A set of good quality pots and pans of various sizes — and their respective lids — are indispensable in any kitchen and will stimulate you to cook more often and try ambitious recipes. However, storing pots and pans efficiently comes with some challenges. We’re talking about items with different shapes and sizes, which oftentimes can’t be nestled one inside the other, so they take up a lot of space inside your kitchen cabinets.
Here’s how to organize your pots and pans so that you have your trusted utensils at hand when you need them while also being able to easily navigate your kitchen cabinets.
1. Keep around only the pots and pans that you actually use
We all have our favorite pot for chili and soups, a go-to frying pan, and the sheet pan that simply makes the best brownies. In other words, all home cooks have a handful of tools they use almost every day, plus many others that only rarely are needed. That’s where your kitchen reorganizing project should start — with sorting through your stuff and prioritizing the most useful utensils.
Take everything out of your kitchen cabinets and sort them based on how often you use each item. Things that you only need a couple of times each year — like the big roasting pan that comes out only at Thanksgiving and Christmas, or the good china set for special dinners – can be packed away and put into a storage unit. This way, you’re creating a bit more space for everyday items. Another good strategy is to give up on mismatched cups, bowls and plates — they don’t stack properly and end up forming wobbly towers in your cabinets. Using sets of dishes saves space in your cabinets and also makes loading the dishwasher a lot easier.
2. Get a sturdy pots and pans organizer
One of the most efficient ways to store your cooking gear is by using a pots and pans organizer. There are many different models to pick from — just make sure that the one you purchase fits inside your cabinet and can hold all your pots and pans.
The first step is to carefully measure the inside of the cabinet where you intend to install the organizer. Then, measure the diameter and the height of your pots. Select an organizer that fits comfortably inside the cabinet and has enough space between its tiers to fit your pots. It’s a good idea to get one with adjustable tiers — this way, if you purchase a bigger pot in the future, you’ll still be able to store it on the organizer.
Pay extra attention to the height of the organizer. Its upper tier should allow for a pot or a pan to sit on it, which means the organizer needs to be a few inches shorter that the height of the cabinet. Also, check how much weight it can sustain. Cast iron pots and pans, for example, are a lot heavier than stainless steel or aluminum cookware, so, if you own such items, you must shop around for a very sturdy organizer.
You could also get a rack organizer for flatter items like frying pans, sheet pans and lids. This device makes it a lot easier to simply pick the lid or the pan you need without demolishing all the other items you keep inside the cabinet.
3. Wall mount your favorite pots and pans
Wall mounting pots and pans somewhere near your kitchen stove offers you easy access to your utensils and saves plenty of cabinet space. However, make sure that such a display integrates well with your kitchen design. Also, since the cookware will be visible, it should also look good, so aim for a matching set. One downside of displaying pots and pans on the wall is that you’ll probably have to rinse them a little bit before each use, because they tend to collect dust.
If you decided to keep your pots and pans on a wall, you need either a rail with hooks for hanging the pots and pans, or a wall-mounted rack that includes two types of storage — on the rack itself and on the hooks attached to it. Another way to go is by using a pegboard — attach a pegboard to the wall, and you have a very versatile area for hanging different kitchen utensils. However, make sure it’s a durable, heavy duty pegboard — one that can hold your entire pots and pans collection.
4. Hang them from the ceiling
Another interesting pots and pans storage idea is to hang them from the ceiling – you have the same easy access as provided by wall mounting, and, at the same time, you don’t need an empty wall in the kitchen. The most popular spot for hanging pots and pans is above the kitchen island, but it can be also done above the table.
There are many ceiling pot racks to pick from — just check to make sure your ceiling is high enough to accommodate such a device. In rooms with low ceilings, it might be a bad idea to mount one — there’s always the risk of hurting yourself if the pots and pans are dangling too low.
If you’re a fan of unconventional, shabby-chic décor, you could use a wooden ladder as a ceiling rack. Simply paint one in your favorite color and hang it from the ceiling using tension rods. Add hooks to the ladder’s steps, and you’re all set.
5. Use command hooks in odd spaces
A very simple and affordable storage solution is to use simple peel-and-stick command hooks in odd spaces in your kitchen, like narrow nooks, or the sides of cabinets and appliances. Alternatively, you can use trowel bars on the sides of your kitchen cabinets to store large lids that don’t fit inside kitchen cabinets.