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For the Come-on-in Cook

Children's table and chairs in a kitchenBob Hiemstra

You like to share conversation―and kitchen prep―with a friend, a mate, your kids. Your goal: to arrange things so that two (or five) can work as efficiently as one.

The Strategies

Make things easy for helpers to find. Bring things into the open with a wall-mounted utensil rack. Rachel Siegel, owner of Spruce, an organizing company in Berkeley, California, suggests storing tools by function.

Create parallel work stations. Set up separate work areas with equal access to commonly used tools and ingredients. A trash bin with a wide foot pedal can be moved about easily to serve cooks on both sides of an island or a counter.

Make the room kid-friendly. Create a zone where kids will feel welcome to help or just visit. For safety, move cleaning products and knives to adult heights. Stock up on kitchen tools made for kids and plastic bowls. Twin cutting boards let you chop the onions on your side of the island while your friend preps the apples on hers.

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