x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

The keys to an organised kitchen

Housewife superstar Keep like with like and store items that are used most frequently within easy reach

With the limited size of kitchens here, deciding what to put where in that most important of our domestic working spaces is a matter of making the best of it. But, whatever the size of your kitchen, the same rules apply. Keep like with like (eg all serving dishes and bowls together, all saucepans together) and put things that you use very frequently within easy reach.

Then follow this quick A-Z. As you will see, it follows a simple logic that reflects which jobs you do in what part of the kitchen. China and glass should go in wall units near the sink. Chopping boards go in a tray slot, if you have one (Ikea sells a simple bracket that you can install easily inside a cupboard - no DIY skills needed). Otherwise, store them upright on the worktop against a wall. Cleaning materials go under the sink (if you have children, fit a lock to the door). Cooking utensils (eg bowls, colanders and sieves) go in cupboards and drawers near the main food preparation area. Cutlery goes in a drawer near the dishwasher or sink.

Food mixers and processors go on the worktop, unless space is at a premium. Instruction leaflets (for appliances) go in a drawer, which will probably also house rubber bands, a ball of string, miscellaneous screws, pens, corks, etc. This is the junk drawer, without which no kitchen is complete. Kitchen knives go in a wooden knife block on the worktop near your main food prep area or a magnetic strip fixed to the wall in a similarly convenient spot .

Oven mitts go on a hook near the cooker. Pots and pans go in a low-level cupboard near the cooker. Deep pan drawers are the most convenient method of storing them. Roasting tins and baking sheets go in an oven drawer if you have one. Otherwise, store them with the pots and pans. Scales go on top of the worktop in the area where you prepare most food. Serving dishes go in a cupboard (keep them all together).

Tea towels go on a hook near the sink. Spare tea towels and other table linen (eg napkins) go in a drawer near the sink. Tools (eg spatulas, whisks, scissors) go in a drawer near the cooker. Keep those that are used most, such as wooden spoons, in a container on top of the worktop near the cooker. Once you've got everything organised, clean the fronts of cupboards once a week as part of your general household cleaning. Once or twice a year clean the interiors. Empty everything out and wash anything that has not been used for a while or has become dusty. Clean the shelves with water and household detergent, then dry with a clean cloth. Leave the cupboard doors open to allow the shelves to dry completely before putting everything away.

The Housewife's Handbook by Rachel Simhon (Bloomsbury) is available on www.amazon.com