5 Clever Ways To Organize Your Pots And Pans With Limited Cabinet Space

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Perhaps you weren't blessed with a storage-savvy, easy-to-organize kitchen, or maybe you have one too many duplicate pots, pans, or kitchen gadgets. Whatever the reason, it seems that pots and pans never get the proper storage placement they deserve. They're typically stored in the broiler, haphazardly balanced on top of one another in a deep cabinet or cupboard, or even kept in the actual range. Remember that there's no problem with displaying lovely pots and pans on top of your range. They can act as a functional art focal point for your kitchen. But if you're a home chef who cooks multiple times a day, the last thing you want to do is move said functional art every time you cook. 

Thankfully, there's a way around this, but it entails some prep work, including taking stock of all your pots, pans, lids, and whatever needs a permanent home. You'll need to discard whatever is no longer usable and then separate what remains into how often you use each item. It's a little like the KonMarie Method for your kitchen, per A to Zen Life. Of course, you might need a little inspiration, so we've pulled together some of the best ways to organize your pots, pans, and lids with limited kitchen space.

Invest in stackable countertop storage

Your storage situation might be pretty dire, and between your Vitamix, salad spinner, Cuisinart and Cuisinart Mini, immersion blender, and the whole other host of pots, pans, and extra lids, sometimes storing your cookware out in the open is your only option. And that's not an issue if you do it right. You'll first want to make sure your pots, pans, lids, and whatever else you'll be storing in plain sight are clean and free from debris because stains and baked-on food aren't appealing to look at. 

You can utilize a nesting technique with your cooking pots by placing a large option on your kitchen counter and putting its corresponding lid on top, only this time, flipped over. You now have a semi-concave, anti-slip cover to display a smaller pot. Keep in mind that it's always a brilliant idea to invest in pot protectors so that your cookware stays scratch-free, per Is It Worth It? If you're interested in a more modern and contained storage vibe, there are horizontal and vertical organizers made to fit inside cabinets, against walls, and in corner spaces.

Get a ceiling mounted pot rack

This is probably one of the best and most space-efficient ways to store your pots, pans, and lids. When you think of a hanging pot rack, you might envision a dark, heavy-duty metal hanging apparatus in a medieval kitchen. You're not that far off with that visualization, though — hanging pot racks are beefy like that for a reason. They have a lot of heavy lifting to do. Hanging pots and pan racks come in various shapes and sizes and are made with different materials. They're most commonly made with wrought iron but are also built with brass, copper, or wood, per WiseGeek.

Pot racks are typically bolted into the ceiling in a spot easily accessible to the home chef but not so out in the open that you might knock your noggin accidentally. They can also be bottled to the wall and have an extra shelf for more built-in storage. Because they're considered an open storage system, they're an excellent choice for displaying all of your cookware. If your pots and pans look unsightly, you might want to give everything a super deep clean before putting it on display. If your cookware is a lost cause, it might be time to treat yourself and purchase replacements that don't look so loved.

Display pots and pans vertically

Vertically displaying your pots and pans saves space, but placing them near your cooking range eliminates any unnecessary cookware clutter shuffling. Per A Beautiful Mess, vertically showing your cooking vessels isn't a new trend. According to HuffPost, Julia Child (the famous cooking instructor, chef, author, and TV personality) used pegboard to keep her pots and pans neat and outlined them in chalk, so she would remember where each pot and pan lived. One of the big reasons Child utilized this vertical space is that she was pretty darn tall, around 6-feet-2-inches, so you can imagine how much of a chore it would have been to bend down and rummage through cabinets.

If you're looking for something less workshop and more food grade, or the wall-mounting pegboard doesn't quite fit your vibe, you can always use a kitchen rail. Also known as pot rails, notes SemiStories, these wall-mounted pots, and pan holders are like a simplified version of the hanging rack mentioned before. Some are as simple as a bar with hooks for your housewares, while others are more like shelving units with the rail bar underneath them. You can't go wrong with either version of upwards organizing because either option is perfect for space-starved kitchens.

Use deep drawers or cupboards

Maybe it's not necessarily pots and pans that you're having trouble relocating, but instead, it's all those sheet pans, muffin tins, and cookie trays that seem to multiply every holiday season. If you have deep cabinets or cupboards whose function only appears to be swallowing random kitchen gadgets, so they'll never see the light of day, then maybe storing your sheet pans is a better option. To make it easier to grab exactly what you need, HGTV suggests using tension rods as separators. One tension rod goes in the back of the cupboard, and another line up in front. Then you can categorize and slide in your trays for easy access. If your kitchen drawers are pretty deep, you can also use tension rods to create impromptu separators in the same manner. 

You can place the tension rods front to back or side to side depending on your kitchen's layout and how many trays you have. If you're looking for more pan storage, use a deep kitchen drawer as a holding tank for them, and then create a tension rod separator so that the lids and bottoms can all live happily together. As noted by Organized Chaos Online, you can also utilize the inside of your kitchen cabinet or drawers for lid storage, and all you need to do is attach a kitchen rail or curtain rod inside for your drawers to rest on. 

Get a mobile island or kitchen cart

If your kitchen space permits it, looking into a mobile kitchen island or kitchen cart can also be beneficial for keeping your cookware in check. Both options are relatively affordable, depending on the size and dimensions, materials, and unique additions each might have. Kitchen islands serve more than a few good functions, and they're great for cookware storage and act like a mobile prepping station. Some kitchen islands work well for serving food in other rooms. If you purchase one that has a drop-leaf table, you can also have an impromptu sit-down meal with a friend. It's a prep station by day and a dinner table by night.

Some kitchen carts are also made to hold heavier appliances, like microwaves, which is why they're also referred to as microwave carts. These utility carts have a flat surface on top. If you don't care about having a workspace, other kitchen carts are more basic, easier to wheel around and cost less. If space is even more of an issue, or you're just looking for a temporary holding station, you can find kitchen carts that fold away for easy storage. Master Brand Cabinets notes that the shelving and storage offered by a kitchen island cart mean quick and easy access for any stovetop needs. That means less kitchen stress and happier meal times overall.