When we decided to design our own house, I was really excited to include features that would make our kitchen more organized. Our last kitchen was nice, but you couldn’t use the space efficiently. It had deep lower cabinets and really high upper cabinets but it did have a pantry that we loved. We couldn’t do much about the upper cabinets being high (for me), but we did make some changes to make the lower cabinets more user friendly. Instead of lower cabinets, we opted for deep drawers. The top drawers are going to be used for eating utensils and prep utensils.
We put the eating utensils to the right of the fridge (nearest to the dining table)
and the prep and grilling utensils to the left of the fridge. Yes, we have a lot of stuff. Can you tell that we like OXO?
We’re storing the cooking utensil to the right of the stove (for now). It seems like a good place to have spatulas (which we haven’t found yet), tongs and wooden spoons.
We got a really great magnetic knife bar as a wedding present that we decided to put to the left of the sink. We really love the knife bar and recommend it. It’s cleared a lot of space in our drawers and counters.
Another helpful feature we opted for was a spice drawer thing. I know, very technical. It looks like this:
I put the most commonly used spices, marinades and rubs on top for easy access. Cooking spray, various cooking oils and taller commonly used ingredients in the middle and less popular spices and baking extracts on the bottom.
The whole set up looks messy in its organized state. What we need are some uniformed spice jars and containers. We inherited most of these jars from Micah’s parents when they moved out east. Unfortunately, purchases like this (and a new microwave) are at the bottom of the shopping list. I say that but it hasn’t kept me from looking around for better spice jar options.
I like these from Crate and Barrel. They are on sale for $9 for 6 bottles (and we have a gift card!) I like these because I can find similar jars in different sizes for ingredients we have more than a few ounces of (like corn starch or salt).
I also like these from the Spice House because they are cheaper but still really uniform. They come in a few sizes which I can purchase from one place.
There is also this option from Amazon. The brushed stainless steel look matches all our appliances. I don’t know if these come in different sizes, which is something we’d want. When this purchase gets to the top of our shopping list, we’ll probably visit Ikea and World Market to see what they have to offer.
What was at the top of our shopping list was pull out drawers for our pantry. We were having a hard time finding ones that fit the dimensions of our pantry and were affordable. After much searching, Dadtractor discovered that we could purchase wooden pullouts from our cabinet retailer Pius that fit perfectly and we’re within our budget. Holla!
They are perfect EXCEPT that because of the hinges, we can’t install the pullouts on the top section of the pantry. The top section is about 4.5 feet off the ground, so maybe pullouts aren’t the best option anyway.
I think we’ll store the roasting pan and surplus supplies (Costco purchases) on the very top shelf. On the high second shelf, I was thinking of putting surplus can goods in the back and ingredients in tall bottles in the front. It’s all I can come up with for now, but I’m open to high shelf pantry organization suggestions (and spice jar recommendations).
How do you organize your pantry and spices?