7 Things In Your Kitchen You’re Storing The Wrong Way

kitchen storage

When is the last time you reevaluated the way you store stuff in your kitchen? If you’re anything like me, then it was probably quite a while ago!

I typically just store things in the same place out of habit, without really considering if it’s actually the best way to do it. But there are actually some compelling reasons why reevaluating your kitchen storage could definitely be worth your time!

First, your current storage methods might actually be doing more harm than good to your dishes, cookware, and utensils. Storing them properly could help you protect your investment and extend the life of your stuff! And second, your current storage methods may not be as space-efficient as they could be. Adopting a different storage method could free up some valuable space in your kitchen cupboards and drawers!

So with all that in mind, today I’ll be highlighting 7 different kitchen items that are common stored in less-than-optimal ways. I’ll also share some practical advice on better ways to store those items! :-)

7 Kitchen Items You’re Storing The Wrong Way

kitchen storage

1. Cookie Sheets

Storing your cookie sheets in a stack takes up a lot of valuable storage space in your kitchen. Instead, use a vertical storage rack, a file sorter, or even a few bungee cords to store your cookie sheets vertically. It saves on storage space, and it will help prevent scratches too!

kitchen storage

2. Non-Stick Pans

Stacking your non-stick or cast iron pans will quickly scratch up your cookware if you’re not careful! Instead, place a paper towel, a paper plate, or a thin cloth between each pan in the stack. The barrier will help protect your cookware and prevent scratches.

kitchen storage

3. Knives

Storing your kitchen knives in a drawer could be doing more harm than good. Your knives could be getting banged up by the other items in the drawer. It’s also dangerous, because someone could easily reach into the drawer and cut themselves accidentally.

Instead, store your knives in a knife block or on a magnetic knife bar. It’s an easy way to protect your knives (and your fingers!)

kitchen storage

4. Spices

There’s certainly an argument to be made in favor of transferring your spices into a cute, matching set of bottles. It’s definitely more aesthetically pleasing than a hodgepodge of various bottle sizes and label designs! But transferring your spices to other containers is time-consuming, and can get pretty messy too! Sometimes it’s just best to leave well enough alone.

kitchen storage

5. Baking Mats

Stacking your silpats and baking mats can take up a lot of space! You can try rolling them, but they won’t stay in place on their own. Instead, roll your baking mats and slip them into a cardboard tube. They keep your baking mats nicely rolled, and make them much easier to store!

kitchen storage

6. Canned Foods

Canned foods are really space-efficient and easy to store, but it’s easy to lose track of how long those cans have been in your pantry. You could check each label individually, but it would take quite a bit of time! Instead, just store your cans in a storage rack! Place new cans in the back, and take them out from the front to ensure that you’re using the older cans first.

Related: Simple Strategies For Building & Rotating A Food Stockpile

kitchen storage

7. Wine Glasses

Storing wine and cocktail glasses upside-down might keep dust out, but you run the risk of damaging your glasses. The lip of the glass is the most fragile part, so it’s more likely to break if you knock the lip against a shelf. Instead, store them right-side up. You can always cover them with a paper towel to keep the dust out. :-)

Do you any tips or tricks that help you keep your kitchen items organized?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

  • What great ideas, Jillee!! Love your discussions–so fun and informative. Removing marker from glass bottles using a cotton ball and nail polish remover (non acetone or not). Baby wipes work, too. You can use a grease pencil to write on the glass; remove it with nail polish remover.

  • My daughter gave me a wine glass rack that my husband screwed to the bottom of one of our kitchen cabinets. The glasses hang upside down, but do collect residue of oil from when I saute onions or mushroom. I do not have to wash the wine glasses often, but when I do, I just put them in the D/W with a tiny amount of liquid D/W detergent and set the D/W to “rinse.”

  • I have read many sources over the years that say knife blocks are a breeding ground for dust, crumbs, mold, and bacteria. I stopped using one years ago.

  • I have an apple slicer/corer, that I am trying to find a good place to put it. Any ideas? It cuts 12 slices and cores the apple and come with a slotted tray to help cut all the way through. I doesn’t hang from a hook and is too big and bulky for the drawer and is very sharp. Thanks, I love your blog and all your ideas.

    • I hang my bulky apple slicer on a plastic command hook that’s attached to the side of my refrigerator. I also have an expandable curtain rod on command hooks on my refrigerator holding all my cooking utensils. This works for freestanding fridge.

  • Great ideas. I wouldn’t use the tp rolls for storing the mats. I don’t have any mats but the thought of using them with all that bacteria is ew gross. Paper towel and gift wrap tubes would be a better way.

    • I just use small rubber bands that come off my produce (like green onions) to hold my rolled baking mats. I find that T.P. and paper towel rolls don’t hold their shape for very long.

  • When I ordered my silicone baking mats, they arrived rolled up in a cardboard box. I kept that box. I place paper towels between the mats before rolling them up.

    But looking at paper towel cardboard roll, that should work too.

  • Thanks for the tips, Jillee – I actually love the matching bottles in my spice rack. The rack itself is round, holds 48 bottles, with labels on the top, and since they are clear, I can judge quickly when I need to refill them. The biggest advantage to me over leaving them in their original containers is that they are stored alphabetically, so I can find everything for a recipe very quickly. It does take a little bit to set them up, but to me it is well worth it.

    • I LOVE my matching square bottles as well. I think it’s one of my favorite organizational things I’ve done in years! I have around 40 spices. They are alphabetized (I can find them so easy!) and they take up such a smaller space now! The only drawback that I can think of is that they don’t have an expiration date on them after you transfer the spices.

      • If you miss having the expiry dates, each time you refill the bottle you can write either the expiry date (from the packaging you’re transferring from) or the date you refilled the jar. Every time you refill, you can wash off the old date and write the new.

        Even if you use permanent marker, if you’re writing on glass you should be able to wash it off with the scrubby side of a sponge. You can always make a small test mark first and wash it off a few days later to check it’ll work with whatever pen you’re using. And you can write somewhere out of sight, like the bottom of the jar, since you don’t need to see it every time you use the contents.

    • I use two or even three toilet paper tubes on rolls of wrapping paper, spaced out along the roll. I imagine a couple would work for baking mats — but I’d bet paper towel tubes would work even better. Or you could try two TP tubes with the slits/openings turned in opposite directions. That’d probably hold up better.

  • On #6, you show a rack for holding / placing cans in a neat manner in your pantry. I have looked online for this and cannot fine. Please tell me where you found this. Thank you.

  • I really enjoyed this post and all of the great information that came with it! Thank you so much for sharing, I can’t wait to try some of these!
    Organization Junkie

  • Jillee– Would LOVE to know how & where to store a rolling pin! I use a long French pin (no handles) and I keep moving it all over the place and it just gets in the way! Any ideas?

  • In our last house, there was a full size, full depth cabinet above the stacked, double wall ovens that had several removable dividers in it for standing up trays, cookie sheets, cooling racks etc. IMHO kitchens need something like that. Also every lower cabinet all the way around had pull out shelves. No trying to find or reach something on the back of the shelf. When the previous owners redid that kitchen, they did a great job. Oh, one other thing in that kitchen: there was a small drawer above those lower cabinets, with a pull out cutting board below the drawer between the drawer and the lower cabinets all around.

  • I like the cardboard roll idea for storing baking mats. I’ve used hair bands, but the size is not adjustable and the cardboard roll will close to fit.

    If you have solid shelves, there is a great way to store cutting boards and baking pans. Get short spring tension curtain rods and set them up vertically. I used three rods from front to back of my shelf and six rods to create three sections (using the wall of the cabinet as an end). Inexpensive and practical – no need to spend on anything fancy.

    I’ve used paper towels between my non-stick pans for over twenty years. The paper towel protects not just the bottom, as a paper plate would do, but the sides of the pans as well.

    I store my wine glasses upside down with a bit of space between. I put a soft, open weave liner on the shelves (my grandmother’s antique armoire). This keeps the glasses from chipping and lets air circulate to make sure they are dry. I’ve had crystal wine glasses from both sets of grandparents for thirty years and never (thank goodness) had a chip.

  • I bought a kapoosh knife block years ago and love it. My knives, peeler and granny forks go in it. Also the meat thermometer. They are in the order I want them, and as I have multiple pairing knives, no wooden block is available that works for me. I suppose if I planned one out my husband could make me one. But I won’t need it when I’m gone.:)

  • My spice carousel is the best purchase decision I’ve made toward organizing my kitchen. Beautiful and accessible, I can clearly see all my spices and tell which ones are running low.

  • I have a 2nd refrigerator and a freezer in my pantry. I store my baking mat on the side of the freezer. It is empty space and takes no room, it sticks well there.

  • A timely post as I am in the process of re-evaluating all of my kitchen storage. I’ve freed up most space by moving out seldom used small appliances and my grandchildren’s sip cups with mid-matched lids. I agree with leaving spices in original containers. They are easier to identify.

  • I place my baking mats against cookie sheets, which are stacked vertically in a file sorter rack. This way I can keep them flat.
    Thanks for all the great suggestions Jillee!

  • I put silicon trivets from the poundshop (dollar store to you!) between my pans. They will last forever.

    I am reevaluating my need for a rotating spice rack on the grounds of this email!

  • Cloth napkins work *great* to place between nonstick pans to keep them scratch-free. (And scratched nonstick pans can give off toxic compounds–into the air and your body–when heated!!) Cup towels also work really well, and some (especially the flour-sack kind) come in large enough sizes that you can even fold them in half and still cover the pan’s whole surface.

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