8 Ways to Organize Pots and Pans When Your Cabinet Space Is Limited

Learn how to organize pots and pans with these smart strategies.

Cookware comes in all shapes and sizes, which can make storing it all feel like a complicated game of Tetris. Especially when you're working with a small kitchen or limited cabinet space, organizing pots and pans in an easily accessible manner takes some creative thinking. Ideally, your cookware should be stored near the range for convenience while cooking, and you should be able to grab the pan you need without rummaging around a crowded cabinet. That means the first step to organizing pots and pans is usually to edit your collection. Although it's tempting to hang on to all of your baking dishes or pans, keeping only what you use on a regular basis will make kitchen organization much easier. Donate or recycle items you don't use often. Keep special-occasion dishes, pots, and pans tucked out of the way until they're needed so they don't take up your everyday storage space. When you're ready to put away the rest, try these pots and pans storage ideas to get started on a more organized kitchen.

kitchen with white stove black refrigerator and copper dishes hanging
David Tsay

1. Organize pots and pans above the stove.

Keep your most commonly used pots and pans above the stove so they're only an arm's reach away while you're cooking. Mount a simple pot rack ($22, Target) on the wall behind the range or on the underside of the upper cabinetry, making sure it's sturdy enough to support the weight of your cookware. Use hooks to hang pots, pans, and utensils right where you'll need them.

hidden kitchen storage slide out with sheet pans
Gordon Beall

2. Store sheet pans on end.

When storing flat items like baking sheets, you can save space by standing them up on their ends instead of stacking them horizontally. Adding a pan organizer rack ($17, Bed Bath & Beyond) inside a cabinet lets you file baking sheets and cutting boards in divided rows. For a custom solution, outfit the sliver of space next to the range with a narrow pullout cabinet where you can stash sheet pans.

pegboard kitchen storage
Adam Albright

3. Hang pots and pans on a pegboard.

A pegboard provides a pots and pans storage idea that's completely customizable. Install a pegboard on a stretch of wall and use an assortment of hooks ($4, The Home Depot) to hang up pots and pans by their handles. This kitchen organizing idea also works well for other items including cutting boards, cooking utensils, kitchen scissors, measuring cups, and more.

rustic-modern kitchen with gray cabinets, floor-to-ceiling subway tile and reclaimed wood dining table
Michael Partenio

4. Mount a ceiling pot rack.

If you're limited with both wall space and cabinet storage, look to the ceiling for pots and pans organization. Ceiling-mounted pot racks are available in a wide variety of sizes and provide a great solution if you've otherwise run out of storage space. Just make sure that you can easily reach the hanging pans without the help of a stepping stool. If your ceilings are particularly high, try adding length to the fixture's chain or attaching the pot rack to a beam instead.

kitchen storage racks under stove
Jeff Herr 

5. Store pans in a toe-kick drawer.

Another smart sheet pan storage idea is to store them flat in a toe-kick drawer. These hidden storage compartments can be installed beneath lower cabinets or appliances where it's most convenient. The shallow size is perfect for baking sheets, pizza pans, muffin tins, and more. If needed, use dividers to keep pans from rattling around when you open the drawer.

kitchen copper pot pans hanging
Michael Partenio

6. Display copper cookware with a hanging pot rack.

With its rich color and brilliant sheen, copper cookware is pretty enough to display when not in use. Store copper pots and pans out in the open on a wall-mounted pot rack ($27, Wayfair). If your collection is large, dedicate an entire wall to your copper cookware display with multiple racks installed on top of each other.

kitchen storage pot pan lids organization
Adam Albright

7. Store lids for pots and pans in a drawer.

Many pots and pans come with lids, and it's not always the best idea to store the two pieces together. Stash lids in a cabinet or drawer near the range so you can easily grab the right one mid-meal prep. Place a lid organizer inside to ensure the pieces remain standing up and in place. An over-cabinet lid holder ($12, The Container Store) can also help take advantage of behind-the-door space.

small industrial kitchen island for tools and pots
Jay Wilde

8. Use the island for pots and pans storage.

Move pots and pans storage to the island if your perimeter cabinets are all full. If you don't have a built-in island, a kitchen cart can also work nicely. Dedicate an open shelf to cookware storage and nest several pots together to save space, then store the lids elsewhere. You can also flip the lids upside-down on the pots to create a flatter surface that allows for stacking.

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