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How to Organize Pots and Pans - Kitchen Cabinet Storage Ideas

by - Thursday, July 22, 2021

What's the most disorganized spot in your kitchen? In my own kitchen, it's the little space in our cabinet that holds our pots, pans, and pot lids. It's ridiculous because this storage area is one we access on a regular basis and yet I've managed to ignore this problem area for a very long time!

Since I'm not tackling any big diy projects at the moment, I decided to finally find a great solution to organizing pots and pans. Kitchen organization is a constant battle so perhaps you'll find these pots and pans cabinet storage ideas useful as well.


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Small Kitchen Storage


Here is the kitchen at our cottage. It might not look like a small kitchen due to the high ceilings and open, galley style layout but a closer look will show that the storage we have is limited and awkwardly place. The upper cabinets are all different sizes, there's a few base cabinets, a good amount of counter space, and unfortunately no deep drawers.

That's probably my biggest pet peeve with this kitchen. Do you find it a hassle to open a cabinet door and reach into the back of your cabinets to get your heavy pots, trays, or dishes?


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I would have much preferred pull out drawers like we had in our old kitchen. Deep drawers provide easier access; it's faster and easier to lift heavy items out of a drawer than to bend down and search for things in lower kitchen cabinets.

As it is, our best option was to store pots in the base cabinets in the kitchen island. There was limited space to store them closer to the stove. The nearest cabinet was too narrow, the kitchen sink cabinet held cleaning supplies, and the upper cabinets hold our glasses and dish ware.


how to organize pots and pans, pots and pans storage ideas, pots and pans organization


Our current pot storage space is located in this lower cabinet on the right side of the island. Does this setup look familiar? I'm sure many of us store our pots and pans like this, with the items stacked one on top of the other and the lids sitting loosely on the shelf.

There's a few issues with this method of organization:

  • To access the largest pot or pan, you need to lift and take all pots out of the cabinet
  • Your pots and pans can get easily scratched and finishes or coatings can be worn off
  • It's hard to find what you need. Finding the right lid for the right size pot can be annoying
  • It's not easy to sort your different types of cookware. Your stainless steel pans get mixed with your nonstick pans and your cast iron pans
  • There is unused vertical space in the cabinet
  • There isn't much room to manoeuvre in the cabinet. Things can easily fall out or on top of you


how to organize pots and pans, pots and pans storage ideas, pots and pans organization

I knew there had to be a better storage solution for these pots, pans, and lids. What kind of pan storage systems are available on the market today? With some research, I came upon two options: sliding organizers, and pot racks.

Sliding Organizer


These pull-out organizers help you to organize and provide easy access to your cabinets. Typically made of heavy duty chrome metal, they are meant to stand up to daily use. They easily slide out and keep your items visible, ensuring there are no unused spaces in your kitchen.



how to organize pots and pans, pots and pans storage ideas, pots and pans organization
The Lynk Professional Pull Out Two Tier Sliding Under Cabinet Organizer


Sliding cabinet organizers are the best solution for hard to reach areas such as deep pantries, under the kitchen sink, or in base cabinets. They are also useful for heavier items like small appliances or an Instant Pot, which can be awkward to grab off a shelf in a base cabinet.

While they do keep things organized, what they don't do is prevent some of the issues I mentioned earlier. You would still stack your pots and pans on these sliding organizers. They also take a lot of space inside a cabinet, and for full extension, you'll need to have ample space outside the cabinet as well. They can also be more costly.


how to organize pots and pans, pots and pans storage ideas, pots and pans organization


Pans Organizer


Another possible solution is a pan and pot rack. Vertical racks are a great way to keep your kitchen pots contained, neat, and accessible, without taking up a lot of room.

You can find different types of pans organizer racks at places like Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond, Wayfair and Target. I decided to purchase this pot organizer from Amazon and make a few other improvements to get our kitchen organized.


how to organize pots and pans, pots and pans storage ideas, pots and pans organization


Here's how to organize your kitchen pots, pans, and lids in 5 easy steps :

  1. Empty and Clean. The first step is to empty out the entire pot cabinet. Clean away crumbs and wipe your cabinet shelf and door with a degreaser or all purpose cleaner.
  2. Get rid of the excess. If any pots are broken, scratched up, or unusable, get rid of them. Also remove any unmatched lids, duplicate items, or pots or pans that you never ever use. If you need some pots for only occasional use, say a giant stock pot you use for the Fourth of July Lobster boil, move them to another storage area in the home. Keep only the items you use daily in your kitchen pot and pan storage cabinet.
  3. Add a shelf liner. This might seem like an unnecessary step but it makes a big difference in making your kitchen feel fresh and clean. I lined my shelves in this beige gingham liner. The pattern and colour suits my country cottage.
  4. Assemble your pan organizer rack. There are many different pot and lid racks on the market. Look for ones that have adjustable dividers and are strong and sturdy. Also make sure to measure the height of your cabinet and sure the rack will fit.
  5. Place lids upside down in your pots and adjust shelves to the right size. Depending on the size of your pot organizer, there might not be enough space to fit all of your pots. I decided to keep the two heaviest and largest pots beside the rack and stored all the pans and the smaller pots on the organizer.

how to organize pots and pans, pots and pans storage ideas, pots and pans organization

Vertical organizers are a perfect way to maximize storage in a tiny kitchen. These pan racks have a small footprint and leave room for other kitchen tools.They help to keep your cookware collection in top condition and make it easy to access your favorite pots.

Another good thing about these pan organizer racks is that they can be used in many other creative ways. I think they are such a clever idea - you can use them as a lid organizer, or laid horizontally, you can use them to store cookie sheets, muffin tins, pie plates, cake pans and cutting boards as well. Basically, consider using them anywhere you have flat or long items that are constantly piled on top of one another! Simple hacks like that can make organizing home life a breeze.


how to organize pots and pans, pots and pans storage ideas, pots and pans organization


I'm happy to say this cabinet makeover has made our life a little bit easier. Our pans cabinet has never looked neater. It's great to have permanent homes for your kitchen necessities and storage solutions that keep things orderly. I hope these simple tips have given you inspiration for your own kitchen!

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