Why is a Kitchen like a Library?
Okay, check it out... Why is a kitchen like a library? (And no, this isn’t a riddle.) Do you give up?
A kitchen is like a library in that items are organized by category! And, much the same as libraries are organized by genre (fiction, non-fiction, biography, young adult, etc.), kitchens should also be organized in the same way.
Think about it: Kitchens typically have areas for all things baking (flour, sugar, baking powder, etc.); Shelves for all things dry (rice, pasta, grains, etc.); drawers for all things serving-related (think utensils, spatulas, whiskers, etc.), and so on. You get it. Each thing has its own section.
Of course, every kitchen is designed differently, so your inventory for certain categories will vary by how much space is available and where those items live in your kitchen. Similarly to how a library is organized, bigger shelves (or even an entire wall) are dedicated to the categories that are most popular to their customers and, inversely, less used/popular or obscure items tend to garner less space and, therefore, have less real estate reserved for them. Make sense?
Now that you know the basic philosophy, here are the categories or “sections” of my own kitchen:
In my ”law library”, I hold all things illegal (ha) – meaning baking supplies and sweets. I keep glass jars filled with different types of flour on one shelf and, nearby, I have another shelf with many varieties of sugar, as well as baskets with the other baking essentials and jars with a variety of chocolate chunks and chips.
In what I like to call the “children’s section” of my culinary ‘library’, I keep a multitude of snacks; Grab-and-go goods like bars and nut butter packs, as well as crackers and cookies are ‘filed’ here in jars so that they are easily accessible to the biggest kid of all in my house – my husband.
In another section, I house my prep bowls and prep utensils together, near the prep area of the counter – let’s call this the “computing section”. This is also where I store the appliances used for prep, like my food processor, KitchenAid mixer, etc.
Right next to this is the main operating center of the entire establishment – the proverbial “mothership” of my kitchen, the “main service desk”, if you will. By this, I mean the stove. Because this is often the center of all the action in my kitchen, I keep all the necessary instruments near at hand. There are drawers that flank this primary workstation – one for ‘savory’ spatulas (rubber and otherwise) that are easy to reach for cooking meals, as well as one on the opposite side of the stove for spatulas reserved for sweet cooking and baking. (Note: I HATE when garlic or other savory flavors get into the silicone of my baking spatulas. For this reason, they are “card-categorized” and filed accordingly so there will be no mix-up in my house!)
And, of course, as all libraries worth their salt do, my kitchen houses a giant area specifically for cook books. However, you could say that mine are kept in a bit of a “restricted section”, behind closed doors, with the exception of the few that are “checked out” and in active use at a particular time. This helps prevent my kitchen from becoming overloaded with clutter and stacks of books (wonderful though they are!).
So, in summation, if you are looking for a fresh way to view kitchen organization, try to think of it in terms of your favorite library: Neat, tidy, and with everything in its proper place. Personally, I love libraries, so this concept is one that totally resonates with me. I hope it resonates with you too!