This paper describes an approach to determine a layout for the order picking area in warehouses, so that the average travel distance for the order pickers is minimized. We give analytical formulas that can be used to calculate the average length of an order picking route under two different routing policies. The optimal layout can be determined by using these formulas as the objective function in a nonlinear programming model. The optimal number of aisles in an order picking area appears to depend strongly on the required storage space and the pick list size.