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Kitchen Storage Ideas: Cookware & Utensils

Kitchen storage ideas for storing cookware in hard to reach cabinets, plus easy inspiration for keeping your kitchen utensils at your fingertips. 

kitchen storage ideas older cabinets

Sometimes, when you have lived with a dysfunctional space for a long time, it becomes a part of your life. After a while, fixing this particular area of your home seems overwhelming, so eventually it fades to the background. That’s what happened with this awkward corner cabinet space in my kitchen. I honestly couldn’t see the forest for the trees. It didn’t work for so many years, that actually making it work seemed impossible. 

But it was not impossible.

All I had to do was think about it for a while, come up with a solution for the problems, and search for the correct organizational tools. Once I did that, this never-ending black hole was transformed into a usable and orderly space. 

kitchen storage ideas corner cabinet before

See the entire kitchen organization series

What Wasn’t Working

The biggest challenge of this entire kitchen organization project was the corner cabinet pictured above. There is no built-in lazy Susan and instead of hinged doors, there are two doors. It’s like a dark cave that goes on forever. It’s large, but because most of the rear space is hard to get to, I couldn’t utilize the space well. There were things in these cabinets that I don’t even remember putting there. If you look closely at the photo above, you can see the top part of a Maker’s Mark bourbon bottle…and we don’t even drink. I honestly have no idea how it got there!

Cookware Kitchen Storage Goals

  • My main goal was to clear out everything I wasn’t using so that I could access the things I do use. Pots were stacked on pans, and pans were stacked on pots. The only items I could get to easily were those that were at the very front of the cabinets.
  • I needed to make the back portion of the cabinets usable space. 
  • I wanted the ability to store everything I need and use without stacking anything.

kitchen storage ideas tramontina cookware

Cookware Cabinet Problem Solvers

To solve the stacking issue, I purchased eight ClosetMaid risers. They are like portable shelves that make it very easy to stack items. I placed them at the back of the cabinets. They hold items I don’t use on a regular basis, but that I need and use occasionally. 

I also decided to update my cookware to this beautiful blue Tramontina cast iron. I have wanted cast iron cookware for years, but it was always out of reach because of the cost. I saw this brand a while ago at Target and it’s very reasonably priced. My family gave me three pieces for my birthday and I added the little cocotte pot. It’s functional and beautiful at the same time. By downsizing the number of pieces, I am able to put it all in the front where I can easily access it. I replaced eight pieces of mismatched Calphalon with four pieces of lovely cast iron. I gained beauty and space at the same time!

kitchen storage ideas hard to reach cabinet

Overflow baking items are at the front of the cabinet on the right. Mixing bowls are on the top shelf with cookie cutters and sprinkles gathered together and organized in clear bins on the bottom shelf. Behind all of this are baking pans on the top, and serving pieces on the bottom. 

kitchen storage ideas for utensils

The cabinet next to the corner unit has a slide-out shelf that actually makes a perfect drawer. Two baskets turned this awkward, narrow cabinet into two functional drawers that hold cooking utensils on the top, and other kitchen items on the bottom. 

kitchen storage ideas cookware bakeware

For the first time in too many years to count, these three doors open to organized and functional spaces. I thought about replacing the two corner doors with hinged doors, but the cabinets are so easy to access now that I don’t think it’s necessary. Like the other cabinets I’ve completed in this kitchen organization project, I had my doubts that I could pull this off. I wasn’t sure I could find a solution…and when I did, it was the loveliest surprise ever. 

Click the links to see more kitchen organization projects.

Cookware & Utensils Kitchen Storage Ideas Sources:

Affiliate links included. Click HERE for my disclosure statement.

I’ve got one more kitchen post that will wrap up the entire project. I attacked my under-sink cabinet along with serveware storage. Thank you for coming along on this journey with me. I hope you have been able to use a tip or two, no matter the size or age of your kitchen. 

Until next time…

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53 Comments

  1. Hi there! Do you have an office supply link? I’m searching for pretty storage boxes, the flat stackable type (for documents and copy paper)to place on a shelf above my writing area.
    Thanks in advance,
    Liza from Texas

  2. Great job of organizing. I have a cabinet in the corner location of your first one that was nothing but a black hole where items disappeared. I removed the small shelf that was not deep enough for anything useful and installed a pull-out, double bin, trash and recycle set. I think it cost somewhere around $60 from Lowe’s, but has been the best decision I’ve ever made. I hate trash baskets/cans that are visible in my kitchen, so I’ve been a happy camper by sacrificing a hated cabinet to one that serves me well.

  3. Wow wow and wow! Sometime we don’t need a new kitchen, we just need to get rid of all the clutter and organise which you did. It’s beautiful and inspiring! Bravo!

  4. Thx, Ann, for more inspiration! I still think of you when I open my organized, under the sink cabinets! It’s do well organized now and has stayed that way since buying plastic bins like yours and reorganizing everything. Thx for the needed push to redo a few more cabinets!!

  5. Michelle ramos says:

    Thanks so much for sharing ur organization skills and ideas. I am NOT organized and need all the help I can get. And there r so many other really fun things on ur sight, I really enjoy it.

  6. One thing I’ve noticed on many blogs is how pots are stored with lid handles up. Turn the lids upside down for better storage.

  7. Kim Roberts says:

    I love your blog and would like to subscribe to it. Please add me to your mailing list!

  8. Janice Boucher says:

    What great storage solutions for your cabinets. Everything looks neat and clean and organized. Kudos!

  9. Susan Landin says:

    I just love your style and your organizational skills. I know you probably want to, but I hope you don’t replace your countertops. I love how they give your kitchen a vintage charm!

  10. Great idea and inspiration! I finally did a similar thing to organize the black hole under my cooktop. This space was huge and useless! I added similar shelves and and skillet stacker and wow what a difference. I treated myself several years ago to a Le Cruset Dutch oven and absolutely love it but boy is it heavy when full!
    Thanks for sharing your organizing ideas!

  11. It looks great Ann….so much more convenient for you too. I find as I get older I cook differently, for fewer people….so I need different items than I needed let’s say 10 years ago. Can’t wait to see more! ;)

  12. Will you just come to my house and reorganize my whole kitchen? I keep putting it off and I have a corner that is scary!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Ha my whole kitchen was scary! I was at the point where I disliked my kitchen so much it was making me crazy. I feel so much better now and all the time was so worth it!

  13. MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) says:

    Looks great, Ann! I love those lovely new blue pots! Enjoy! Have a great week! Thanks for sharing your organizational skills with us!

  14. Don’t you just love it when everything comes together and gives you something even better than you expected? I am using your ideas as a springboard for my own re-organizing. Since I retired in July from 25 years of teaching, I have tackled several such projects of my own and am finding I love my kitchen even more than I did before! I am looking forward to your upcoming ideas to keep me forging ahead!

  15. Your organization is very inspiring! I’ve read this particular post 2 times and learned each time. Your ideas are so practical and reasonably priced! Can’t wait to see more!

  16. Excellent!
    Your shelves look so terrific that you could easily remove the doors.

  17. Liberty B says:

    Maybe one day my cabinets will look sooo nice! You did a great job!

  18. Beautiful job Ann! I think we all struggle with this..I have corner cabinets as well. Gets me thinking…

  19. I moved a lot of dishes that I rarely use to a big cabinet in the laundry room last winter. Guess what? I haven’t used many of them the past year. I wish I could go back and tell my younger self not to buy half of the stuff I bought. I purge under my sink and my small pantry about once a year.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Regular purging is so important and one aspect I am not very good at…hopefully I will get better!

  20. This is very inspiring! Thank you for sharing!

  21. Great Ideas!! I too have used those cabinet risers and couldn’t believe I didn’t use them sooner!!!! They really are a useful cabinet solution. Your cabinets look fabulous. I’m anxious for your under sink storage ideas because that is still my kitchen nemesis .

  22. Glad you have found solutions to make your kitchen more functional for you.I love good organization !

  23. You have produced wonderful ideas for my dilemma which is just like yours. Thank you so much! I love your blog. Jane

  24. Kathy lux says:

    Perfect! I have the exact configuration and you have inspired me!!

  25. Hi Ann,
    I love my cast iron skillets but they can get heavy when full. I wonder about those pots and how heavy they might be. Do you find that a problem? They are beautiful and I love the non-stick surface for cooking!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      They are heavy and I did think about that before they were purchased. So far I have no issues lifting heavy items. My hands are strong and I have learned how to lift without hurting my back. If you have any trouble with your hands or wrists, cast iron may not be for you. Tramontina makes other reasonably priced types of cookware. You can find it at Target and on Amazon.

  26. Nancy Mueller says:

    Looks wonderful! It’s hard to make spaces work sometimes, and clearing out is what helps it work…I’ve been doing similar things for a while (not in the kitchen) and it feels good to gain order where there was chaos! Kudos for a job well done!
    Nancy
    wildoakdesigns.blogspot.com

  27. Great article. I found some sturdy cabinet risers at Dollar Tree for… $1.00! Ha! Love them.

  28. Looks great! I have been using those risers and clear containers in my cabinets for years. (I guess I didn’t realize that everyone wasn’t using them.) I got all of mine at Target and Wal-mart, so they are easy to find. They are great, especially when you have deep cabinets that are hard to keep organized. I always use shelf paper. It will protect your shelves from lots of wear and tear, plus marks from cookware transferring to your shelves. Also protects from damage caused by pulling those basket containers (and other bins) out, and pushing them back in. It will keep your shelves and drawers from having to be repainted so soon! Plus, it keeps the paint (and any chemicals) away from the eating/drinking surfaces of your dishes and glasses. And, it just wipes clean, so your shelves aren’t damaged by any leaky syrups or other products. Just a tip I have always found extremely helpful! ;)

  29. Lucia Donahower says:

    Ann, I have exactly the same problem with a corner cabinet! Thank you, you’ve given me many ideas!
    Thank you so much for sharing this.
    Lucy

  30. SueB of Blondin Blogs says:

    I’m reading your kitchen organization posts with an eye to what could help me in my currently dysfunctional one. You see, I have 2 dead-end corner cabinets in my U-shaped one but unlike yours, mine have only 1 door that provides access into the far corner and they both become a “nowhere’s land” where less often but still needed items fall out of reach to me! Thanx for providing me insight on some possible solutions and helping me decide whether I can perhaps knock thru a couple cabinets for greater access or just start over from scratch!

  31. Great Job Ann!
    I have lived in my home 30 years and raised 5 kids here. So I have lots of stuff! I have a nice big kitchen now but I have been looking at smaller homes to down size but the kitchens are so tiny. I know I have way to much stuff because there are cabinets I never open and things I never use. Your great ideas let me know I can fit everything I really need in a smaller space ! Time to get busy!

  32. Great job and very inspiring. I have been struggling with my pantry and a few cabinets. I love the clear bins and think they, the lazy susans and the risers will be helpful in my kitchen. I have the Tramontina cast iron dutch oven in red. I don’t know if I can get rid of my Caphalon since I also love it but would love to have a couple of cast iron saucepans and a saute pans.
    Thanks for all of your practical ideas!

  33. Jackie Schnell says:

    I have never before commented on anyone’s blog but, I must tell you how much I appreciate your sharing these kitchen updates! Your ideas are fantastic! They are also very doable, reasonable, functional and perfect! I read every word you send. Thank you!!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      This is such a lovely comment…thank you so much for taking the time to write!

  34. Great job, Ann! I think the thing that made the biggest difference is you have pared down what you are storing. Once you make room for what you are keeping, it is easier to find solutions.
    Can’t wait to see your under the sink cabinet. I redid mine last year using 5 high sided lazy susans that I found at Aldi for $5! It has made a huge difference. I just spin to find what I need. I used to have risers but the items that were below were so hard to access.

  35. I’m adding one of your risers to an even more difficult cabinet than yours. Who designed these anyway?
    Thanks Ann!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Ha I would love to give whoever it was a piece of my mind!

  36. I’ve been redoing our kitchen too. We have lived in our home for close to 9 years so it’s taken me awhile to get a feel for where I want all my kitchen tools, etc. Nice job on the pots and pans cupboard! I have one of those corner cabinets too but I was fortunate to have a huge lazy Susan which accommodates all our pots and pans. The door to the cabinet is hinged which makes it easier. I just finished redoing our under the sink cabinet. So far, loving it! I’ll be interested to see your ideas, Ann. Happy Sunday!

  37. These are great ideas. I have a similar area that needs fixing. I’m starting to organize my kitchen for an older person. I’m that older person. I need things that I use everyday to be where I don’t have to bend down too low and I’m forbidden by my family to climb on a stool to get to high places.😀

  38. Betty Lou says:

    What a joy to be in your kitchen and know exactly where everything is. Job well done, Ann. Now to get working on my kitchen in my apartment where I do have many cabinets but they are all very narrow and deep. You’ve given me lots of suggestions. Thank you

  39. Nan, Odessa, DE says:

    Congrats! You are going to love this kitchen yet.
    Tell us about the trash can – where and how is it stored?
    I look forward to the next chapter!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      I hope so! The trash/recycling cans are in a cabinet in our kitchen island. I will try to take a picture and include it in my wrap up post. Thank you!

  40. Georgia Bingham says:

    Well Ann, I just redid my 28 year old kitchen/dining redo #3. I can’t tell you how much I miss my old kitchen…I know that sounds insane…but the new one is like living with a stranger….
    I bought top end appliances but don’t like them as much as the old even though the old ones were falling apart. Am I crazy?
    I guess when you live in the house you built back in 77 maybe I’m longing for those early years?
    I’m glad you found a solution…keep the old kitchen but make it work!

  41. What a transformation Ann! Love that you tackled those hard to access spaces and created more functional storage. You’ve inspired me to too take a second look @ my cabinets. Looking forward your under sink cabinet post. Mine needs work too!

  42. Cheryl Ann says:

    Great ideas, Ann! Kitchen cabinets are a difficult subject for me, since we moved to Tennessee from Washington and downsized. I love my new home, but the cabinets are all a challenge. You have given me some useful tips to tackle this project one more time…thank you!

  43. Bonnie Seidel says:

    Thanks! This inspires me to get refocused on my “black-hole” corner. My worst cabinet is the corner cupboard above the counter. Can goods everywhere – the cans in the back are probably 100 years old. I’d love a suggestion – past or present – to help with that black hole!

  44. Great ideas that I am going to try.

  45. My corner cabinet is so disorganized. I Hate having to dig for what I need. You have inspired me to get it cleaned and organized. Great solution for stacking shelves thanks for sharing what you did. Looks great l will be using your system..

  46. Nice job and the cookware is gorgeous

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