Stash It All: Know the 3 Zones of Kitchen Storage

“How much storage space do I need?” The trick is to assess what you own and decide how you will store it for convenient access. Carefully consider this challenge because poorly organized spaces often become daily irritations, impeding the pleasure of being at home. Kitchens top the list of rooms in which you need to get your storage right.

This table offers a rough starting point for planning storage around the refrigerator. Mix and match ideas to adapt it to your lifestyle.

How much storage do you need for pantry items? Allow at least 16 cubic feet for storing dry groceries. Pantry pullout cabinets begin at about 24 cubic feet, while dedicated closet pantries begin at about 72 cubic feet (a space that’s 3 feet square by 8 feet tall).

What’s the right amount of storage for cooking equipment and tools? Start with wall and base cabinets of at least 24 inches in width. Bigger families and collectors need to begin with at least 42 inches in width.

What about refrigerated food storage? The smallest fridge starts at about 10 cubic feet of food storage space. Top-of-the-line units start at about 25 cubic feet of refrigerated food storage space.

How much storage room do you need for small appliances, vases, bowls and trays? Minimalists begin with 12 inches in width of wall and base cabinets, while big families may want to start with 36 inches.

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