6 Ways to Organize and Store Your Kitchenware and Dishes

Dawn M. Smith
Written by Dawn M. Smith
Updated December 16, 2021
Interior of kitchen in rustic style
Photo: photosbysabkapl / Adobe Stock

We’re dishing out all the best tips to store your dishes

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Ideal kitchen storage looks different for everyone—a home cook’s needs are different from the person who loves a daily visit from DoorDash. Finding the right solution is a personal decision. Boost your storage and set the kitchen up just the way you like it with these easy-to-follow tips. 

1. Maximize Your Cabinet Space 

You don’t need to remodel a small kitchen to have some cabinetry. The key to maximizing this space is using storage solutions that pull double-duty inside. For example:

  • Install a pegboard inside cabinet doors for hanging measuring cups and spoons.

  • Buy stackable risers to make room for more dishes. 

  • Insert plate racks or wooden dowels to store plates vertically. 

2. Open Up the Possibilities with Open Shelves

view of a kitchen interior
Photo: Raisa Kanareva / Adobe Stock

Open shelving helps you make the most of your kitchen, because it takes advantage of otherwise empty walls and shores up accessibility for stacking dishes vertically. If you love color and design, it also adds personality to a room lacking inspiration. For example:

  • Use the lower shelves for everyday dishware like plates and bowls.

  • Use upper shelves for less used serveware. 

  • Create new, ready-to-go open shelving by removing a set of existing cabinet doors. 

Solutions for Small Spaces

Small kitchen layouts need creative hacks to make the most of every inch. Take a look at your kitchen with a fresh perspective to find not only the obvious solutions but the options hidden in plain sight. 

For example, there might be hidden space on top of your kitchen cabinets to store everything from festive holiday ware to cake plates and collectible serving pieces. If you’re lucky enough to have this extra space, don’t forget to cover the dishes to avoid dust and grime buildup.

These are some other examples of creative storage for your dishes and kitchenware:

  • Hang coffee mugs and teacups from the bottom of cabinets and shelves. 

  • Install a stemware rack underneath a cabinet for wine glasses and Champagne flutes.

  • Use the empty interior for items you don’t use often if you have a bench seat or banquette.

  • Check if you have storage under your oven for baking sheets and trays.

  • Use some of your counter space to display pretty but practical everyday dishes, like coffee and tea mugs perched near your beverage station.

4. Think Smart About Smart Storage

Luckily, there’s more than one way to store pots and pans. Their various sizes and shapes make storing them a bit like playing Tetris, but once you find a solution that works in your kitchen, you’ll spend less time searching for the right pan for dinner. 

  • Hang pots on various style racks like grids or single bars with S hooks. 

  • Store your pots on lower cabinet shelves because of their weight.

  • Use pull-out cabinet inserts or deep drawers if you have them. 

  • Line the bottoms of cabinets with pegboards and dowels to vertically store lids. 

  • Fill in empty space by organizing your pantry with pots and pans or small appliances. Pantry shelves aren’t just for organizing food.

5. Take Advantage of Your Kitchen Island and Portable Shelving

If you happen to have a kitchen island, china cabinet or hutch, or sideboard, use every nook and cranny available, even if the furniture is in another room. 

  • Stack everyday plates and cups on recessed island shelving or inside cabinets.

  • Fit nested baking and mixing bowls into kitchen island cubbies.

  • Use portable and easy-to-install stand-alone shelving units for an empty corner in the kitchen. 

  • Arrange heirloom china or pretty pottery in a hutch with open shelving. 

6. Store Kitchenware in Another Room 

Let’s face it. You cherish your collection, but fine china and holiday platters aren’t in the everyday dish rotation. Find another room to store them until the next special occasion, such as the:

  • Garage

  • Attic

  • Pantry

  • Basement

  • Guest bedroom 

Proper Packing and Boxing 

The key to safe dish storage is preparation. Don’t skimp on finding the right boxes, bubble wrap, and packing paper. Separate each dish with paper to avoid knocking and rubbing against each other. Gently stack and load them on a layer of packing paper on the bottom of the box. 

Then, wrap the dishes in clean old linens or bubble wrap. Before securely taping the box, fill the gaps inside with packing peanuts or crumpled paper to cut down on shifting when you move the boxes from room to room.

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