Pantry Upgrade (or Why we no longer face avalanches when opening our cupboards)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

We have a pretty small kitchen in our house and right now a kitchen remodel is neither in the budget nor wise in this economy. Our cupboards were packed to the gills and we had trouble finding things or even remembering what we had in our cupboards. We'd been wracking our brains to come up with a new way to add storage to our kitchen and when I saw this post by Amber, it finally dawned on me that we could add a hutch at IKEA to this one nook in our kitchen for extra storage. Before our pantry upgrade the nook had a tiny bookshelf for our cookbooks, our pan rack and the kitties' food dishes.

Kitchen Before
After looking online at IKEA, I wasn't able to find to a hutch that we liked, so we settled on getting this Billy bookshelf. Then when we got to IKEA, we found this Hemnes bookshelf with doors and decided to go with this option instead. The Hemnes shelf was more expensive, but it's made with real wood and is versatile enough to be used in another room in our house should we ever decide to remodel the kitchen or move to a house with better kitchen storage.

Pantry After
Ahh...much better! Ever since finishing up this project, we've spent a wee bit too much time staring at this cabinet and smiling. :)

We culled our cookbook collection a bit to fit on the shelves (we both have a fondness for collecting new cookbooks) and the cookbooks here are books that we use frequently. As you can see, our main cooking interests are smoothies, canning, bread, japanese food, vegan/vegetarian food, and baking.
we love cookbooks
For dry pantry storage jars we used:

1. Burken lidded canisters in the large and medium size for dried beans, nuts, fruit, grains, seaweed, pasta, and sweeteners.
gallon sized jars for larger quantities
2. Anchor Hocking 1-Gallon Glass storage jars for white and wheat flour, rice, dry cat food and oatmeal


Pint and Quart Ball Jars for smaller quantities
3. Pint and Quart Mason Jars for everything else that was too small to put into the Burken jars.

I typed printed the contents of each of the jars on paper, trimmed the tags to size and attached the tags to the jars with clear tape to label each jar. We can easily peel off a label and make a new label if we ever have to switch around the contents of the jars.
Full Cabinet
Now that we have freed up so much space in our cupboards, it's so much
easier to keep everything organized and within reach. It's exciting to
cook again because we actually have an excuse to open up the new cabinet
and pull out a jar of food to use. We definitely should have done this
sooner!

P.S. That bright green binder on the bottom shelf is my organized recipe binder seen here.

27 comments

  1. This looks fabulous! I would be excited to use this too! :) And I love how the binder and cat dish and green in the hallway (stairs?) match. Back when we owned a house we had the hallway about that green color and our living room a really dark brown. Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, I love how organized it looks! A very nice investment in that cabinet. You really could use that somewhere else in the future if you want. I wish I could pare down my cookbook collection to that size. Sigh!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow! This looks great. I need to do something like this. While I have ample cupboard space, it's hard to be inspired by ingredients that are behind closed doors. The mason jars are clever. Easy to find or replace as necessary, without costing a lot. I think I'm going to do something like that for a lot of dry goods. Thanks for the inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh yes I soooo love it. I think I am going to borrow this idea myself. I have an island that I keep my jars (I also have burken ;-)) but it is so deep it is annoying to reach in and grab things out of. I can use the island for storage of multiples and the cabinet as you did. Thank you!!!!
    Hugs!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh this is so lovely! This is exactly what my kitchen needs! I wish wish wish we had an Ikea in TN. Darn. Would you mind me asking where did you find your black cabinet? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Absolutely gorgeous. I want to come over and hang out in your kitchen!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh, it's AMAZING. Love the cleverness, and putting dry goods into clear containers is brilliant - and pretty, too!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oooh nice! I have something very similar to this in my kitchen / dining area and I love that the glass doors allow me to see what I have without walking over to rummage through.

    ReplyDelete
  9. that is a fantastic makeover! Can i come cook in your kitchen? I especially love the cat food container--how practical!

    ReplyDelete
  10. That is gorgeous. I love that you can easily see everything and it is just a visual feast to look at everything in the jars and the array of cookbooks. Your bowls on the top look gorgeous, too!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your kitchen looks great -- totally swoon-worthy. I also keep a cookbook binder!

    ReplyDelete
  12. the bookshelf looks great! i love that you have everything uber organized. someday i hope to have the space to have everything in pretty and labeled jars.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great upgrade! I love the labelled jars. I'll want to do this for our dry pantry items, too!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm loving your pantry upgrade! That bookcase looks very elegant in your kitchen. I love all your different jars, too! I have two of the Burken canisters for cookies, and they're great.

    ReplyDelete
  15. That looks amazing! Makes me want to put one in my shoe box of a kitchen!

    ReplyDelete
  16. oh, that is very very nice!!! I do quite like the Hemnes line :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. what a clever change! love the bookscase! it is perfect for that space! you jars looks so beautiful! you are so organized!

    ReplyDelete
  18. it looks awesome! well done... love how much storage space you created so easily!

    ReplyDelete
  19. what a great idea!
    i love all the rows of glass jars - what a perfect inspiration!! (both for me and i'd assume for you and your cooking/baking.)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love nothing more than glass jars filled with dried beans, grains and spices-- the stuff that magic and adventure are made of!
    Enjoy your new "pantry" and all of the wonderful meals it provides!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I would stare at that cabinet all day -- forget the cooking. It looks amazing! Love the jars, the books -- all of it. I'm now ashamed of my cupboards.....I see a new project in my future.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Okay, I'm late, but seriously, WOW. I am extremely impressed. You can never see my pantry. Even if distance weren't a problem -- you are not allowed to see my pantry. Looks amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I dream of having a pantry that's this organized! Nice job you two!

    ReplyDelete
  24. this is super impressive. i just got hit by an oatmeal avalanche this morning!

    ReplyDelete
  25. i can not tell you just how much i LOVE this!!! i'd just stand and stare at it while smiling, too! what a beautiful solution to a small kitchen. hurray ikea! :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Ingenious! I stumbled on here looking at Ikea stuff on Flickr - brilliant idea whoever thought of it!

    ReplyDelete
  27. this pantry is like a dream. i justs love it!!!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting! Be sure to leave your email address if you would like a response from me.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Blogger Template created by Just Blog It