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6 Ways to Organize Your Cookware That Don’t Involve Stacking

No more hazardous lower cabinets.


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stack of pots and pans

Photo by Belle Morizio

Stacking pots and pans in low kitchen cabinets is by far the most popular storage method. It also happens to be the least convenient. You can be as strategic about it as you like, but somehow the tool you end up needing always seems to be at the bottom of the pile—the corresponding lid nowhere to be found. And if you’re the type of person who collects cast iron, wrangling the heavy pieces is a back-breaking workout, not to mention loud. 

While shoving bulky braisers and skillets in a cupboard is certainly a quick solution, there are plenty of other practical, affordable, and nonawkward ways to organize these essentials. Turns out, the ceiling and the extractor fan are better spots to stow your stuff than a wimpy shelf. Get to the fun part (cooking!) faster by taking advantage of these spots.

Utilize the Extractor Fan

pots and pans hanging over stove

Photography by Ellen Marie BennettPhoto by Photography Ellen Marie Bennett

Ellen Marie Bennett displays her staples directly over her bright yellow Bertazzoni stovetop using $3 S-hooks from IKEA. The stainless steel clasps slip right into the cracks of the extractor fan. The system makes it easy to see and grab things on the fly. 

Lower the Bar

neatly organized shelves in kitchen

Photography by Caroline BriggsPhoto by Photography Caroline Briggs

One alternative to hanging your pieces directly from the vent is to mount a bar to the backsplash. A sturdy brass or bronze rod can hold everything from heavy stoneware to dried spices to spatulas. 

Do Like Julia Child

kitchen with checked walls

Photography by Derek Swalwell; Design by Kennedy Nolan

The famed cook’s favorite method? The humble pegboard. The feature doesn’t have to eat up a whole wall in your space. Section off an area near the stovetop, paint the plain wood a crisp shade of white, and then slide the pieces into place. 

Break Up the Party

neatly organized cupboards

Photography by Rocky Luten/Food52

To keep the pots with their lids or not? This is probably the biggest dilemma. One solid answer is to keep them nearby. That way, if you do need a top, you can find the exact size fairly easily. The key is using something like Caraway’s genius linen lid holder to keep them all separated. It can be mounted to the side of the refrigerator or the interior of a cabinet door.

Hang Them From the Ceiling

pots and pans hanging from ceiling

Photography by Honeywild

No need to splurge on a fancy copper rack that looms over the island. Mount something small over the sink, as Mary Salas did. Her essentials are hooked up onto two plain pieces of wood. 

Turn Cabinets Into Drawers

dark cabinets with pans and appliances

Improve upon your cabinet storage scenario by adding these clever chrome-plated drawers that pull out smoothly from the base of a cupboard even when fully loaded. No more digging around in dark corners. 

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This post originally appeared on Domino and was published September 15, 2020. This article is republished here with permission.

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