How to Store Cookware, Knives and Kitchen Gadgets

If your kitchen is overrun with unorganized pots, pans and utensils, try these tips that will have your space looking tidy as a Michelin star restaurant.
Urban Oasis 2011 Kitchen Cookware Storage

Urban Oasis 2011 Kitchen Cookware Storage

By: Lisa Frederick

Pots and Pans

Bulky and heavy, pots and pans can be a challenge to stow. Try one of these five ways to keep them in their place.

  • Pot rack. So obvious, yet so classic, a ceiling-mounted pot rack has long been the go-to for cookware storage. Even if you have a tiny kitchen, you can find one in a small size that suits the space. The key is to hang it where people won’t bang their heads — try above an island or peninsula, next to a wall or in an out-of-the-way nook.
  • Lazy Susan. Outfit a deep corner kitchen cabinet with a lazy Susan to keep cookware easy to grab. Just be sure the turntable is wide enough that pots with long handles won’t bump against the walls and interfere with the spinning.
  • Pullout cabinet. An odd sliver of space next to the fridge or in a divider wall can be just right for a pullout that houses skillets and sauce pans. Include enough hooks to hang lids separately.
  • Pegboard wall. Got a blank kitchen wall just begging to be filled? Mount a sheet of pegboard (paint it to match your decor if you like), and install S-hooks to keep pots at your fingertips.
  • Wall shelf. A sturdy wall shelf with hooks along the bottom does double duty: You can stack pots and pans with their lids on top, then hang additional cookware or kitchen tools from the hooks. Choose a material that stands up to heavy use and moisture, and won’t scuff or scratch: stainless steel, coated wire, enamel.
Make-Room-modern-cottage-kitchen-countertop_s4x3

Make-Room-modern-cottage-kitchen-countertop_s4x3

Knives

There are two keys to knife storage: sharpness and safety. You want a spot where the blades won’t dull or get or nicked, and where you won’t cut yourself when you go to grab one. Consider these solutions:  

  • Knife block. Don’t overlook the standard knife block — it’s convenient, portable and the price is right. You’ll get the most mileage from a universal-style version that allows you to stick knives in at will, rather than a more traditional model with defined slots.
  • Pullout drawer. Keep your knives sorted with a special drawer that’s fitted with slots in the right sizes. You can have one custom-made or just buy a freestanding tray. If you have kids in the house, be sure to secure the drawer with a childproof locking mechanism to ward off inquisitive little hands.
  • Magnetic wall rack. This isn’t ideal with small kids around, but if your family is older, a wall-mounted strip holds knives at your fingertips without eating up drawer and cabinet space.
Vintage Trophy Utensil Storage

Vintage Trophy Utensil Storage

Gadgets

Too often, kitchen gadgets end up getting tossed in a drawer, which leads to frantic rummaging when you need your garlic peeler or apple corer. Avoid the scramble with these strategies.

  • Utensil crock. Many avid cooks are fans of countertop utensil crocks for storing whisks, ladles, spatulas and more. They’re not ideal for small gadgets that can get lost at the bottom, but they work beautifully for tools with handles. Keep them near the stove so that you can grab them without having to step away from a smoking pan.
  • Drawer dividers. Corral small, oddly shaped kitchen doodads, such as pot scrapers, funnels, twine and more, with a simple premade drawer divider. If your drawer is deep enough, a two-tier stacking model doubles the storage space.
  • Wall receptacles. Mount a small shelf on the kitchen wall, then add shallow bins or trays to keep kitchen gadgets in reach but out of view. Or use sturdy, stylish wall pockets from an office supply store.

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