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Before food personality Molly Baz gets to the recipes in her new book, More Is More: Get Loose in the Kitchen, she serves up some serious kitchen organizing inspiration. In a section called “Cook Smarter, Not Harder,” Baz goes drawer-by-drawer in her butter yellow kitchen to explain her reasoning behind keeping her tongs near her stove and her knives next to her cutting board. In this excerpt, we let Baz do the explaining.

Kitchen organization is as important as a well-stocked pantry, and knowing how and where to store your gear will make your cooking a lot more graceful in the long run. Storing your tools right where they need to be when you need them the most reduces the fumble factor tremendously. And nothing makes a home cook feel less swaggy than a fumble.

Photography by Laure Joliet

A. Prep Drawers

Within grabbing distance of wherever you’re choppin’ and mixin’: mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, cutting boards (plastic for alliums and meat, wood for the rest!), storage containers, frequently used prep tools (veg peeler, citrus press, etc.).

B. Cookware

Separated by type (nonstick, cast iron, stainless), stacked biggest to smallest for visibility and as close to the oven as possible.

C. Every-So-Often Drawer

Stuff you use often but not quite often enough: mandoline, can opener, bench scraper, peelers.

D. Caddy

Daily-use pantry staples: olive oil, two or three vinegars, pepper grinder, hot sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, etc. (Everyone’s caddy looks a lil’ diff!)

E. Knife Drawer

As close to your cutting board as poss!

F. Crock

Most frequently used tools live here: tongs, wooden spoons, whisks, spatulas, Microplane, ladle.

G. Veg Basket

For room-temp-storage veg only! Sweet pots, pots, garlic, onions, shallots, avocados.

H. Fruit Bowl

For room-temp-storage fruit only! Stone fruit, tomatoes, bananas, melons, pineapple, citrus (three or four days max).

I. Salt Cellars

One for kosher, one for flaky sea salt—don’t get it twisted.

J. Wacky Drawer

For things that have no other home: phone chargers, labeling tape, pens, candy, Chapstick, birthday candles, lighters, hair ties.

K. Baking Sheets…

…of all sizes, close to your oven or cutting board, where you’ll use them the most.

Book cover for More is More by Molly Baz
More Is More: Get Loose in the Kitchen by Molly Baz, Amazon ($25)

More Is More: Get Loose in the Kitchen. Copyright © 2023 by Molly Baz. Photographs copyright © 2023 by Peden + Munk. Illustrations copyright © 2023 Claire McCracken. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.