Organize Your Kitchen Like a Chef: 8 Professional Tips

Organize Your Kitchen Like a Chef: 8 Professional Tips

Jun 13, 2024

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Chefs don’t just specialize in creating incredible food – They also excel in kitchen organization and efficiency. After all, they are responsible for churning out dozens of impeccably-crafted dishes per shift. The secret to their efficiency? Organizational details that are both practical and beautiful! If you want to create a kitchen you love to look at AND cook in, here are 8 chef-inspired tips that you can implement in your very own space. 

Create a place for everything

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“A place for everything and everything in its place” isn’t just a smart adage for keeping a clutter-free home. It is essential to setting up a kitchen that streamlines your cooking and creates that put-together look that invites you to come on in and get creative with your dishes. 

Here is one trick to deciding where everything should go: Focus on the actual function of each item instead of just its visual appeal in the kitchen. For example, if you tend to use certain ingredients together, and frequently, set them up together where you can reach them easily. Create a dish often? Make sure the dishes and ingredients you use for it are near each other. That can save precious minutes in your prep time so you can create those family favorites more often. 

Another trick for keeping your workflow seamless in the kitchen? When creating a place for everything, consider the expiration date of each ingredient, and the frequency of use of every item. Then use the FIFO approach – First In, First Out. 

FIFO refers to the practice of arranging your ingredients in rows, with those that will expire first in the front and the newer ingredients in the back. No more checking multiple open jars of spices or throwing out expired goods because they were lost in the back of your fridge. Just use what is in front, and you will naturally use up your ingredients before they go bad – While spending less time hunting for the right can, jar, or tub to use. 

Create zones throughout the kitchen

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Breaking your kitchen into zones can streamline your food prep by preventing you from trying to cook, prep and wash all in the same location. Here are the four zones into which to break your kitchen: 

  • Cook zone 
  • Prep zone
  • Wash zone
  • Storage zone

For example, your cook zone should include your stove, microwave, and any related counter space. Your storage zone might be a dedicated part of your kitchen where your pantry, shelves, and fridge exist to keep food secure. And your wash zone would likely be by your sink, where you would keep items such as colanders, scrub brushes, and other items to wash and prep food and clean up food prep items. 

Note that these zones do not have to be big. Even small kitchens can have zones. All you have to do is set aside a portion of the space for specific uses, and then store anything that relates to that zone in that zone so you can access everything you need conveniently in each zone. 

Invest in quality storage

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So in that storage zone, exactly how do chefs keep their items quickly accessible? Quality storage devices. In particular, clear containers and lots of labeling ensure that chefs can immediately recognize, find and use the necessary items for their food prep. Here are some tips for creating efficient storage solutions in your own kitchen: 

  • Make every item visible. 
  • Ensure the accessibility of all items. 
  • Remove items from bags and boxes and place in clear containers. 
  • Use organizers that you can access with just one or two steps. 
  • Consider open storage for both functionality and style. 

Organize your kitchen drawers

If you have to spend valuable minutes searching for the right pot or utensil, your food prep adventure may become more of a frustration. Create clean, easily-accessible drawers with these simple, chef-approved tips: 

  • Pare down your pots, pans, utensils and other cooking items. 
  • Place pots and pans in deep drawers. 
  • Place dishes on open shelving. 
  • Use heavy-duty gliding drawers. 
  • Use drawers that can hold different sizes of pots and pans. 
  • Use drawer dividers for smaller items and silverware.

Label everything

If you assume you will know what is in that one plastic container when you want to use it next week, you will be disappointed. If you do not know when that container of leftovers was put in the fridge, you may not eat it until it is too late. Prevent mishaps by labeling everything, including its name, expiration date and/or the date you placed it in the fridge. That way, you can easily identify the ingredients you want to use for a dish AND eat up items before they go bad. 

Declutter your kitchen

Contrary to what you may believe, you do not need every kitchen gadget and machine to successfully run an efficient kitchen. Instead, you could improve the functionality of your space by removing everything you do not need. Here are some suggestions to help you cut back on your kitchen items: 

  • Throw away or donate anything you have not used in the last year. 
  • Get rid of everything expired. 
  • Remove any duplicate items. 
  • Keep what you are comfortable with and use frequently. 

Keep items accessible

Being able to easily reach the items you need can cut down on wasted time when you are cooking. Set up your kitchen so items are easily reached. Here are some tips: 

  • Use open shelving for items such as dishes. 
  • Put items in the zone where they are most used. 
  • Keep frequently-used items within reach. 
  • Put lesser-used items in hard-to-reach spaces. 

Maintain a cleaning routine

Finally, once your kitchen is the way you want it, make sure it stays that way. Maintain a cleaning routine that involves keeping up your space on an ongoing basis, instead of trying to do a big clean every so often. Here are some tips: 

  • Wipe down all surfaces when you are done cooking. 
  • Clean up spills immediately
  • Put items away as you finish using them. 
  • Create a weekly deep clean schedule. 
  • Keep everything in its designated place. 

If you are looking forward to a move soon, use these tips to create a kitchen you will be proud of. And hire a mover who can make your move as seamless as working in an organized space. As  San Diego international movers, Atlas Allied can help you get anywhere, seamlessly and quickly. Get a moving quote from us today. 

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