Create a great kitchen ... Our guide


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Do you sometimes feel that you waste a lot of time in the kitchen traipsing back and forth between the fridge and the sink, the hotplates and the dishwasher? Do you wonder how you can make your time in the kitchen more efficient and productive? We’ve got some great tips on how to optimise your kitchen space and it doesn’t involve a renovation!

Irrespective of whether your kitchen is large or small you should keep your fridge, sink/dishwasher and oven/hotplates close together. These three points are typically referred to as the ‘working triangle’ because most of your kitchen activity takes place within this area. Declutter and try to have as much open bench space in this area so that you have plenty of room for preparation.

We recommend creating four zones around you appliances and sink. These zones are:

  1. Preparation
  2. Cooking
  3. Cleaning up
  4. Packing away

Preparation Zone
Usually your kitchen preparation involves gathering ingredients from the fridge and pantry, rinsing ingredients in the sink, getting out your tools (pots, pans, bowls, knives etc), chopping and measuring ingredients. You can create a preparation zone by:

  1. Selecting a place to prepare that’s close to your cooking zone (oven/hotplates). This saves time moving things when it comes time to cook.
  2. Keep your kitchen tools near this space – bowls, baking trays, colander, knives, can opener, measuring cups, spoons, chopping board.
  3. Keep your most used prepping pantry essentials near this space – vinegars, sauces (soy, fish), oils, spices, salt and sweeteners.

Cooking Zone
When you’ve finished your preparation, you’ll move your ingredients into the cooking zone (where your oven and hotplates are). Here’s our tips for creating an efficient cooking zone:

  1. Keep cookware near your oven and hotplates.
  2. Keep cooking tools like wooden spoons and tongs in this space.
  3. Keep your most used cooking pantry essentials in this space – cooking oils, salt, pepper.

Clean-Up Zone
This is where your sink and dishwasher are. Ideally have them close to your prepping and cooking zones because it makes it simpler to clean-up as you prepare and cook. This is the zone that has the potential to get the most out of hand and end up untidy. Try these tips to avoid mess:

  1. Stack items as you use them. Put them straight in the dishwasher if you can or at least pop them in the sink.
  2. If your cooking zone is near your clean-up zone you can do a few dishes while waiting on things like oil to heat up or water to boil.

Packing Away Zone
This is your after-eating zone. The ideal spot for this is next to your fridge. Our tips for this zone:

  1. Keep food wrap, foil and Tupperware here to pack away any leftovers.
  2. Have a marker pen handy to label things.
  3. A white board on your fridge is a great idea – you can use it to jot down things you need as soon as you run out.


Modified from Jess Dang, Cooksmarts.

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