HOME >> Kitchen Design >> How To Best Use The 3 Zones Of Kitchen Storage

Many of you will have heard all about the three zones in a kitchen design, what they are and how they should be arranged (in a triangle, if you’ve forgotten). But maybe you haven’t quite got the storage in your kitchen truly organised to best advantage within those zones. Or perhaps you are planning a new kitchen and you haven’t yet given it much thought. You might even feel daunted to figure it all out – especially when you think about all of those fiddly bits and pieces that make up a kitchen.   

This article is going to help you discover the most effective ways of organising all of those cupboards and drawers available to you and make your kitchen work FOR YOU. 

First of all, there is nothing like planning your kitchen from scratch when you’re building a new home or embarking on a renovation. You can eliminate any irritation points from your current kitchen and allow for EXACTLY the right number of drawers you need for your pots, pans and dishes. 

If you’re just looking for a few tips on how to use the storage you have more effectively, you’ve also come to the right place. We’re confident you’ll have a whole lot more ideas up your sleeve after reading this.  

1. The Refrigerator Zone

In an ideal world the fridge should be in the closest spot possible to your front door (or wherever groceries enter from). This floor plan gives you quick access with bags and boxes to the most common receptacle for those groceries – your fridge. Even if your fridge is furthest from the front door, never fear. There are other equally important things that should be in the refrigerator zone. Your pantry for example. 

If you are building a new kitchen – along with the location of your fridge being closest to the front door, consider bench space for holding the groceries while you work to put them away and how close your pantry is to the fridge to receive all of the dry goods. 

Consider storing preparation items in this same zone to keep things close to hand for all that meal prep you’ll be doing in your new kitchen. Mixing bowls, measuring spoons and cups, sifters, and cake tins are perfect for this zone. Don’t forget about your small appliances also. Blenders and food processors would fit well here. 

You might also create space for food storage containers for your leftovers. When dinner is over you will have easy access to make cleaning up a breeze.  
You may want to also think about adding in a narrow closet in this space for your brooms, mops and dustpan and brush. If you love your cordless vac why not think about a hidden power point inside this cabinet for easy recharges.  

The Refrigerator Zone
The Sink Zone

2. The Sink Zone

Potentially your sink will be the most used zone on any given day, so you need to really think through how you want to organise the storage within that zone.  
It might seem like a given but you’d be surprised how many kitchens don’t have a storage space for cutlery close to the sink/dishwasher. 

When planning your new kitchen storage, think through all of your glassware, silverware and flatware and create enough storage in the sink zone to contain those things. You’ll be grateful for it later when transferring those items from dishwasher or sink to the cupboard is an easy chore. 

You’ll want to place knives and cutting boards midway between the refrigerator and the sink to keep things easy access. 

Think about how you store items that are related to each other eg: coffee cups and coffee maker or water glasses and drinking water access. Most often drinking glasses will be in a spot near the sink but if you have a water dispenser in the refrigerator it may make more sense for your family to store glasses in the refrigerator zone.

And don’t forget all of those supplies we use to help clean up. Dish towels, wash cloths, sponges and anything else your household might use for cleaning belong in this zone. Having them close to hand keeps clean up time simple and easy. 

You may have some dangerous chemicals floating around in this zone. Please be sure to store poisons in child proof containers or up high away from little ones.  

3. The Range Zone

It’s remarkable that this is where we suggest storing all of your cooking essentials. It’s also remarkable that many of us don’t. This is also the zone to consider storing warming appliances such as Crockpots. You could also think of this as the ‘hot’ zone and add other hot cooking appliances here such as toasters, waffle irons and portable grills. 

Make sure you consider the amount of countertop space next to your range. You want enough space to be able to transfer hot items from the stove or oven to a heatproof surface safely and easily. 

This zone is perfect for potholders and oven mitts, serving trays or bowls allowing for easy serving from range to table. Don’t forget about the utensils you use for cooking as well as all of your spices and pots and pans.

Think about how you prefer to cook and what you use most often before you store your favourite pot at the back of a cupboard. 

The Range Zone
The Trash Zone

4. BONUS POINT – Trash 

In most kitchens the trash is something we tack on as an afterthought. Although not a dedicated zone (as there are only three), we think there is a lot to be said about a well-planned trash area within one of those zones. Usually, the sink zone would be used to include your trash, and this could be perfect for discarding peelings and food prep trash easily. Also, give thought to recycling access in your new kitchen and if you’re a composter, creating a well thought out process to gather food scraps could be helpful too.  

At Wonderful Kitchens, we are here to help you with all of your kitchen design needs. We want to build your dream kitchen with you. Give us a call to find out more.