I Like Big Pots and I Cannot Lie: 3 Tips for Organizing Cookware


Organizing Cookware | Rhode Island Moms

If 2020 has you operating more like Red and less like Rachel Ray in the kitchen, you’re not alone. In my house, I’ve got limited resources, hungry inmates, and the sneaking suspicion that someone is watching me. Kidding aside, it’s not the pandemic that makes me feel like a prisoner at home. It’s kitchen clutter, and the best way to confront it is to start by organizing cookware.

Here are 3 ways to get your pots and pans in order.

1. Organizing Pots and Pans: Don’t Hide. Glide.

Whether you’re team sauce or team gravy, we can all agree that stock pots are space suckers.

Avoid pushing these large pots to the back of the cabinet. While nesting or stacking may feel like you’re saving space, you’re really making items harder to reach.

Instead, look for a space where you can store pots side-by-side. A corner cabinet with a built-in lazy susan is one option. You’ll save time finding (and returning) items, because everything is “in the front” as you spin the cabinet.

Another option is a gliding shelf, or pull-out drawer. You can put your pots pretty much anywhere, because you’ll get a bird’s-eye view of everything when you open the drawer.

The drawer pictured below is from The Container Store, however, you can find similar solutions on Amazon or at your local hardware store. Just be sure to pick up wood shims before you install; you need to clear the trim in the base cabinet for the drawer to function properly.

Organized Kitchen with gliding shelf
Gliding shelf from The Container Store
Organizing Cookware | Rhode Island Moms
Bird’s-eye view of gliding shelf from The Container Store

Tip: Before you give up precious cabinet space, take a look at how often you use stock pots. You may find that a strategically placed shelf or space in a nearby closet is a better option for the items you rarely use.

2. Put a Lid On It

What’s worse than waiting for a pot of water to boil while your kid screams for mac and cheese? Waiting for said water to boil in a pot without a lid.

For fewer meltdowns and optimal cook times, keep your lids together and easily accessible. There are a few ways you can do this, based on your cooking style:

  • You have several lids, and you cook with them often
  • In this case, a lid rack is a good option. I like to put frying and sauce pans in a lower cabinet, with matching lids on the shelf above them. When shopping for a lid rack, look for one that’s adjustable or comes with a couple different slot sizes. This way, you can accommodate a variety of styles and manufacturers.
  • Organizing Cookware | Rhode Island Moms
    Lid organization for frying pans
  • You have a few lids that you rarely use
  • In this case, I suggest hanging the lids on the back of your cabinet doors. Command hooks work well, or you can add an over-the-door solution.
  • You have a few lids, and you cook with them often
  • In this case, I match each pot with its lid. For optimal use of space, I invert the lids, and then stack no more than two pots at a time. In the example below, I’m using a lid rack to store my pans on their side. This solution works also well for cutting boards and baking sheets.
  • Organizing Cookware, stacked pots Rhode Island Mom
    Example of stacked pots with inverted lids

Tip: Treat your cookware like you would socks or tupperware; periodically inspect them to weed out lost souls.

3. Kick it Up a Notch

Still feeling tight on space? If all else fails, look up. Vertical space is your friend!

Here are few places where you can squeeze in some extra storage:

  • Above the sink (wall mounted pot rack)
  • Over your cooktop (ceiling mounted pot rack)
  • On the side of your fridge (magnetic hooks)
  • On the side of your cabinets (traditional hooks)
  • On the back of a door (over-the-door hooks)
  • On a corner wall (peg board)

Here’s a clever solution I created over my stove by adding swivel magnets.

Magnet Hook for organizing cookware
Example use of vertical space with swivel magnets

Closing Thoughts

Cookware might not be as sexy as decanting your oreos but a good system for your pots and pans sets the foundation for the rest of your kitchen organization.

Hopefully, you now have a little extra space and time on your hands. Go spend it with the little chefs in your life, or try you luck with snack organization.

Links to Suggested Products

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Here are the links to the storage solutions mentioned in this post.

Cabinet pull-out drawer

Adjustable lid rack

Over-the-door lid rack

Swivel magnets

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Patience Sivillo
Patience Sivillo is a Professional Organizer, cat lady, and expert packer. Although she is a transplant from Maine, her love of Lil Rhody is strong! She can find parking off Thames Street, navigate Bristol’s parade route, and hasn’t met an Awful Awful she didn’t like. Patience resides in North Kingstown with her husband and their son, Jackson (2016). She often jokes that the only rule for motherhood is “don’t raise a$$holes.” In a time where technology has eclipsed simpler joys, Patience strives to give her son experiences inspired by her rural upbringing. Her family often travels to Maine to enjoy swimming in the lake, nature walks, and Gan Gan’s homemade bread. As the Owner of Lil Mess Perfect, Patience teaches families how to be more productive and let go of what no longer serves them. She believes that you can do more with less, and has helped clients donate over $30,000 in goods to Rhode Island charities.