We haven't been over to this particular corner of our kitchen on this blog since we first moved into the house. It seemed time for another visit. For a kitchen that looks like it has a lot of cupboards, we don't actually have enough storage space for all of our dry good and bulk food, but luckily this space at the end of the counter is just right for these shelves.
The shelves are from Ikea, and Matt has had them basically forever. They fit just right here, although it took several rounds of loading up the shelves, discovering that they needed to be spaced differently, unloading them, changing the spacing, and reloading them, before we got it just right. This is where we keep the majority of things like rice and pasta, and then refill the containers from the bulk stockpile in the basement.
Our friend Leah is a genius when it comes to storing things efficiently. She visited right when we were moving in, and suggested buying plastic buckets or bins that would fit under the shelves for things like flour. They should be big enough that they don't need refilling terribly often, but small enough that they don't take over the space and can easily be lifted onto the counter when mixing something up. We went to the container store and found these, and they work perfectly. Brown sugar, white sugar, white flour, whole wheat flour (and, on the far right, the city compost bin, to be emptied into the yard debris wheelie bin). The rest of the baking supplies and spices take up one full cupboard above the counter.
This was another of Leah's brilliant suggestions: instead of paying for fancy cruets, just buy pour spouts that fit into wine bottles. We buy oil and vinegar in bulk, then decant it into these bottles, which are much more user-friendly (and look a lot nicer) than bulk containers.
Our remaining winter squashes have made it onto the shelves, where we also keep the cutting boards, spare egg cartons, and newspaper/paper bags that we use for various things around the house. In the springtime, these shelves end up full of seed packets and garden plans.
Most of the rest of the shelves are taken up with jars of dry goods, the breadbox, the microwave, and our tea collection. The wine rack on the very top shelf was a housewarming gift from Laurel.
In my dream house, I would have a small built-in pantry right off the kitchen, with floor-to-ceiling shelves, big deep drawers, space for all of our canned peaches and jellies and things (as well as the small kitchen appliances we don't use all the time), and a door or curtain that could be shut to keep things out of sight and generally make things look less cluttered. But as it is, this setup works quite well for us, and it's nice to have everything handy, right there in the kitchen.