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Planning your kitchen storage

Planning your kitchen storage

Planning Storage

Since serious cooks often use a wide array of pots, tools and supplies, an organisation can be critical. To organise your cooking equipment, start by prioritising it (not all of your cake pans are equally important). Put oversize items and those you use infrequently, like a turkey roast- er, on a shelf in the basement. lt's worth the occasional trip downstairs to get a seasonal item if it means more truly usable space for everyday things. Before you finalise your kitchen layout, assess your storage needs.

Measure and inventory everything you own, from your dinner plates to your largest tray as well as any items you plan to buy If you're including distinct work zones in your kitchen, plan to store the appropriate equipment and supplies in their own zones. For example, stash measuring cups, mix- ing bowls, flours, sugar and spices in the baking area. If possible, each work area should have its own cutting board, knives, dish towels and other basic supplies handy, and don't forget a container for wooden spoons, spatulas and other tools. As a rule, store every item at its first point of use: keep the saucepan near the range, and stow the pasta pots next to the sink. Other ways to stretch your storage space include adding an under-cabinet pull-down holder for a cook- book or knife rack, a narrow under - cabinet shelf for spice jars and backsplash rails or hooks for hanging ladles and small pans.

Choosing Cabinets

Cabinets should be designed to take full advantage of options that help you save time and energy. For example, base cabinets with large, deep drawers instead of doors save you from having to get on the floor to retrieve items in the back of the cabinet. These drawers are ideal for storing almost anything except pots, which should be stored on shallow shelves that pull forward in a base cabinet. Never store pots directly overhead; it's a safety hazard. If space is available, and you are installing custom or semi-custom cabinets, specify a 15-in.deep upper cabinet in at least one spot, instead of the standard 12 in., to accommodate large serving dishes. And consider tall upper cabinets that extend up to the ceiling. With cabinets of any size, adjustable shelves make it easy to customise your storage spaces.

Avoid tiny knobs and hard-to-grasp decorative hardware. Instead, choose C- or U-shaped pulls that will allow you to open cabinets with one finger, even with gooey hands. Include a bank of 2- or 3-in.-deep drawers for small items, such as cookie cutters and custard cups, but be sure to get full- extension slides that allow the drawers to open all the way, so you can see items in the back. Choose closed cupboards (which hide clutter), and avoid open shelves (which gather dust). Remember that anything behind glass doors will be visible, so those are best for collections or decorative objects. And stay away from ornate grooves and moulding details, which are hard to clean.