How to Store Pots and Pans in a Tiny Kitchen
Organizing pots and pans can be a real pain, especially if you don’t have the right equipment. Since cookware can be oddly shaped and come with lids and awkward handles, stacking everything on top of one another can make your kitchen feel unorganized and cluttered. When you’re working with limited storage space — a couple of drawers, cabinets and (if you’re lucky) a pantry — you might be scratching your head trying to find room for everything.
Here, we’ll walk you through exactly how to store pots and pans in a tiny space, with a variety of pot and pan storage ideas that you can adapt to your specific kitchen layout.
1. Install a Ceiling Pot Rack
When you’re running low on counter, cabinet and floor space, look to the ceiling. Though the thought of hanging cookware above your head might seem like an accident waiting to happen, with a bit of DIY savvy or the help of a skilled contractor, you can install a sturdy pot rack on your ceiling that holds all your most-used pots and pans and displays them beautifully over your kitchen island or stovetop. You can pick up a high-quality pot rack from your local hardware store or online for a couple hundred bucks and turn the installation into a weekend project.
2. Stack or Nest What You Can
As we mentioned earlier, stacking isn’t always the best solution, especially when you’re working with cookware of vastly different shapes and sizes. But when you have a set of cast iron pans, skillets or Dutch ovens from the same maker, nesting them can be an easy way to clear up space for everything else. When you’re stacking pots and pans, be sure to protect them from scratches and rusting by placing a few sheets of paper towel or an actual kitchen tea towel between them. If they come with lids, store them on the side of a cabinet door or hang them on your pegboard (learn more below).
3. Set Up a Wall-Mounted Pegboard
Pegboards are a universally functional and affordable storage solution for every room of your house, including your garage, bedroom and more. In the kitchen, pegboards can be a versatile way to keep everything from pots and pans to kitchen shears, spatulas, ladles, immersion blenders and other tools. (You can even make spice racks out of them!) One of the best features of a pegboard is that you can continually reconfigure the pegs to create new ways of storing both items and additional racks or organizers.
4. Invest in Custom Drawers
Though slightly more expensive, one of the simplest solutions to your pot and pan pyramid is building a custom drawer that’s deep enough to hold all your cookware. This storage option keeps everything tucked away when not in use but still in arm’s reach when you need it. If you’re planning your dream kitchen in your forever home, add custom drawers to your list of renovations — and be sure to take lid storage into account as well, with a separate slot in the back to keep them organized
5. Display Them on Your Stove or Refrigerator
Have a gorgeous Le Creuset or vintage Magnalite cast aluminum pan you inherited from grandma? Rather than adding to a sense of clutter, your best cookware can be its own colorful, eye-catching statement on the stove or top of the fridge — just let them air dry and hang out in plain sight until you need them. (It makes the most sense to do this with heavy-duty pots and pans you plan on using somewhat often.)
6. Mount a Towel Rod
A simpler alternative to the ceiling pot rack, the towel rod is a great way to make use of vertical space if you have high ceilings or want an easier way to reach your pots and pans. Set up the towel rod wherever you have room on the wall, then buy heavy-duty S-hooks that you can loop into the holes on your cookware’s handles.
7. Use a Rolling Bar Cart
The humble bar cart is such a versatile and convenient storage solution that you might find yourself buying several to keep around the house. Keep oft-used pots, pans and kitchen appliances on the top shelf (it’s the perfect station for a rice cooker, Instant Pot or other clunky tool) and nest the others down below. Wheel the cart into a discreet corner when you need to clear space.
8. Find Hook Space Wherever You Can
If your kitchen doesn’t have a good amount of wall space for you to install a towel rod or set up a pegboard, don’t fret — your pots and pans don’t have to stick together. Instead, attach sturdy hooks to the sides of cabinets, islands or anywhere else you can squeeze a piece of cookware or two, filling in each small gap of empty space wherever it presents itself.
9. Design a Functional Backsplash
The backsplash behind your sink isn’t the obvious canvas for storage, but one that’s tall enough can be the perfect space for a pegboard or pot rack. Even better, you can hang your just-washed cookware and let it all drip right into the sink overnight. In the morning, let your copper, stainless steel and other pots and pans display themselves as is, or move them into tucked-away cabinets, nooks and other storage space — there are plenty of possibilities.
10. Try a Multi-Tiered Wire Rack
It might not be the prettiest option, but a tall wire rack with multiple shelves is one of the easiest ways to store your pots, pans and other kitchenware. (There’s a reason why many cooks and chefs, including Ina Garten, love them.) What this type of open shelving lacks in aesthetics, it more than makes up for as a budget-friendly and sturdy option that provides easy visibility and access to all your kitchen goods. If you’re finding it hard to reach the highest shelf, invest in a collapsible step stool.
Other Tiny Kitchen Organization Ideas
Need help organizing your pantry or other items in your kitchen? Check out: