Disclaimer: the above kitchen is not mine, but it does make my OCD brain so happy! I dream that is what my future massive walk-in pantry will one day look like. As somebody who cooks a lot, it’s essential for me to keep the kitchen in a orderly state. This goes beyond just having things clean, to having things organized and stored in a way that makes items both easily accessible and neat looking. Having surroundings that appear cluttered or messy seriously gives me anxiety, so the more I can simplify things to make my environment as minimalistic as possible, the more relaxed my mind will be! Here are some of my favorite purchases over the past few years that have helped accomplish that…
Crate and Barrel’s fido jars are my favorite jars ever to store dry food items in. I currently use them for dried lentils, quinoa, coffee beans, and dog treats. Things like quinoa and lentils I like to buy in bulk, but I hate the way those big packages look, so I always transfer them into jars. Initially I was using large mason jars I had sitting in the basement for this, but then I purchased a few of these to use and seriously what an upgrade it is. The clamped lids have an airtight seal, and the jars have large openings which makes it easy to measure food out of them. I love love love these, and over time hope to replace almost all my large mason jar storage with these!
Crate and Barrel also has these white clamped canisters with chalkboards on them. I currently have them in large, medium, and small and use them to store flour, sugar, and brown sugar. Another item I’d eventually love to add more of. These canisters are so pretty, I love pulling them out while baking.
What I have found mason jars to be perfect for is storing my spices. Having them all stored in matching containers looks so much nicer, and I use a label maker to label them all. Years ago I had Zack make a wood rack with shelves to store them on. At our old house it was hanging on the wall in the kitchen closet, and in our current house it’s hung on the laundry room wall which is right off of our kitchen. I cook with a lot of spices and couldn’t imagine a better way to store them without taking up precious kitchen cabinet space. I also continue to use larger mason jars to store anything and everything else I don’t have a spare clamp jar for. My ground flax seed I put in my yogurt every morning stays in my fridge in one. Vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, chia seeds, anything and everything looks better in a jar than in packaging from a store!
These berry colanders are so pretty not only for serving fresh fruit out of, but also for storing it in. I keep them in our produce drawers, and they’re always filled with berries, cherry tomatoes, radishes, etc. Much prettier than the plastic produce containers, and also perfect for during the summer when we grow our own raspberries and cherry tomatoes.
I also have a white porcelain egg crate to match my white berry containers. I actually bought mine from World Market, but unfortunately it’s no longer listed for sale there. Crate and Barrel has this one which is similar, except it only holds 6 while mine holds 12. Of course, you could always buy multiples of C&B’s smaller sized container. I did find this porcelain one which holds 12, but still I prefer mine which is actually in the shape of an egg crate you buy from the store. Hopefully they list it again for sale, or C&B makes a larger one! Of course you can find plenty of clear egg crates as well, which are still much nicer looking than the crates the eggs come in, but I do prefer the look of the porcelain.
I use these microfiber salad bags for keeping various kinds of salad greens fresh. The plastic produce bags are awful, and I really hate to store anything in them. These aren’t exactly cheap, but they’re obviously washable and reusable, and really do keep produce fresh longer!
I mentioned this previously in my post about cooking with fresh herbs – an herb keeper is essential if you cook with fresh herbs on a regular basis! I also use mine to keep green onions fresh. I have this one from Crate & Barrel, but Amazon also sells similar ones like this.
I store all of our potatoes, garlic, shallots, and onions in a basket together. I read a long time ago that this is the best way to store them – in a basket at room temperature – so air can circulate. They also actually tell you not to store potatoes with onions because the gases from the onions can make them sprout quicker, but we use ours quick enough that I’ve never really had an issue with this. Something to keep in mind though. The basket I use is just one I had sitting around years ago, but it’s similar to this one.
This gorgeous wood centerpiece bowl was a Christmas gift. It obviously could be used in a multitude of ways, but I put it on our breakfast bar in the kitchen, and use it to store any produce we don’t keep in the refrigerator. It’s always filled with apples, bananas, grapefruit, lemons, limes, avocados and tomatoes. It’s massive enough to keep all of this in, but also a beautiful decorative piece (thanks, Mom!).
What are your favorite ways to keep your kitchen organized? I’m always looking for more ideas!