What Are Your Toughest Workflow Challenges In the Kitchen?

Hey, it's the New Year, so let's all take a moment to ponder our kitchens. I've been setting up a new kitchen, and so the idea of kitchen workflow has been on my mind. This is a big topic, and one that touches on many different aspects of setting up a kitchen: Work zones, storage capacity, tools and cookware. How does your kitchen contribute to your daily cooking and cleaning workflow? Good workflow is different for everyone, but we all know when our kitchen has hit a snag! Here's my big example of tough workflow, from my last kitchen...

Look closely at the photo above! Note where the dishwasher is? Next to the sink, yes, but also basically perpendicular to the stove. When the dishwasher is open during clean-up and dish put-away, no one can stand at the stove or the one usable stretch of counter space.

Since we're a two-person household, and my husband does the dishes most of the time, this was a daily annoyance. We like to hang out in the kitchen together and double up on cooking and cleanup by chatting after a long work day. This layout made that workflow nearly impossible. I'd often end up with a cutting board precariously balanced on the far edge of the stove, chopping up an onion, while my husband raced to get the dishwasher filled up.

Needless to say, in our new kitchen, a major priority was the ability to cook and do dishes at the same time!

This inconvenience in my old, moderately (but not ridiculously) small kitchen is a good example of a kitchen hampering workflow.

So I'm curious — what's your idea of great workflow in your kitchen? Does your kitchen get in the way? Have you found ways to improve it? What does daily workflow look like in your kitchen?

Related: Solutions for a 75-Square Foot Kitchen: IKEA Video

(Image: Faith Durand)