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How to Organize Pots and Pans

Simple Tips for Organizing Pots and Pans – Organization Ideas & Storage Hacks!

Learn how to organize pots and pans. These simple organization ideas and storage hacks will help you organize your cookware organized, thereby keeping your kitchen neat and tidy.

How to organize pots and pans

Fall seems like a great time of year to organize your pots and pans. After all, we’re heading into the busy cooking season. Most folks cut back on their outdoor cooking, even if they live in warmer climates.

Cooler weather means it’s time for soups and stews and yummy recipes that simmer all day on the stove.

Holiday cooking means we’ll be bringing out some of those kitchen tools we only use occasionally. Getting everything organized ahead of that seems like a good plan. 

Organizing your pots and pans is a great place to start. Generally, they take up a lot of space. Even the smallest cookware sets I’ve seen are eight-piece sets (varying in size, plus their accompanying lids).

That’s a lot of items to find space for. Once your pots and pans are suitably arranged, it should be reasonably easy to organize the rest of your kitchen to get ready for your fall and winter cooking adventures.

Related: 13 Dish Drying Racks for Small Kitchens

How to Organize Pots and Pans

My Favorite Pots and Pans Organizer for Cabinet

I’ve looked at a lot of different methods of organizing your pots and pans over the years. I’ve experimented and tried various setups depending on the type of cookware set I was using at the time.

My hands-down winner for the kitchen tool that is the most versatile for organizing your pots and pans, no matter which type, is this Hardware Resources Pots and Pan Organizer.

Hardware Resources Pots and Pan OrganizerHardware Resources Pots and Pan OrganizerHardware Resources Pots and Pan Organizer

It fits into any cabinet with a measurement of at least seventeen inches (the organizer is fifteen inches, and the hardware sticks out a little further).

It’s rated to hold one hundred pounds so that it will fit even heavy Calphalon or cast iron pans.

Plus, it’s easy to install; all you need is a screwdriver! It has a matching lid organizer rack and pairs well with this cutting board organizer, so you can store everything together in one double cabinet or stack them in a tall pantry cabinet.

Hardware Resources Pots and Pan Lid OrganizerHardware Resources Pots and Pan Lid OrganizerHardware Resources Pots and Pan Lid OrganizerLynk Slide Out Cutting Board, Bakeware, and Tray OrganizerLynk Slide Out Cutting Board, Bakeware, and Tray OrganizerLynk Slide Out Cutting Board, Bakeware, and Tray Organizer

Where Should You Store Heavy Pots and Pans?

Storing heavy pots and pans is a challenge in any kitchen. Nesting them together isn’t always ideal, especially if anyone who is cooking has a hard time lifting heavy objects.

Plus, some brands of pots and pans can’t be nested or stacked because you will damage them.

Organizing Pots and Pans in a Small Kitchen

If you’re working in a tiny kitchen or looking for out of the box solutions, try an antique-finish towel rod with S-hooks.

This is an excellent fix in any kitchen where the cabinet and counter space is at a premium. Make sure you order heavy-duty S-hooks to hold heavier pots and pans.

Stacking Racks

Another option for bulky pots and pans is a stacking rack. If you’re using cast iron or heavy cookware such as a Caphalon cookware set, you will want to choose a Heavy Duty Pan Organizer.

Heavy Duty Pan Organizer, Extra Large 5 Tier RackHeavy Duty Pan Organizer, Extra Large 5 Tier RackHeavy Duty Pan Organizer, Extra Large 5 Tier Rack

This one is large enough that you can even put a Dutch Oven in the bottom slot! It has a five-tier design and can sit on your countertop or fit inside a cabinet. It can be used horizontally or vertically, depending on the space you have available.

I have a mixture of different pots and pans, including an old, heavy Dutch oven that I inherited from my mother.

This is the only stacking rack that it will fit into. If you’re in an apartment or other rental type, you will want to stick with something that doesn’t need to be mounted onto a surface.

The Heavy Duty Pan Organizer works fine without being mounted, so it gives you the freedom to organize your pots and pans without damaging surfaces.

Can You Store Pots and Pans Under the Sink?

Technically, you can store anything you want to under the sink.

However, the right question is, should you store pots and pans under the sink, and the answer is no.

Even if you’re on your very first starter set of pots and pans that you bought on sale, you shouldn’t store pots and pans under the sink.

First, under the sink is an excellent place for water leaks to happen.

And there’s an excellent chance that when that water leak does happen, it’s not going to be a gigantic flood of water that alerts you to its presence right away.

Nope, it’s going to be a slow, tenacious drip that may take you months to really notice. By then, your pots and pans may be irreparably damaged, especially if you’re using something like cast iron.

Could you imagine pulling your Dutch oven out for that first pot of soup in October after cooking outside on the grill all summer long and finding it covered in rust? Talk about gutted!

While cabinet space may be at a premium in your kitchen, underneath your kitchen sink is not where you should store your pots and pans.

Instead, keep your cookware in a wide or double cabinet, preferably further away from the sink, so you’re not exposing it to any moisture.

Pots and Pans Organizer Rack for Cabinet and Countertop

This eight-tier Pot and Pan Organizer Rack is perfect for storing pots and pans with their lids in a wide cabinet.

Pot and Pan Organizer Rack for Cabinet and CountertopPot and Pan Organizer Rack for Cabinet and CountertopPot and Pan Organizer Rack for Cabinet and Countertop

It can be used as a single piece or as two separate pieces, depending on your storage needs. It’s also suitable for using on your countertop if need be.

Can You Stack Stainless Steel Pans?

Stainless steel pans are often the preferred pans of experienced home chefs. They can handle high heat, they don’t scratch, and you can beat on them if it comes right down to it.

You can stack them, but when you do, you’re often putting pressure on the handles, which can cause them to loosen. That may cause your pans to be damaged much sooner than they would usually be.

Ceiling Mounted Hanging Pots and Pans Rack

For something lightweight, such as stainless steel, you can use a ceiling-mounted hanging pots and pans rack with S-hooks, which will keep your pots and pans nicely out of the way. It may not be the best solution if you have low ceilings.

X Home Pot and Pan Rack for Ceiling with HooksX Home Pot and Pan Rack for Ceiling with HooksX Home Pot and Pan Rack for Ceiling with Hooks

Wall Mounted Pots and Pans Rack

For kitchens without a lot of cabinet space, a wall-mounted pots and pans rack would also be a good option for stainless steel because it’s lighter weight and is less likely to pull the rack down from the weight.

X Home Pot Rack, 29.3 Inch Pan Rack, 2 Tier Wall Mounted Pot Hanging RackX Home Pot Rack, 29.3 Inch Pan Rack, 2 Tier Wall Mounted Pot Hanging RackX Home Pot Rack, 29.3 Inch Pan Rack, 2 Tier Wall Mounted Pot Hanging Rack

Can You Stack Calphalon Pans?

Surprisingly, nest stacking invalidates the warranty on Calphalon pans.

If you’re looking for storage solutions for your Calphalon pans, you’ll want to choose options such as the Hardware Resources Pots and Pan Organizer.

Hardware Resources Pots and Pan OrganizerHardware Resources Pots and Pan OrganizerHardware Resources Pots and Pan Organizer

Did you know that stacking nonstick pans can scratch the pans? It can, so there’s a valid reason why Calphalon includes stacking in the list of actions that will invalidate your warranty.

This organizer rack has adjustable dividers so you can custom fit it to your Calphalon cookware set. It’s easy to install, and it has excellent reviews.

Tips for Organizing Pots and Pans

Consider Your Available Space

Evaluate your space choices before you decide which method is going to work best for you.  A ceiling-mounted rack may not be your best option if anyone in your family is 6’2” tall.

A countertop option may not be advisable if you live in an apartment. 

Have a Storage Plan before Buying New Pots or Pans

Plan future purchases. If you’re budgeting for a new cookware set soon, then you will want to plan your storage method for that set, not your current set.

If you have an eight-piece set but will be adding a new saute pan, you may need to customize a set or plan to buy more than one rack.

Maximize Available Space

Find ways to use small bits of leftover space. You may have a few inches of spare room once you install or place a rack in a cabinet. If so, can you slide your cutting boards in there? Perhaps you could store some small containers such as bottles of dish soap or Bar Keeper’s Friend.

Maximizing your space enhances your overall kitchen experience and makes you feel more confident as you use your kitchen. 

Find Permanent Home for Rarely Used Cookware

Find permanent homes for seldom-used pieces of cookware like stock pots and roasting pans. They can be stored on those hard to reach shelves that you need a stepstool to reach, or they can be put in the bottom cabinets that you need to get down on your hands and knees to reach. Either way, that space isn’t being used regularly, so you don’t need to be uncomfortable very often!

Declutter Cookware You No Longer Need

Figure out if you actually need all of your kitchen tools. If you’ve got a rice cooker and an instant pot, do you need to keep the rice cooker, or can you donate it?

If all of your children have grown up and you no longer need to make a gallon of chicken noodle soup for dinner, do you need to have three stock pots?

If you’re able to scale down on some of your kitchen supplies, that will make organizing that much easier.

Final Thoughts on How to Organize Pots and Pans

Organizing your pots and pans is just one step of managing your overall kitchen space. However, it is one of the first steps into making your kitchen the functional heart of your home that you need it to be. Once you’ve figured out how you will arrange your cookware, you will be able to set up the cooking area in a way that works for you.

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Ideas for organizing pots and pans

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