The Non-Toxic Kitchen Blog

Explore the journey to a non-toxic kitchen with our insightful blog. From safer cookware choices to eco-friendly cleaning tips, we're here to help you create a healthier home environment for you and your loved ones.

Transform Your Kitchen with These Essential Five Zones

The new year is all about setting new intentions and goals for the year to come.  But it is also a chance to make changes to the things that did not work the previous year or season of life.  I find that I have an unrelenting need to organize my entire kitchen right now.  To edit what has been working well and what has not.  Anyone else feeling that?

I also recommend people do this on a quarterly basis because organization is not a one time thing.  It must evolve with our needs and seasons of life for it to stay in good functioning order.  

And because kitchens are one of the most used rooms in the house, it's my favorite place to start!

I have moved a lot in my adult life.  In fact, just in the last 6 years, I have moved 6 times!  So I have learned a lot about setting up a kitchen (even a van kitchen!) and each time the first thing I do is create zones.  The idea is that you create specific zones that house everything designated for that zone in one place.  Therefore making it easier to find things and use them where they are most needed.

We will dive much deeper into each zone in the following posts but for today let's go over the zones each kitchen needs.  

Here are the 5 Zones every kitchen needs:

1.  Preparation Zone 

2.  Pantry Zone

3.  Fridge & Freezer Zone

4.  Cooking & Baking Zone

5.  Cleaning Zone


1.  Preparation Zone

Let's start with the preparation zone.  This zone includes everything you need to prep meals like mixing bowls, knives, cutting boards, kitchen gadgets and other appliances.  This zone will also lead to mini prep zones like a coffee/tea zone, a baking zone or school lunch prep zone depending on the size of your kitchen.  

In my next post, I will take you through my coffee zone and go into more detail so you can get yours set up as well!


2.  Pantry Zone

Your pantry zone should be home to food that is shelf stable except for spices and cooking oils.  As well as your back-stock of items you have extra of but are not ready or have room to put on a main shelf.  It should house snacks like chips and crackers, flours, vegetables like potatoes, onions and garlic.  As well as all of your canned goods and jarred items.  Basically anything in a jar, can or box or bag goes here.  

In an ideal kitchen set up you would have a beautiful walk in pantry and be easily able to find everything.  But most of us do not have that luxury so you can turn any cabinet into a pantry, even if it's an external cabinet because you have no place in your kitchen.  

My kitchen two moves ago was so small, I barely had room for pots and pans and utensils so I had to get really creative and create a pantry in our dining room using our buffet table.  But I still had a designated zone for pantry items so I knew where everything was.  



3.  Refrigerator & Freezer Zone

This zone is pretty self explanatory.  Everything that is cold or frozen goes here.  But the inside of the fridge and freezer need to be separated by food type so you can see what you have and not lose items in the back of the fridge or freezer.  

Ideally, this area gets cleaned out once a week before you go grocery shopping. That way you can see what you have and need and you have a nice clean space to put your new groceries into.  If you add this to a weekly cleaning routine where you do a quick wipe down and clean up and get rid of expired items etc. on the same day each week before you go grocery shopping it makes the task super easy.  



4.  Cooking & Baking Zone

This zone should be home to all your cooking and baking equipment.  But it should also include spices, oils and vinegars, cooking utensils, knives, cutting boards and other tools.  The best location for this is right next to the stove/oven.  

Storing these items near the stove is where you will use them the most and helps limit your steps walking around the kitchen grabbing and looking for things while you cook.  


5.  Cleaning Zone

All things related to cleaning your kitchen should be in this zone.  This is usually located next to the dishwasher and sink area.  Items in here include things like your dish soap, sponges, paper towels, trash bags, microfiber cloths, dishwasher detergents etc.  

Now that we've covered the 5 zones your kitchen needs, we are going to take a deep dive into each zone and organize the area together in the next 5 weeks!  

Are you ready to designate zones in your kitchen?

Check out next week's post where we will go over the preparation zone which includes one of my favorite areas - the coffee/tea zone!