7 Simple Ways to Organize Pots and Pans (Not Only in Cabinets!)

Are you struggling to find a place in your kitchen to store and organize your pots and pans? 

Are they falling out of your cabinets each time you go to grab something? 

Is it a constant fight to pull everything out to get the pan that you want to use, way in the back of the cabinet and on the bottom of a stack?? We have all been there!

Keep reading below for 7 areas in your kitchen (and beyond) that you can store and organize your pots and pans.  They will no longer be hard to find and get to. Or fall out of your cabinets the moment you open them. And….you’ll finally enjoy cooking again!

Declutter First!

Prior to rearranging anything in your home, you should always see if there are any items you can get rid of.  

So in this case, do you have 5 pans that are the same size?  You really only need 1, potentially 2 of the exact same size.  

If there are any that are scratched on the inside, those should go in the garbage immediately.  There are possible health concerns if you use scratched Teflon pans and it’s better to be safe than sorry!    

declutter and throw away scratched pans

Keep only the pots and pans that you use all the time and donate the rest! Throw out the scratched ones.

So, where should pots and pans be stored?

Pots and pans can be tricky items to store. They don’t stack nicely together and if you put too many in a pile, it makes it incredibly hard to get the pot or pan that is in the middle of the pile.  Some pots are also quite large and awkward, so finding the best space for them can be a challenge.

How to organize pots and pans in a lazy-susan

If you have a lower corner cabinet with a lazy-susan in it, or if you have a corner cabinet that currently has shelves but could be converted into a lazy-susan, this will apply to you. 

This is by far the easiest way to view and choose which pots and pans you want to use.  It also makes it easier to put the pots and pans away after they have been cleaned.  

Lazy-susans that are made specifically for corner cabinets are quite large. They use the full space of the corner and spin for easy access. Where, if you use shelves, you will have kitchen items shoved in the back never to be seen again!  

Many lazy-susans can spin all the way around. This makes it easy to see everything and quickly grab what you need. 

Since the space is large, you won’t need to stack pots and pans as much. This will save your pots and pans from getting scratched and dented.  You can likely get away with having each pile only two pots or two pans high!  Or even better, not stacked at all!

Make sure to measure your cabinet space before buying any lazy-susan product.  There are different sizes to choose from, so make sure it will fit into your cabinet space.

In addition, some of them are drilled into the cabinet door, which may not work with your existing cabinet.  The kidney-shaped lazy-susan completely spins around and does not require drilling into the cabinet door. 

Storing pots and pans in a drawer

If you have deep, wide drawers in your kitchen, this is a great place to store pots and pans neatly.  Pots and pans are heavier than most dishes, so it is best to have them lower in your kitchen.

This way you won’t have to pull them out over your head.  Yikes!  A drawer is beneficial because you don’t have to pull everything out, you can just slide out the drawer and pick what you want to use.  No more heavy lifting!  Unless you want that.  🙂

Lid organizers are great for keeping the lids tidy and can prevent any glass lids from breaking.  Don’t store the lids on top of the pots or pans, unless you have something protective in between the lid and the pot/pan.  They could break or scratch easily from the movement in the drawer.    

If you don’t have a large drawer, there are also sliding units that can be installed into your existing cabinets. They act as a drawer, making it easier to find what you are looking for. 

There are different size options and tiered units, such as this two tier sliding unit that should fit most, if not all of your pots and pans.

Hanging pots and pans from the ceiling

hang pots and pans

There are many different options and styles for hanging the pots and pans from your kitchen ceiling.  Most hanging units come with hooks that your pots and pans would hang from.  So just make sure that your pots and pans have a hole in the handle (most do).  

Make sure that you install these hanging units in an area that you don’t have to walk under all of the time. Also, ensure that it isn’t hanging too close to your countertops.  You want to make life easier, not more challenging!

Use the warming drawer under your oven for storage

Yes, it is called a warming drawer and is therefore used to keep food warm.  However, it has often been used for storing pots and pans without any issue. 

This space may not hold all of your pots but should hold your pans.  It is a great spot, because it is rarely used for its actual purpose, so is otherwise just wasted space.  This is especially great when you don’t have a lot of storage room in your kitchen.

warming tray for organizing pots and pans

Organizing pots and pots in standard cabinets

You should use the lower cabinets if possible, because of the weight of the pots and pans. 

If you have a cabinet with 3 shelves, put:

  • the lids on the top shelf
  • the pans on the center shelf
  • the pots on the bottom

If you have 2 shelves, use a lid organizer on the same shelf as the pans and put the pots on the bottom.

Ideally you will be able to spread out the pots and pans so that you can avoid stacking more than 2 together.  If it’s still a really tight space, try storing your pans in the warming drawer under your oven and your pots in a kitchen cabinet.

Another option: If you have a 2 door lower cabinet, you could use an expandable organizer to fit the space in the cabinet and the size of your pots and pans. 

It can sit in the center of the cabinet, then your pots could fit on one side and the pans on the other side.  This keeps them all separate from each other. So there is less chance of scratching or denting your pots and pans.

How to store pots and pans in a small kitchen

For a small apartment, the kitchen likely isn’t very large.  Buying a separate microwave stand could be a great solution. Not only to organize your pots and pans, but also clear your countertop of the microwave! They are also a beautiful addition to any kitchen.

There are also shelves that you can put on your wall and use for storing pots, pans, lids, and even spatulas, serving spoons, and whisks. 

Any kitchen utensils that have a hole towards the end of the handle.  This larger shelf option may work well for small kitchens that have a full wall of open space.

Other locations pots and pans can be stored

Since pots and pans can be bulky, they may not fit well in your kitchen. Is there anywhere else close by where you could store your pots and pans?  Maybe you have extra space in your laundry room or a large storage cabinet in your basement.  

Do you have a large pantry that they would fit in?  The goal is to find an area where you don’t have to stuff all of your pots and pans in so tight that you can’t easily get them back out again.  

They should be stacked no more than 2 high and the lids can be stored in an organization unit.

Extra: Pots and Pans Storage Hacks 

There are many storage hacks for pots and pans, such as hanging them from hooks on peg board or hanging them under your kitchen cabinets from hooks. 

These may work if you are okay with your pots and pans becoming artwork or if you don’t mind damaging the bottom of your kitchen cabinets. But I think using space that you already have or getting another compact cabinet/unit will be more likely to work long term and won’t leave you with anything to repair!

organizing pots and pans

I hope this post has helped you decide on a better organizing system for your pots and pans!

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