Choosing the Right Drawer Size for Your Pots and Pans

Hey friends! Consider drawer storage if your pots and pans are cramping up your cabinets. As a long-time renter with a tiny galley kitchen, I’ve tried almost every kitchen organization method in the book. While cabinets work for some items, I’ve found drawers are the absolute best way to neatly corral pots, pans, and lids while keeping them handy.

In this post, we’ll walk through the benefits of drawer storage, types of drawers, design considerations, organizing tips, and real-life inspiration to get your pots and pans in order. Grab your tape measure, and let’s get started!

Assessing Your Kitchen’s Storage Potential

Before diving into a drawer revamp, evaluate your current kitchen setup. Consider these factors:

What is the best size drawer for pots and pans

Take Inventory

Gather all your pots, pans, lids, and baking sheets. Make a list of what you have, size, and frequency of use. This will determine how much space you need. Pro tip: Get rid of duplicate or damaged items you don’t use.

Measure Your Space

Note cabinet and countertop dimensions, ceiling height, and obstacles like corners or aisles. This info will help you select the suitable drawer sizes and configurations.

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Consider Accessibility

Think about how you move through your kitchen. Pots and pans should be within easy reach of the stove. Avoid tricky spots that require bending or stretching.

For small, galley, or awkward kitchens like mine, drawers often provide better accessibility than towering corner cabinets.

I have so many pans.

Stylish and Functional Drawer Options

Once you’ve assessed your needs, it’s time to explore drawer types. Here are some top choices:

Standard Drawers

These affordable, utilitarian drawers are the most common. They’re a blank canvas ready to be organized with dividers, racks, etc. Standard drawers work well for compact storage but may not fit extra bulky pans.

Deep Drawers

As the name suggests, these drawers boast extra depth to accommodate stockpots, Dutch ovens, and other hulking cookware. Perfect for the enthusiastic home chef! Add dividers to keep contents orderly.

Pull-Out Drawers

Pull-out drawers are like drawers on wheels, sliding entirely out of the cabinet. No more rummaging behind stacks of pans to find that pot in the back. These provide excellent visibility and access.

Corner Drawers

Make use of awkward corners with these specialized L-shaped drawers. They’re fantastic for tucking away unwieldy bakeware or oversized stockpots that would otherwise clutter counters.

Pan storage

Designing Custom Drawers for Your Cookware

For a custom kitchen, tailor your drawers to harmonize with your existing space and pots and pans.

Size Matters

Measure your most significant cookware items, then add an inch or two buffer. Determine the ideal height based on your kitchen’s needs. Remember to allow room between stacked drawers for easy access.


Hardwoods like maple and oak are attractive, durable drawer materials. Try sleek stainless steel for contemporary flair. Glass or acrylic drawers add transparency. Soft-closing slides are a must for smooth and quiet action.

Style It Your Way

Mix and match drawer sizes, shapes, materials, and hardware for a look that reflects your taste. Or opt for uniformity with identical drawers for a soothing, orderly aesthetic.

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Big Pan storage

Clever Inserts and Accessories

Now for the fun part – decking out your drawers with helpful organizing tools!

Section It Out

Clear the clutter with drawer dividers. Adjustable sizes allow customization for different pans and lids. Try standing dividers to neatly file baking sheets.

Get Vertical

Utilize vertical space with pan lid racks or hanging strips inside drawers. Some have moveable pegs to accommodate different lid sizes.

Plate It Up

Keep plates, bowls, and platters neatly stacked with drawer inserts explicitly designed for dinnerware. Lipped edges prevent slipping and scratches.

Smooth Sliding Mechanisms

Poor sliding drawers are one of the quickest ways to ruin your newly organized haven. Invest in quality, durable slides, and hardware.

Look for a Full Extension

These slides allow drawers to open fully for complete access to contents. Ball-bearing mechanisms ensure smooth motion.

Smooth Sliding Mechanisms ofr pots and pans drawer

Add the ‘Soft Close’ Touch

Hydraulic soft-close slides prevent drawers from violently slamming shut. This reduces wear and tear while dampening noise.

Weigh Your Options

Look for full extension slides rated for 100 lbs or more for heavy cookware. Sturdy steel construction provides strength and stability.

Creative Drawer Layouts

Sometimes, you must get clever with drawer configurations to maximize awkward kitchen corners and small spaces.

Double Up

Stack two or more small drawers vertically to double your storage capacity without increasing your footprint. Great for tucking into narrow spaces.

Divide and Conquer

Tall, narrow vertical dividers keep lids, cutting boards, and baking sheets upright and organized. No more digging!

Sink Drawers

Never underestimate the storage potential under sinks! Install pull-out drawers or lazy susans in this often-overlooked space.

Stylish kitchen drawers

Keeping Pots and Pans Organized

Maintaining order in those gorgeous new drawers may seem daunting. Have no fear. You’ve got this!

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Group like items together – pots with pots, pans with pans, etc. Use dividers to take it further and separate by size or type.

Label It

Use decorative labels, vinyl stickers, or chalkboard paint to identify each drawer’s contents. This prevents “junk drawer” syndrome.

Heaviest Items Down Low

Store the bulkiest and heaviest cookware in lower drawers near the base cabinets. This makes them easier to lift and prevents cabinet sagging.

Protect Your Surfaces

Add felt pads, linen liners, or silicone mats inside drawers to guard against scratches from metal cookware.

Drawer Organizing Ideas in Action

First In, Last Out

Keep items you use most frequently toward the front. Less-used things can live toward the back. Rotate stock as needed.

Drawer Organizing Ideas in Action

Now that we’ve covered drawer storage basics, here are some real-world kitchens that nailed the organized drawer life:

Jessica’s cozy cottage kitchen utilizes a stacked drawer tower that fits snugly between the stove and fridge. The upper drawers house small prep bowls, pans, and lids, while larger pots reside in the bottom drawers.

Stainless steel pull-out drawers with adjustable chrome dividers give Gina’s modern kitchen a sleek, uncluttered look. She loves the smooth motion and full access.

Mackenzie mixed materials in her eclectic kitchen, pairing wood drawers with marble counters and stainless appliances. Wooden inserts with handwritten labels keep things orderly.

With some planning and these tips, you can bid farewell to messy cabinets and enjoy stylish, functional drawer storage for your pots and pans!