Kitchen Cabinet Workflow Strategies

When starting on a kitchen cabinet project, some planning is required before visiting your carpenter. Start by identifying where your five zones are going to be. The five basic zones are 
  1. Cooking zone - This cooking zone is where the the stove top, ovens are located. Plan for a hood to protect your upper cabinets from oil residue. Catering for some working space beside the stove for plates and pots.
  2. Washing - Nearby the cooking area should be the washing area. The washing basin and dishwasher should be next to each other.
  3. General Storage - This zone should be clearly separated from any food. This zone stores the washing liquids, cleaning equipment and other non-consumables.
  4. Work Zone - This is where a lot of the action takes. A good work top is a necessity. Your knives, cutting boards and food preparation stuff should be zoned together. The refrigerator should be nearby for easy access. Most of the electrical points should be located here for your various kitchen appliances.
  5. Plating, Utensils and Consummables - This is a separate work top. This is where you plate your food and store everything that comes in contact with cooked food or food to be eaten directly. Try not to have this zone next to the work zone to prevent contamination of cooked food by raw food. The cooking zone is sometimes used to separate these two zones.
Now a days a dining island has become the sixth zone. It is also a place to do some non cooking related activities such as homework, office stuff or a gathering point.

Another tried and tested strategy is the triangle rule. This is where the refrigerator, washing basin and the cooking stove should form a triangle. This minimises your movement when cooking.

Other simple rules include
  1. Use drawers for lower cabinets and less shelves. This reduces squatting and backaches.
  2. Use drawer dividers to organise your spices, dried food and small items.
  3. Arrange storage of liquids to the lower cabinets. In case of leakage, stains and damage will be limited to a smaller area.
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