How to Store Everything in the Kitchen

A Checklist for How to Store All of Your Kitchen Stuff from A-Z.

Your soup-to-nuts guide to how to store everything in your kitchen. 

  • 01 of 26
    Store everything in your kitchen
    How to store appliances. Photo/Getty

    Like most items, deciding how to store kitchen appliances is a decision made based on their size and shape, but also how often you use them. My advice:

    • Store appliances you use daily on the counter
    • Store appliances you use weekly in bottom cabinets
    • Store appliances you rarely use in a storage space. 
  • 02 of 26

    Baking sheets

    How to store baking sheets
    How to store baking sheets. Photo/Getty

    There are two options for storing baking sheets.

    1. If you have enough height in your lower kitchen cabinets, store them upright. This means storing them on their side to maximize space in your cabinet or pantry. A few options:

    2. You can also store them on top of each other in the pantry which will make them harder to retrieve, but easier to put away.

  • 03 of 26

    Canned goods

    Fridge Bins and Organizer and Tray from Crate and Barrel
    Fridge Bins and Organizer and Tray from Crate and Barrel. Photo / Fridge Bins and Organizer and Tray from Crate and Barrel

    It's not essential to do anything beyond simply stacking your canned goods, but it does make you pantry and fridge look amazingly organized, and saves a tiny bit of space.

  • 04 of 26

    Casserole dishes

    How to store casserole dishes
    How to store casserole dishes. Photo/Getty

    Hands down the best way to store these heavy items is in the lower kitchen cabinets. You can either nest them together with the pot lids removed, or you can store them with the lids on lined up next to each other.

    The third option is to use roll-out storage. This makes it easier to grab an individual dish because you can visualize the entire cabinet drawer.

    Continue to 5 of 26 below.
  • 05 of 26

    Colanders

    Stainless Steel 3 Piece Mesh Colander Set from Williams Sonoma
    Stainless Steel 3 Piece Mesh Colander Set from Williams Sonoma. Photo / Williams Sonoma

    I have 4 different-sized colanders and here's how I store them:

    • I nest them together in the same cabinet as my cutting boards, right under the drawer where I store knives.
    This makes the most sense to me based on how and when I use them. Do you need 4 colanders? Certainly not--if I were trying to streamline my kitchen organization, I'd just have one big colander. You really only need one, and you need to store it where you use it most often, which is probably pretty close to your cutting...MORE boards, knives, and right near the sink.
  • 06 of 26

    Cookbooks

    Art of The Cookie Cookbook from Williams Sonoma
    Art of The Cookie Cookbook from Williams Sonoma. Photo / Williams Sonoma

    Sort your cookbooks into two piles: frequently used and rarely used. Store the frequently used cookbooks on a kitchen shelf or in a cabinet so you can easily retrieve them. The others can go on a bookcase outside of the kitchen. Just make sure you know where they are, meaning, keep cookbooks together so you're not hunting and pecking for them when it's time to cook Thanksgiving dinner.

    Related: How to Organize Your Book Collection

  • 07 of 26

    Cooking tools + utensils

    All Clad Stainless Steel 7 Piece Cooking Tool Set from Williams Sonoma
    All Clad Stainless Steel 7 Piece Cooking Tool Set from Williams Sonoma. Photo / Williams Sonoma

    Spatulas, tongs, slotted spoons -- these should be stored very close to the stove in an upright, topless container. That sounds more complicated than it needs to be: Put them in a jar or similar (like the image to the left), on the counter top, near the stove, so you can easily grab them. Here are some options:

    Tip: Consider getting a dishwasher safe container so you can throw it in the dishwasher once a week.

  • 08 of 26

    Coupons

    How to store coupons
    How to store coupons. Photo / Getty

    Two things to look for in a coupon organizer: one, make sure it's functional enough to use in the kitchen (i.e. when you're clipping coupons, it's easy to slip the coupons into and has a pockets for built-in organization), and make sure it's light enough to travel well (since you'll be using coupons outside of your home).

    Try this simple 13 Pocket Coupon Organizer

    Continue to 9 of 26 below.
  • 09 of 26

    Cutting boards

    Bakeware Holder from the Container Store
    Bakeware Holder from the Container Store. Photo / Container Store

    Store cutting boards vertically. I've seen people use a bakeware holder (pictured left), a file folder rack, and a dish rack, but the best and simplest method is to just prop it against the cabinet wall for easy retrieval.

  • 10 of 26

    Food storage and food storage containers (see also: Tupperware)

    Modular Canisters from the Container Store
    Modular Canisters from the Container Store. Photo / Container Store

    There are so many options for storing food, and this is by no means an exhaustive list, but these are the products I recommend because they are 1) square, and therefore maximize space and 2) the right size.

    There's even an organizer to organize your food storage containers: Mesh Food Storage Container

  • 11 of 26

    Glasses

    Jus de Fruits glasses from Pottery Barn
    Jus de Fruits glasses from Pottery Barn. Photo / Pottery Barn

    These may be the easiest thing to store in the kitchen. Three words: on a shelf. If you have open shelving, make this they aren't too miss-matched. (I know wine glass can be trickier and I will get into more detail on them later in this list.) You can also fit more glasses into a smaller space by installing an extra shelf

  • 12 of 26

    Knives

    9 piece Gourmet Steak Knife Set from Crate and Barrel
    9 piece Gourmet Steak Knife Set from Crate and Barrel. Photo / Crate and Barrel

    The first thing you do before storing knives is to wipe them completely dry. If you start putting them away while wet, the water can damage the material.

    How to store knives:
    Continue to 13 of 26 below.
  • 13 of 26

    Measuring cups

    Borosilicate Glass Measuring Cups from The Container Store
    Borosilicate Glass Measuring Cups from The Container Store. Photo / Container Store
    Measuring cups are usually designed to nest together. If that's the case with yours, then place them in a drawer directly under where you do your prep work. Some people like to hand them on the wall - great - again, place them above the counter you use to do your prep work.
  • 14 of 26

    Mixing bowls

    6 Piece Melamine Mixing Bowl Set from Crate and Barrel. Photo / Crate and Barrel
    The best way to store mixing bowls is to store them together, nested, in the cabinet closets to where you do your prep work.
  • 15 of 26

    Mugs

    Mugs from Anthropologie
    Mugs from Anthropologie. Photo / Anthropologie

    There is a surprisingly wide array of options for storing mugs. You could, of course, just line them up or stack them in a cabinet near your coffee maker / tea pot. Or you could use one of the following:

  • 16 of 26

    Napkins

    Polka Dot Embroidered Napkins from Pottery Barn
    Polka Dot Embroidered Napkins from Pottery Barn. Photo / Pottery Barn
    I recommend storing everyday napkins directly on your kitchen table in a tray or napkin holder. You can get a little creative here by making your napkin holder part of your kitchen decor. Formal napkins should be stored in a drawer.
    Continue to 17 of 26 below.
  • 17 of 26

    Pans

    Pizza Stone from William Sonoma
    Pizza Stone from Williams Sonoma. Photo / Williams Sonoma

    You can stack pans, or you can store them vertically. Here are some tools:

    You could also hang the pans you use most along the wall on hooks right near your stove.
  • 18 of 26

    Placemats

    Turquoise Coral Embroidered Place Mats from Williams Sonoma
    Turquoise Coral Embroidered Place Mats from Williams Sonoma. Photo / Williams Sonoma
    Store place mats either folded in a drawer, or in the center of the kitchen table when not in use.
  • 19 of 26

    Plates and dishes

    Tartan Plaid Salad Plates from Williams Sonoma
    Tartan Plaid Salad Plates from Williams Sonoma. Photo / Williams Sonoma

    Plates and dishes may seem like a no-brainer--cabinets are built to hold them--but, you can squeeze in my room. By using cabinet shelves, you can double the stacking space in each cabinet. 

  • 20 of 26

    Pot lids

    Pull Out Lid Organizer from the Container Store
    Pull Out Lid Organizer from the Container Store. Photo / Container Store

    If you store lids separately than the pots, here are some options for organizing and storing lids:

    Continue to 21 of 26 below.
  • 21 of 26

    Pots

    Le Creuset Spinach 5Piece Cookware Set from Crate and Barrel
    Le Creuset Spinach 5Piece Cookware Set from Crate and Barrel. Photo / Le Creuset Spinach 5Piece Cookware Set from Crate and Barrel

    You can always store pots on a pot rack. The best option--if you don't want to display them on a rack--it to store them in a low cabinet in your deepest drawer. I like to store pots with the lids on, even though it takes up more space, and I highly recommend installing a slide-out drawer so pots are easier to reach.

    I keep my heavily-used, beloved Le Crueset pot on top of the range. I use this almost daily and it's...MORE good-looking enough to display.
  • 22 of 26

    Recipes

    I have a whole guide to the best way to organize your recipes.

  • 23 of 26

    Roasting pans

    All Clad Stainless Steel Roasting Pan from Williams Sonoma
    All Clad Stainless Steel Roasting Pan from Williams Sonoma. Photo / Williams Sonoma
    You can either store your roasting pans in lower kitchen cabinets, or if you are light on space, in a storage space in your home (I like to keep a kitchen staging area in my basement with less-used items like the ice cream maker, the bread maker, and the big roasting pan used for holiday gatherings). If you choose to store them in a cabinet, store them upright similar to how we stored baking sheets, and remove the grid inside and store that separately (but nearby!).
  • 24 of 26

    Silverware

    Flatware Storage Box from Pottery Barn
    Flatware Storage Box from Pottery Barn. Photo / Pottery Barn

    You must have a drawer organizer for your silverware. It just doesn't make sense to throw things into a drawer without a divider. Another option, which can be very chic, is to store silverware in a decorative cup.

    Continue to 25 of 26 below.
  • 25 of 26

    Tupperware and other food storage containers

    Modular Canisters from the Container Store
    Modular Canisters from the Container Store. Photo / Container Store

    Here's my trick for storing Tupperware (or really, any food storage container):

    • I never buy sets, I always buy several of the same-sized containers.
    • I nest/stack them together
    • I stack the lids on the same shelf, in the same cabinet, vertically in a big container.
    You could also choose to store Tupperware with the lids on, which takes up more room, but makes organizing a lot easier. I love these modular square containers because they're square so they fit in the cabinet easily, they will...MORE stack easily, and they're the perfect size for food storage.
  • 26 of 26

    Wine glasses and stemware

    Wine Enthusiast Stemware Rack
    Wine Enthusiast Stemware Rack. Photo / Wine Enthusiast

    I like to store wine glasses and stemware on trays on a bar cart to use them as decor. Here are some other ways to store your wine glasses and stemware: