Mainly, I just miss having a big pantry for food storage. And I miss having a pantry door so I can store my spices in an organized fashion in door racks.
We have now lived for over a month sans microwave, and I've only missed that a couple of times. Generally for things I shouldn't be eating anyway. :) I think we may be able to do without a microwave long term at this point. But I do miss my pantry, even if it got messy at times.
Any suggestions for organizing spice jars? We went to great effort in recent months to get all of them in identical small labeled glass jars, and now we have nowhere good to put them. They are on a set of open bookshelves in the kitchen, and it's hard to find things. And I'm afraid when the baby arrives she will knock them all down as soon as crawling commences. But we don't really have conveniently located drawer or cabinet space either.
I would say try either a lazy susan, or I have this other thing- it's like a three-tiered rack that fits in a cupboard, and that way I'm able to see almost all of my spices. It kind of looks like this but is narrower, and each level is a little higher looking. Oh and mine was a fraction of the price of that one, I think my Mom found it at Walmart, or the Christmas Tree Shop or something like that. I've also seen pull out spice drawers but haven't any experience with them. hope this helps :)
Well, I use a combo of the stepped spice shelves and wire cabinet organizers in my cabinet right now, but in the past there have been spices I kept boxed up in the other room - either in a pretty or simple plastic shoebox (usually grouped by how I used them - so I had a baking box, indian cookery box, mexican & italian spices together, etc). Then I only kept other all-purpose spices in the cabinet and only had to grab something out of the other room when I needed those. They were labeled and stacked so easy to store, and I think I even kept duplicates of things in there that I used a lot (double cumin, extra salt, stuff like that I would have kept in a larger container otherwise).
Would a raised counter shelf be useful or hold all your spices? It wouldn't take up as much counter space and they'd be out for you to use.
I keep my spices, with the name of each written on the top, in a basket in the narrow cupboard next to my stove. Instead of fumbling around, I pull the whole basket out, and can easily see what I'm looking for since the names are on top. I have a separate basket for herbs. I had the same system in my old kitchen, but with the baskets in a deep drawer. That way, I could see what I needed without having to remove the basket.