have different needs. For example, I prefer having dishes, glasses and silverware close to the point of use rather than close to the dw. I usually unload the dw at my convenience and walking a few feet to put dishes away is NOT a big deal. I'd rather have the efficiency at the time of setting the table since there are usually several things happening at once. Also, the dish cupboard is near the fridge so family members don't have to enter the cooking zone to grab a glass and get a drink. It also makes it a lot easier for someone else to set the table without getting in my way. Dish storage near the dw only makes sense to me if eating takes place there too with either table or island seating nearby.

My decisions about where to place items depended on point of use with priority given to most frequently used items. I use cookie sheets and muffin tins at my peninsula which is right next to the range. But there are other items that are more important for me to keep there (pots and pans, cooking utensils, spices...) so I keep the cookie sheets a little further away in my baking area (I mix batter in the baking area but I usually fill the tins at the peninsula.)

I keep duplicates of some items--measuring cups, whisks, spatulas, can openers, cinnamon--in 2 different places (i.e. baking area and prep area.)

The way I use my kitchen is a lot different than the way I "thought" I was going to use it when I was laying things out on paper. I thought I would prep veggies on the counter between fridge and prep sink but it turns out I like to do almost everything at my peninsula so the storage I planned ended up getting modified once I started using the kitchen.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 11:16AM
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Once you have a rough idea of layout, try to envision yourself doing various tasks in the kitchen. For example, coffee in the morning is huge for me, so I wanted the coffee pot near the fridge for milk and sugar and mugs right in cabinet above. I also pack tons of lunches, so I wanted lots of big drawers for tupperware, foil, etc. in a single location. I will have drawers under my cooktop for pans, and smaller drawers to the right of the cook top for spatulas, spices, potholders, etc.

I spent an inordinate amount of time doing this, but ultimately I think the layout will work great for our family.

For flat items, if you cant have the dividers like Jeannie suggested, put your lowest adjustable shelves a few inches from teh bottom of the cabinets, so you can slide flat things in there without losing much space in the cabinets.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 11:38AM
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Someone a long time ago (last summer maybe?) linked to a great article on this. It helped me move past the need to have a pantry where I just stuffed every food/baking item and my small appliances. Granted the 36" wide 24" deep pantry didn't have adjustable shelves or pull outs. It was highly disfunctional!

My new design does not have a pantry, but keeps food and utensils where I will be using them.

Anyway, take a look this article...it follows the work zone concept.

Here is a link that might be useful: mise-en-place

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 11:55AM
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Peace_rose, not so much about layout but linked below is a thread (and there's another thread inside that one!) that talks about where to put stuff in a new kitchen. I found the list of items in the secondary thread a very helpful tool when we were planning out our cabinetry.


Here is a link that might be useful: Reloading the new kitchen

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 1:13PM
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This is just unbelievably exactly what I was looking for! Thanks for the links, too - what a wealth of information!
I can't thank you all enough for your time and advice!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 1:02AM
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I totally agree about the trash near the prep area - my last kitchen had the trash directly under where I do my prep, it was great just to open it and dump everything in the trash. Now I don't have that - wasn't possible - so I use a mixing bowl to place my food scraps while prepping, then take it over to the sink area where the trash is to throw away. It's doable but not ideal.

My pots/pans are on my island, which is directly across from my stove. others are in lowers next to the stove on one side, on the other is the cabinet with dividers for the cookie sheets/cutting boards. Prep tools are in drawers in that area.

In the cabinets above the stove on either side are the pantry items I use to cook (olive oil, spices) and cookbooks. One thing I did is have a "coffee bar" in the cabinet on one side of the stove - we use a french press for coffee so the coffee and tea, coffee cups, sugar, etc. and press are kept in a cabinet right next to the stove since I use the kettle on it to make my coffee.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 6:42AM
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