12 Brilliant Ways to Store All Your Cookware, Dishes, and Serving Platters

updated Jul 16, 2020
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Credit: Samara Vise

How many pots and pans do you own? How many serving dishes that you only pull out when company comes? And how many baking sheets, cutting boards, and muffin tins? Add those counts up and you have a LOT of stuff to store. That means you might have to get a little creative with things in order to find a safe home for each and every item. We’re here to help with just that.

Here are some of our favorite storage ideas for those bulkier items.

1. Use shower caps to protect infrequently used serving pieces.

If your pantry/closet/basement/whatever tends to get dusty, it might be time to dig up all those shower caps you’ve been stealing (er, hoarding) from hotels. See, they make great reusable covers for serving dishes. This way, when it’s time to pull something out from storage, it’ll be relatively dust-free and you won’t have to wash it before use.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

2. Store cast iron skillets with paper towels.

Whether you’re nesting two pieces of cast iron together or you just want to put a serving bowl top on of your skillet, put a paper towel down first. The towel will prevent scratches or damage to the inside of your cookware — and can absorb any moisture that might lead to rusting.

3. Use Styrofoam plates to protect your fancy dishes.

The idea here is the same, only it uses Styrofoam plates and your fancy wedding china. Styrofoam isn’t great, we know, but it can be used for years (and years!) to come and it gives the plates a little extra padding that, say, a paper plate can’t.

4. Add hooks to the bottom of your shelves.

Screw some hooks into the bottom of a shelf and you’ll literally create some storage space out of thin air. This would also work with mugs or anything else with a handle.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

5. Use tension rods to “file” baking sheets, muffin tins, and more.

Ever pull out one baking sheet from the bottom of a pile, only send the whole stack tumbling? That’s because vertical storage is not your friend here. Instead, set up some tension rods in a cabinet and use them hold your baking sheets in a file-like system. This way, you can pull out what you need and the tension rods will hold everything else in place.

Credit: Ana Kamin

6. Store cutting boards like they’re cookbooks.

You can store cutting boards in that tension rod system above, but we’re partial to this method because most (wooden) cutting boards are too pretty to be put away. Stash them like cookbooks (heck, you can even stash them WITH cookbooks) and pull them when you need to reference, er, use one.

Credit: Faith Durand

7. Or in a big basket.

If you have extra-oversized cutting/serving boards, consider putting them in a basket. They’ll be out of the way, out of your cabinets, and turned into decoration.

Credit: Emma Fiala

8. Hang some cutting boards.

More often than not, wooden cutting boards have holes or loops, which they can hang from. Dangle them from hooks on a rail, the side of your cabinets, or your walls (like they’re pieces of art, because they kind of are!). Also, we feel the need to point out that super-smart storage idea for pot lids! See it?

Credit: Devon Jarvis

9. Install a pegboard.

Got a wall with nothing on it? Consider hanging a pegboard, which you can use to store pots and pans, tools, or anything, really.

10. Don’t be afraid to block your windows.

Here’s a piece of advice you don’t hear all that often. But go ahead, block that window (a little bit!). How great does this kitchen look? Just hang a curtain rod across the window and use some hooks to hang your pieces.

11. Put the extra-heavy stuff in a bottom cabinet.

We see people struggle ALL the time with heavy cookware that’s stored up too high. (We even know someone who cracked her marble countertop when she dropped her Dutch oven, trying to get it down from a shelf. Yes, the pot also got damaged!) Why risk it? Just keep it low — and lift with your knees! This goes for oversized/fragile platters, too.

Credit: Christine Han

12. Buy an organizer.

Sometimes we need to call in reinforcements. That can mean buying a special organizer. This setup belongs to the great Carla Hall, and we love that it organizes her cookware and also puts it front and center.