Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Spruce Up in the Kitchen: Food Storage

I have a fairly small kitchen, but I sure do spend a lot of time in there. I do not have a food pantry, and I have a total of just 10 cabinets for everything I need to store, including food. So in the years of living here I have gotten more and more efficient at where to keep everything.

One thing that really helps is to group like items together. Start by thinking about what you do a lot of in the kitchen, and where you do it. Then group like items together, and store them nearest where you will be using them. 

The above is my baking cabinet. I do a lot of baking, and everything I need is in this one cabinet. All of the flours and sugars are in there. On the bottom shelf is containers that I can just grab and pull out to find what I need. From the left: the taller blue box is filled with bags of nuts and dried fruit, the smaller blue box is my "essentials": baking soda and powder, vanilla, two other extracts I use often, and yeast, then the glass bowl is filled with the "goodies": chocolate chips, baking chocolates, marshmallows, and powdered sugar. The cabinet is right across from my island, where I do all of my rolling out, cutting out, mixing, etc. for baking.

Another thing I do often in the kitchen is make chinese food. So right above my stove, because that's where I use it, is my "chinese section" in the cabinet. It contains the above pull-out bowl with chinese sauces, vinegar, and wine, as well as canned veggies, noodles, wrappers, etc.

Likewise, in the cabinet above my coffee maker is my ground coffee, a little bag of sugar, a jar of flavored syrup, and my coffee mugs. Easy peasy to stand in one spot and make coffee each day, with everything I need.

The second thing that really helps is having a place to store snacks without taking up a lot of room. The above is our "snack basket". It is a very large basket that sits on the island shelf and is filled with nuts & seeds, snack bars, crackers, cookies, chips, packets of applesauce, little cans of fruit, and even ramen noodle packets. It looks pretty since its in a nice basket, and now I don't have to find lots of space for all of these items. The added bonus is that when the kids come and tell me they are hungry, all I have to say is, "Look in the snack basket!"

Speaking of that pretty storage basket, the third thing that can help is to store your food right out in the open, but in a pretty way. For example, when I buy popcorn kernals, grains, dried soups, beans, or rice, I pour them out of the box or bag that they came in and into a canning jar. Then I arrange the jars somewhere nice. They are easy to grab and go when I am ready to cook with them, and I have somewhere to keep them without taking up precious cabinet space!

That's it for today's Spring Spruce Up in the Kitchen, but stick around! We've got two more days of kitchen organizing tips and ideas, as well as a link-up on Thursday, where you can link up your own Spring Spruce Up ideas for any room in your home!

This post is part of the Spring Spruce Up series. Check out other rooms of the home at participating blogs!: 

Sprucing Up the Laundry Room | Mama’s Laundry Talk
Sprucing Up the School Room | Homegrown Mom
Sprucing Up the Craft Room | Many Little Blessings
Sprucing Up the Bathroom | Feels Like Home
Sprucing Up the Playroom | …Life’s About a Dream
Sprucing Up the Garage/Storage Space | A Slob Comes Clean
Sprucing Up the Master Bedroom | Raising Arrows
Sprucing Up Your Homeschool | Jimmie’s Collage
Sprucing Up the Kitchen | So Happy Together
Sprucing Up the Garden | An Oregon Cottage
Sprucing Up the Backyard | Successful Homeschooling


  1. Instead of a basket, we have a snack drawer. :) I like your canning jar idea! Looking forward to tomorrow's post!

  2. The Spruce up looks great. :)

  3. Oh man! I am totally hungry for Chinese food now! And, I love how nice your cookbooks look!

  4. I'm impressed with your storage solutions for a small place! I've been wanting to have pull-out containers for baking things (like soda, salt, etc.) for awhile- now that you've reminded me of it, I need to actually do it. ;-) Looking forward to your other tips!

  5. I use mason jars in my pantry, too! No one sees them but me, but I just love how they look :)