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Is Your Kitchen Zoned Properly?

By TULA Organizer, Elizabeth Justiz


A zone in your home is simply an area where a certain activity occurs. Like your recliner is a zone for reading, watching, and relaxing. But, a more complicated space, like your kitchen, requires more detailed and broken out zones. This is seriously the key to getting organized, staying organized, and streamlining your life. So, stick with me here!.


A kitchen needs zones to be efficient. And don’t take it from me, professional organizers learned these principles from professional chefs. The basic zones for a kitchen are: food prep, cooking, baking, serving, storing, and special occasion. So let’s dive right in.

Food Prep:

  • Knives
  • Cutting Boards
  • Measuring
  • Bowls
  • Any items you use to get food ready to cook.

It is nice to have these items near the sink since you typically do the washing and rinsing at this phase.


  • Skillets
  • Pots/Pans
  • Spatulas
  • Tongs
  • Whisks
  • Strainers

Cooking items should be stored as close to the stove as possible.


  • Casserole Dishes
  • Pie Pans
  • Baking Specific Ingredients
  • Cookie Cutters
  • Decorating Supplies
  • Hot Pads

Baking supplies should be stored as close to the oven as possible.


  • Plates
  • Bowls
  • Silverware
  • Serving trays/dishes
  • Napkins
  • Placemats

Serving items should be stored either near the dining area OR the dishwasher. This prevents unnecessary trips across the kitchen. Side note: glasses should typically be near the sink.


  • Food containers
  • Baggies
  • Plastic or Beeswrap

I like to have these items near the fridge since you are likely going to be returning those items to the fridge.

Special Occasion:

  • Holiday Serving Dishes
  • Things you only bring out at Thanksgiving
  • Holiday napkin rings
  • Seasonal centerpieces etc.

If you have a buffet that’s nice but if you’re like me, all of this has to fit into the kitchen. I put these items in what I call “kitchen no man’s land.” These are cabinets and drawers that are far from the hustle and bustle of everyday cooking. I also recommend keeping these items at a minimum. You only use them once a year so how much value are they truly adding to your life? If it is a lot, that’s great! If not, opt-out of storing them 364 days per year.


Not every kitchen is designed in a way that all these suggestions will work. In fact, from studio apartments to high-end estates have seen some horribly designed kitchens. You have to work with what you’ve got. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re feeling like this won’t work in your space. I have made modifications to these “rules” in my own kitchen because it is not designed to perfection.

If you’re feeling like this is A LOT. Try setting up just one zone. I would recommend starting with cooking or serving. You will get the most bang for your buck. Then see if you feel it would be beneficial to set up your other zones.


You might be saying, but Elizabeth, what about cleaning supplies, pantry, appliances, etc, ect.? A pantry is a post all to its self :). Cleaning is usually under the sink. And, appliances are great but big and bulky. After your other zones are set up, see what space is left to store appliances. Again, weigh the benefits of appliances. Since they are typically large, you need to evaluate whether they are worth it. The large appliances I use the most are the crockpot and rice maker and yes they are worth every bit of space they take up. :)

I hope this post helps you get well on your way to having a happily zoned kitchen. Feeling like you need some help with your kitchen? Want some help planning your space? Click the link below to schedule a free consult with us!



Copyright 2021 Elizabeth Justiz. All rights reserved.