Spice Cabinet Organization

Totally missed my Monday post, but rest assured, I was too busy to be moping!  The garden finally ripened up enough tomatoes to make a batch of salsa worthwhile, so I spent most of the day on that, broken up by baby care, and finished up with a few quarts of apple pie filling.  My kitchen is destroyed, but here I sit, blogging, aren’t you glad?  ;)   Ah, choices and priorities, haha.

One of the things that made me smile last week was getting my spice cabinet whipped into shape!  Ben got me a bunch of fun little jars and bottles for my birthday back in February, and since then they’ve been sitting on top of the piano, just gathering dust and waiting for me to buckle down and make them useful.  A wash and dry and some computer printed labels(and a bit of spice floating in the air!) and my spice cupboard is so much prettier!

This is before. It worked, but it wasn’t pretty. The little white baskets helped for a while, but they didn’t quite fix it.  The top shelf had needed some help for a while.  The tea boxes were out of control!

Some of the pretty little jars.

A few of the other jars. The tall skinny ones were spice jars from the store originally, but they are so much prettier without the labels covering them up! I put spices that I sprinkle or use less of into those.

Doesn’t that look so much tidier? I’d like it better without any labels on the jars, but that’s not very practical when it comes to that many kinds of spices!

The bottom shelf. I tipped over two of the white baskets from before to add height to the very back row and to the left side. That makes it a little bit easier to see labels.

Quite the transformation! On the top shelf I put all my tea into a wooden box that I had on hand and put the cornstarch into a mason jar. On the middle shelf I put the vanilla into a (washed) glass molasses bottle and straightened up the green baskets.

If you’re interested in doing a similar transformation here are some things I might suggest. 

1.  Go through your spices and count how many you have in your shelf of regulars.  I had 22 on mine.  I also have a spinning rack of various dry herbs, but I left those there since they were already pretty nice looking.

2.  See if you have any jars you can still use or have been saving from other things(make sure you still have the lids).  I had 6 glass jars that spices had come in from the grocery store.  With the labels scrubbed off they worked nicely for things I need smaller quantities of.  I also had 7 other nice containers that I’d either saved or already been using.

3.  Go to Specialty Bottle or a similar site and pick out a selection of jars to cover the number of spices you don’t already have jars for.  Choose sizes according to how much of anything you like to keep on hand.  Ben got me a good range of sizes when he picked my jars out.  He got mostly in the 4-10 oz range with a couple big ones at 14oz and 19oz.  I used those big ones for cinnamon and dry onion flakes.  I maybe don’t use that much cinnamon, but I like the Saigon cinnamon from Costco and that stuff comes in big bottles!

4.  Once your jars arrive, wash and dry them out, print labels and load them up!  I filled and labeled each jar one at a time so I wouldn’t lose track of what was what.  Then, organize them to your hearts content and sit back and enjoy the improvement!

Once I finally started the project it was fast and easy.  I think the thing that had made me delay was thinking that these jars would take up considerably more space than I had and wanting to build a new shelf for them.  Obviously they all fit just fine.  A few are stacked, and since they’re glass I’ll have to remember to be careful of any wanting to jump out when I grab stuff out of there, but I think I can handle that.  Another thing that made me delay was the thought of scrubbing labels off of the jars I was repurposing(I can’t stand to throw glass containers away!), but a few minutes of soaking in hot water made that a pretty easy job.  It was definitely a worthwhile project and a big improvement over the jumble I had in there before.

Have you done any fun organizing lately?


4 thoughts on “Spice Cabinet Organization

    • That was the original idea. I have a spot where I think they would be very pretty and more accessible on a little shelf, but honestly, I have no idea how to build a shelf there and I’ve waited around for magical inspiration for 7 months now, haha. It was time to just fill them up, and maybe I’ll still have them visible someday. :)

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