So I finally did what I had been intending to do all along: Put our hallway shelves to good use as a proper pantry, with all my serving platters stacked up neatly, and use our washed-and-ready wedding jars for all the grains collecting in the cupboards.
I still need to get lids that fit; the vintage lids I had were too big. But the overall effect has already been excellent; I remember what I have, and it makes this little pass-through hallway at the foot of the stairs much prettier.
I am hoping that the vintage blue of the jars also helps keep the grains fresher. Even though the hallway is pretty dark (and Ohio sunlight is awfully weak right now; I don't know if any will actually squeak in from the living room or kitchen) it's good to keep grains in dark or opaque containers.
Here's a list of the grains currently lined up in my pantry jars, with links to recipes or info about each one:with one of these. (A small joke.)
I'm not a fan of open storage in every occasion; there are parts of my kitchen I want safely behind doors. But already I've enjoyed having my grains in jars out where I see them regularly, and out of precious cupboard space. It helps me remember to use things up; I pass that buckwheat and couscous eight times a day at least. I'm also looking forward to not using bags anymore when I need to fill up on something at the co-op; I'll just take my jar down with me.
Do you keep any of your ingredients out in the open?