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How and Where to Keep Everything in the Kitchen

Knowing where everything should go in your kitchen is the first step to designing a functional and efficient cooking space. There are no hard-and-fast rules though, as each kitchen is used differently and each layout isn’t exactly the same (no matter what HDB suggests), but it’s good to have a guideline to know where to start. We lay down the fundamentals here:

Pots and Pans

Hang lighter cookwares on rods with the now infamous S-hooks near the stove area to make it easier to reach out for them. Heavier ones or wares without holes in the handles can be placed on a pot rack that is mounted to the wall to free countertop space.

Design: Space Factor

Design: The Makers Design Studio

If you prefer storing them inside your cabinets, opt to store them in the lower ones as you don’t want to be reaching up for your heavy Le Creuset pots from your upper cabinets. I like pull-out drawers for pots and pans, since they help ease the effort you need to reach out for the wares. But if you prefer not to have a pull-out, make sure the cabinet that you’re storing your wares in isn’t too deep that you find it difficult to reach for the ones at the back.

Design: Icon Interior Design

Store each pot separately to prevent your wares from getting scratched every time you reach out for them. But if you’re going to stack your pots and pans, make sure there’s a protective layer aka pot/pan protector between each ware. You can also use a dishtowel or a paper towel as a buffer. Lids should be stored separately to save space.

Design: The Interior Lab

 

Appliances

Where you store your appliances depends on what you use often and what kind of home cook you are. If you make rice every day, you should probably place the rice cooker on the counter or on an open shelf. If you juice only during the weekends, the juicer should be placed inside the cabinet to free up more room on the counter for food prep.

Design: Urban Habitat Design

As a general rule, heavier appliances should be stored in bottom cabinets while smaller and lighter ones can be kept at the upper cabinets. Make sure you discuss the maximum load capacities of your drawers with your contractor or interior designer during the designing stage.

To cut the clutter on your counter, kitchen niches are a good design option to keep appliances (relatively) out of sight but not make it difficult to reach out for them when you need them.

Design: Space Concepts Design

 

Cutlery

Now that the big boys are out of the way, we turn to smaller things in the kitchen like your forks, spoons, chopsticks and other cutlery. To keep things neat and tidy, store them inside your drawers with internal organisers that help to separate them by kind. You can lay them out horizontally or vertically; the latter if you have a deeper drawer and the former if you’re planning for a tray drawer.

Design: Icon Interior Design

If you’re not going for a cutlery drawer, organised them in various utensils holders and place them on the counter or hook them up if you’re trying to save counter space. For safety, it’s a good ideas to place sharp objects away from you and facing down.

Images courtesy of Pinterest

 

Knives

Unless you have an entire knife set that fits perfectly into a knife block, knife blocks are generally not the best way to store them. Most home cooks actually tend to have an assortment of knives that they acquired from different places so not everything can actually fit into the block. You might also blunt your knives quicker when you store them in knife blocks as the blade gets dragged across the slot every time you pull out or insert in your knife.

One way to prevent your knives from getting blunt from storage is to store them on a magnetic strip stuck to the wall. Place the knife strip on a safe place though and keep them away from areas where your fingers (or foot!) might linger. Also, make sure when you’re storing your knife, you’re placing the blunt edge, and not the sharp edge, of the blade down on the strip first.

Design: Artistroom

Knife drawers are also a good way to store your knives if you can afford the extra drawer space. Get inserts to store knives individually and ensure that they can fit a variety of knives and not just a single type so that you don’t have to bother yourself to look for a particular slot when you’re storing away your knives.

Design: Icon Interior Design

 

Cooking Utensils and Tools

Things like your spatulas, ladles and wooden spoons can be stored similarly to your pots and pans—hung up on a rod with S-hooks. Or you can keep them in a large container near your stove area to make it easier to reach out for them. Lesser used tools can be stowed away in your drawers.

Design: Design 4 Space

Design: Vegas Interior Design

 

Serving ware

If you have open shelves, it’s a good idea to store your everyday wares like your plates, cups and bowls. That way, you will be constantly washing them so they won’t have time to collect dust and grime when left in the open.

Design: Edge Interior

If storing inside cabinets, go for pull-out drawers in bottom cabinets to make it easier for you to see where everything is. Use drawer inserts or racks to organise your dishes and to prevent them from moving around too much inside the cabinet.

Design: Fifth Avenue Interior

 

Baking tins and pans

Bakers, you might have a designated place to bake in your kitchen. In that case, you will want to store things you frequently use for baking in that zone. If you don’t have a designated area, designate a section of your cabinet for baking essentials. Or you might even use a cart or trolley to store all things baking, where you can roll them out only when you need them.

Rather than stack them, place baking tins and pans vertically to make it easier to reach out for them. Use an like a rack to store them in their own individual slots.

Image courtesy of Pinterest

 

Condiments and Spices

You will want to store condiments and spices in a cool, dry area, so don’t put them too near the stove or the sunlight. But it’s good to have them out in the open so you can reach out for them easily while cooking. An open shelf above the stove or a spice rack on the counter with your everyday staples would work well. If storing inside the cabinet, store according to height and frequency of use.

Design: Distinctidentity

Design: Space Concepts Design

Design: Icon Interior Design

 

Pantry Staples

Most pantry staples that you store outside the refrigerator should be transferred into airtight containers once opened, rather than leaving them in their original packaging, to maximise their freshness for longer. These can include staples such as cereals, dried pasta, dried beans, rice and baking ingredients like flours and sugars.

Design: Metier Planner

Label the containers along with the expiry dates so you will know how long they can last for. Also, get clear glass containers so you can see how much is left.

Design: The 80’s Studio

 

Dishwashing liquid and other kitchen cleaners

Besides items for cooking and eating, you will need to set aside a dedicated space for kitchen cleaning supplies. Keep them separate from food sources. I like to keep the area under my sink for them. Along with these cleaning products, you can also store miscellaneous items like your kitchen gloves, extra rolls of paper towels or recyclable plastic bags.

Design: Icon Interior Design

Need even more kitchen storage ideas? Check out these articles below:

8 Kitchen Storage Ideas For When Built-in Cabinets Aren’t Enough

7 Ingenious Alternatives to Upper Kitchen Cabinets

How to Get Extra Countertop Space in Your Kitchen

 


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