Archive for June, 2013

Easy to clean/low maintenance kitchen – Part 2

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

While the previous article dealt with materials, this article will deal with designing a kitchen that is less likely to create a mess and is more apt to conceal clutter so it looks clean.

First, start by thinking efficiency. The more efficient something is, the more likely it is that it will be done. Work triangle(s) should be tight. Storage should be designed around point of use.

Point of use storage considerations:

Dishwasher. Glasses, silverware, dishes, utensils, pots, etc… that are used on a regular basis should be stored within easy reach of the dishwasher. If you have a bake center, consider a second dishwasher for that area. Some people swear by having two dishwashers. That way they don’t have to unload as much from the dishwasher and just take the dishes out of one dishwasher while loading the other. Two dishwashers also make sense for those with large families or entertain frequently. The easier it is, the more likely it is to be done.

Garbage/Recycling. The garbage can and recycling center should be close to where you normally unpackage food for preparation and dispose of food waste. Most likely, this will be very close to or part of the work triangle and near the sink. If it’s not close by, the packaging will typically set on the counter and the more likely messes will be dropped on the floor enroot to the garbage.

Appliance storage and location. Consider having an appliance garage for those appliances that are used on a regular basis. There is less to put away and easier to conceal clutter, just by closing a door. Consider the appliances and what is used with them. A coffee maker that has storage for the filters and coffee and is near the sink (for filling) and garbage (for filter disposal) is easier to keep clean. A toaster that is near the fridge (butter, jams), the silverware drawer, dishwasher (dirty knife), and the sink or garbage for emptying the crumb tray will make less of a mess. The best location is probably within the work triangle. A mixer and food processor in a bake center that is close to the fridge (butter, eggs, cream, etc…), close to the dishwasher or sink for cleanup, close to cutting boards, ovens, utensils, knives, spices, and close to other foods like sugar, flour, seasoning, etc… is more likely to confine the mess from baking to a smaller area.

Open storage/cabinet height. Doors hide clutter and minimize dust. Cabinets that are ceiling height or have a soffit don’t accumulate dust on top of them.

Countertop storage. The more things that are stored on the countertop, the less likely they will be cleaned, and the more likely other things will be left on the counter.

Pantry. In my opinion, it’s a great way to store things. Because everything is visible and the storage is usually shallow, things can be easily found without taking a lot of things out. Put the entry to the pantry in the corner if possible. This eliminates the corner, which is notorious for being dirty and inefficient for storage.

Drop Zone. Plan a drop zone out of the kitchen preferably where people enter the house, so clutter doesn’t accumulate on the counter.

Drawers. Use drawers wherever possible and sized to what is stored in them. Lots of large deep drawers, that are not sized to what’s stored in them, will end up becoming clutter drawers. Clutter then overflows to the counters. If you are starting from scratch, take an inventory of what you need storage for, to determine what you need.