Condo Blues: Small Space Industrial Open Pantry Yay or Nay?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Small Space Industrial Open Pantry Yay or Nay?

A worn valve on our water heater flooded the utility, laundry, and kitchen after Husband started the dishwasher on Christmas Eve Eve morning.

Husband shut the water heater off while I called plumbers. Apparently plumbers are crazy busy with smart people who have plumbers do pre-emptive work on their pipes before overloading their plumbing with guests, cooking, and cold weather. It was a Festivus miracle I found a plumber during regular business hours that day!

That didn’t make my cranky feeling go way as I mopped the rest of the water, hoped we didn’t need to buy a replacement water heater (fortunately we just needed to replace a valve – whew!), and pulled a mountain of chaos out of the utility room so the plumber could find the water heater had room to work.

how to find organize pantry space in a condo kitchen

As I worked I dreamed of building a slide out pantry next to the refrigerator, retrofitting an armoire into a full size pantry, and every organized and perfectly staged pantry with their matching glass containers I pinned to my Pinterest boards (follow Condo Blues on Pinterest, please?) 
Things I thought I didn’t have room for in my condo kitchen, especially a pantry full of  glass storage jars.

Turns out I already had a pantry full of glass storage jars! I just had them stashed in different parts of the kitchen.

organize pantry
Last year I started decanting food from its original box or bag and  into empty repurposed jars as part of an ant proofing project. It was a long term project because I repurposed jars for food storage as I emptied them. It wasn’t as expensive as I thought since I used jars that might otherwise hit the recycling bin even though I bought a few things so I could reuse the jar for pantry storage. Read my 7 Ways to Remove Sticky Jar Labels here.

I wonder what it would look like if I put all of my glass storage jars in the same place?

mason jar pantry organization
I always liked the industrial look of the garage organizer Husband used as a bookshelf in his bachelor pad. Over the years this guy has been put to work in various rooms of the house.

I took a few steps back from where I temporarily parked the industrial kitchen storage shelves. The shelves fill a weird dead space and don’t interrupt the walkway.

industrial open pantry
The red coffee cans hold the gazillion unopened bags of dried beans we found during last year’s Eat from the Pantry Month. I’m not thrilled with the BPA free plastic but they fill a need . So. Many. Beans.

The jars that hold baking staples I always buy have printed labels.The rest of the storage jars rotate in and out. I label those with temporary labels as needed in the classiest and way possible – by repurposing the original bag or box.

mason jar food organizer
I cut the cooking directions from the package and tape it to the back of the jar if needed.

I’m not sure how I feel about this one. I like the tidy mason jar industrial shelves look. I also like how it frees space in the utility room. I don’t have to play closet Jenga every time I want to use the sweeper.

On the other hand, I’m not sure if I like the functional but not pretty open storage. The pretty Pinterest pantries I adore use empty shelf space for visual balance and that keeps them from looking cluttered. I can’t do that in my small kitchen. I need to use every bit of my shelf space for storage.

organize small pantry

I’m also little concerned that the nutrients in the food might degrade in the light. Should I be?  What do you think?

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