Organzing cabinet for pots and pans storage?

cruffJune 15, 2011

Dear Organizing Wizards,

In the kitchen in my new house, my one and only space to store ALL of my pots, pans, baking dishes, mixing bowls, etc., is this lower cabinet:

It's one large, undifferentiated space with four doors - no shelves, no nothing inside. I wonder what the best, easy-to-install system would be for storing and organizing the fairly large and heavy things that need to go here. I'm up for doing things involving basic hole-drilling and screwdriving, but probably not anything you'd call carpentry :-) Is there a cabinet insert system you'd recommend? I'm especially interested in a way to wrangle pot lids, which are always a hassle.


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It depends on what you have.

I would install a shelf 2/3 of the way up, and beneath it, at the two ends with the narrow doors, I'd put in dividers for baking sheets and lids to stand on end. The shelf above could hold baking dishes and small pots and pans and the bigger pots under it,in the center, with some stacking of course.

Just ny 2 cents, anyway.

Maria in Chios, Greece

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 4:00AM
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Maria, that's a good idea. I'd thought of a horizontal shelf and of vertical dividers, but somehow managed not to put the two ideas together.

Has anyone tried the metal, roll-out shelves that places like Solutions and the Container Store sells? People seem to give them rave reviews, but I wonder if they're up to heavier items, and if I'd sacrifice too much side-to-side space if I used them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Roll-out shelves at Solutions

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 8:56AM
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Go to the www. web site. We recently purchased an entire kitchen of sliding shelves and "retro fitted" them into a 30 year old kitchen. The company was very nice to deal with, the prices were good, the installation is fairly straight forward and relatively easy, and the quality of the shelves we purchased are excellent! However, you must make sure your measurements are exact! Their entire product line is available on their site as well as measuring and installation guidelines.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 12:18PM
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talley_sue_nyc makes custom-sized pull-out shelves in many different styles; if you're up for drilling and screw-driving, you'll be good to go with those.

They used to just make their own to the sizes you sent in, but they now sell pre-made ones. I like the custom, frankly.

Personally, I'm a fan of pullouts on many levels, even the bottom. But I would ALSO splurge for full-extension slides. Because then you can have three shelves in some of those areas instead of the stereotypical two. You'll be able to closely space them, and still reach everything.

It essentially turns everything into drawers.

I would personally give up on the idea of "one system," and instead start grouping what you have. Mixing bowls, cooking pots, etc. Also look at what sorts of shapes they are--maybe you have serving trays AND baking sheets AND a broiler pan that are big and flat, and they'd fit best w/ lots of tray dividers in one of the side areas.

Then diagram out the cabinet & the stuff. Stack the pans and measure them; figure out what dimensions your pullouts would be, and see what would fit in them.

Then you might end up w/ an area that doesn't have a pullout; and another area that has a single pullout shelf high up for mixing bowls, and tray dividers underneath for big flat things.

Also remember that mixing bowls should be closer to the action, as should frequently used pans/pots. Stuff you don't use as often can go in the back, or off to the side.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 12:25PM
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Is it possible to hang the pots and pans from either a ceiling or wall rack or pegboard? Or, on the left of your picture, looks like a stove. You could use the bottom drawer (if it isn't a broiler) for pots and their inverted lids.

I have a small 3-tier shelf in my walk-in bedroom closet for crockpot, steamer, Nesco, which are seldom used.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 5:05AM
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All good advice - thanks! Wantoretire_did, because of the tininess of the kitchen and the arrangement of the lights in the ceiling, there's really no good place to hang a pot rack, but there *is* room for a pegboard next to the sink. Excellent idea. And there is a reasonable amount of space on top of the upper cabinets for less-frequently-used stuff.

Thanks to everyone for recommending ShelvesThatSlide. It looks like they have some solutions that might work.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 9:44AM
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carinr - Don't worry too much about losing side-to-side space. What you gain by being able to pull a shelf or bin out and SEE all the pots makes up for it.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 7:50PM
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Do you love the kitchen as it is? You could probably completely replace the cabinets with Ikea with roll outs for the same price as the Shelvesthatslide, with better hardware and without having to engineer some kind of partition for the drawers to sit on. You can always go with the cheap Harlig doors now and replace them in 5 years or so.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 3:26PM
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Cocontom, I wouldn't say that I *love* the kitchen as is, but there's a major remodel (and probably a move of the kitchen to a different part of the house!) in my mid-range future, and with that in mind, I've JUST had the counter replaced and the room painted to cheer things up. I wanted the kitchen to be happy-making, but not to love it so much that I'd lose the nerve to do a major overhaul a few years down the line. The rest of the kitchen works ok, so I'd like to make the most of what I have.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 4:29PM
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