11 ways to organize pots and pans for a practical and tidy kitchen

Organize pots and pans properly to enjoy a seamless kitchen space that's a dream to cook in.

ways to organize pots and pans rustic copper pots and pans hanging on a gold rail in a white kitchen
(Image credit: Nordic Nest)

Organizing pots and pans is a never-ending household challenge. And, it's usually when they've all spilled out from under your kitchen cupboards onto the floor that you think, okay, it's time to sort this out once and for all.

If you're tired of having to pull out the whole pile of heavy pans to reach your best cast iron skillet or if you're finding that a couple are looking a little neglected with rust and grit, it's prime time to look at your storage and how this can fit into your kitchen organization for a super seamless cooking space.

How to organize pots and pans 

After all, when pots and pans get used every day, it's only right they have the happy home they deserve. Combining the right kitchen storage with simple organization systems as recommended by experts in the field, will not only ensure yours remain in good working order, but it'll help your kitchen to work efficiently too.

'In small kitchens, it's a good idea to separate your pans by size, type and material. Store large oven pots together, pans with handles together, lighter stainless steel pans together, and heavier cast iron pieces together,' says professional organizer Devin VonderHaar. This will not only ensure that it's easy to find everything, but it'll also help to prevent your pans from getting damaged.

1. Organize pans neatly with a compact vertical rack 

black pans rack with pans in a kitchen cupboard

(Image credit: Wayfair)

'If you have enough space in your cupboards, use a wire organizer to arrange your pans vertically,' says professional organizer, Devin VonderHaar. A simple metal rack like this is a great way to keep your pans in good working order so that you always know where they are. And the best bit is that you can easily grab each handle without having to lift out the whole pile to find one you want. This black metal rack from Wayfair is small enough to fit in most cupboards and matt black design is on trend too. 

2. Choose a 2 in 1 wall-hung shelf and rail

black wire kitchen shelves and hooks with stainless steel pots and pans

(Image credit: Amazon)

If your cupboards are already jam-packed, look to your walls. This wall-mounted rack from Amazon provides all-in-one storage, with two large wire shelves for your bigger pots, and a rail to hang your smaller pans. You simply screw this to your wall as you would any other shelf and you're good to go. 

3. Hang your pans on a stylish peg board 

Grey pegboard with brightly coloured utensils hung up on it

(Image credit: Megan Taylor)

'One of my favorite ways to store pots and pans is to hang them on a pegboard. You can craft a pegboard at home to fit your space or you can purchase one already made. Then mount it on your wall and arrange, and rearrange, your pots and pans however you like! 

You can even get creative with the accessories you add to personalize it to your own unique needs. Consider adding a magnetic knife board or a rack for your lids,' says Andre Kazimierski, CEO at Improovy

If you've got colorful pots and pans, a dark grey pegboard like this is a great way to make the colors pop and turn the storage into a fun design feature. 

4. Make the most of empty corners with floor standing shelves 

black corner shelves in a kitchen with pots and pans

(Image credit: Amazon)

Renters, this one is for you. If you can't hang extra storage on your walls, floor-standing storage is a great way to expand your shelving, and this corner kitchen pot rack from Amazon is perfect for making the most of those empty, underused corners. This stainless steel design is perfect for a modern kitchen, but for a more traditional look, consider a wooden style.

5. Use Command strips to hang your pans exactly where you need them

kitchen with Command hooks on the wall for copper pans

(Image credit: Command)

If you've only got a couple of pans that you want to keep out on display and close to hand, don't fork out for a whole shelf or rail, simply attach some heavy-duty Command Strips and hang them up. This means you can position each pan precisely where you want it, and it's much more affordable than buying a new piece of furniture. 

6. Opt for a ceiling-hung rack above an island

rustic kitchen with an Edwardian style over head hanging pan rack

(Image credit: Pulley Maid)

If you've got the kitchen island of dreams, make the most of the empty space above with a pots and pans rack hung from the ceiling. This Edwardian style wooden rack from Pulley Maid   brings a traditional and rustic style to the space and means all your pans are within easy reach from every part of the kitchen.

7. Go all out with a 2 sided contraption

large pots and pans holder with many blue pots and pans on a kitchen worktop

(Image credit: Wayfair)

If you're tired of rummaging through multiple cupboards to find that one pan you need, keep them all together with this large pot and pan organizer from Wayfair. All of the shelves are adjustable, so you can adapt it to fit your pots and pans perfectly, and it even has space for hooks to hang utensils.

8. Hang the best-looking pans as a design feature

Copper accessories hung up on an open shelf in a kitchen

(Image credit: Nest)

If your kitchen is looking a little stark, choose some pans, such as the best non-stick frying pans, that look as good as they cook and include them as a design feature in your space by hanging them from a rail. These copper and gold rustic pans bring some metallic warmth to the otherwise simple white scheme and contrast nicely with the matt stone bowels above. 

9. Take inspiration from professional kitchens with stainless steel racks

industrial style kitchen with stainless steel shelving

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

If you fancy yourself as a bit of a pro chef, store and organize pots and pans how they would. Line your walls with stainless steels racks, and to go all matchy matchy with have everything on show, and you'll be ready to cook up a storm whenever the dinner orders come in. 

10. Organize pan lids with brackes inside your cabinets

black pan lid holder on the inside of a kitchen cabinet door with clear pan lids stored

(Image credit: M Design)

Pan lids can be a huge pain when it comes to storing them, so a pan lid rack like this will be a total game-changer. Simply screw this into the inside of your cabinet door and life will become a whole lot easier. This metal pan lid organizer rack from M Design is simple, neat, and suitable for a range of sizes.

11.Hang lids from the walls

white pan lid holder attached to a wall in a white kitchen

(Image credit: Wayfair)

If you don't want to take up any more precious space in your kitchen cabinets, attach a pan lid rack to your wall instead. This white lid holder from Wayfair  is small enough to discreetly attach to your kitchen wall so you can keep your pan lids next to your hob – right where you need them. 

How can I organize my pots and pans without a rack?

If you don't want to invest in a separate piece of storage to store your pots and pans, there are several things you can do to ensure your pans are protected. Many of us use the 'nesting' technique to pack our pans away in cupboards and take up minimal space. Positioning each pan inside a bigger pan does save room, but this could also damage the finish of your pans. 

It's a good idea to invest in pot and pan protectors, like these from Amazon. Simply slot them between each pan, and not only will they protect the pan and stop the coating from rubbing off, but they will also soak up moisture to prevent rust. Placing a kitchen towel between each pan can also help with this too.

Can I store pots and pans under the sink?

As a general rule of thumb, it's probably best to not store your pots under the sink as it's most likely not the cleanest of spaces. With pipes and drains that inevitably live here, leaks are a real risk, so we'd suggest not storing anything under your sink that you'll eat from. But in a small kitchen, we totally get that in can be tricky to find enough room to store everything, so if you absolutely must use the space under your sink for storage, there are precautions you can take. The biggest issue here is moisture, so invest in an absorbent matt to soak up any moisture or leaks. If your space is big enough, you could also use containers to keep your pans covered and protected. 

Amelia Smith
Content Editor

After joining Real Homes as content producer in 2016, Amelia has taken on several different roles and is now content editor. She specializes in style and decorating features and loves nothing more than finding the most beautiful new furniture, fabrics and accessories and sharing them with our readers. As a newbie London renter, Amelia’s loving exploring the big city and mooching around vintage markets to kit out her new home.