Zones in your Home

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Where do you start when organizing a home or office? You might choose a location, a drawer or a closet. Or a category, like shoes or papers. When doing a whole home edit, however, it helps to step back and take a larger view first, to identify the zones in your house and in each room.

A Zone? What’s that? It’s an area of activity. Your kitchen is the zone of food and food prep, the bedroom for sleeping and relaxation, the bathroom of cleansing and preening.

There are also zones within zones. A living room tends to have areas (zones) for seating, viewing, reading, toys and/or plants. Some kitchen zones: food prep space, storage for dishes and glasses, a section of the counter for small appliances. Food storage, both refrigerated and dry goods. Get it?

How you locate these zones depends on you -- and architecture. In our Philadelphia rowhouse, the kitchen is one of the smaller rooms. For me, counter space for food prep and dishwashing is essential to a happy kitchen. I wanted my partner and me to be able to operate in the kitchen simultaneously without crowding. So I moved a few zones into the dining room: dry goods in a built-in closet; plates, cups, and serving dishes in a credenza. Plus a zone for appliances like the toaster and microwave, on a cafe' table. By moving a few kitchen zones outside of the kitchen itself, we created ample space for all sorts of fun and necessary food-related activities.

Identifying zones helps tremendously when you’re putting things away. The more clearly areas are defined, the easier it is for everyone in the space to keep it tidy -- and find things!

What surprising use of zones has appeared in your work, home, storage or vehicle space? I’d love to hear about it!