Tuesday, September 22, 2015

An Ode To An Organized Spice Cabinet

I've been plagued- like most people I know- by an unorganized spice collection.

Spices are so awkward to work with- different size bottles, bags, pouches, shakers...it's just this ridiculous puzzle in the cabinet.  The only other thing I can think of that's such a pain to keep neat is board games!  

I was fed up.  So beyond fed up.

I Pinterested my little heart out looking for the solution.  

I considered those magnetic boards some people have made but seriously...my spice collection is on the large side.  I didn't want to give up that much wall space to something like that, as cute as they were.

I LOVED the idea of using a typesetter's drawer- but I gave up trying to find one that had evenly spaced slots for spice containers.  It would have driven me batty to have differently sized openings.  Cause I'm crazy like that.  :-)

I needed a way to keep things straight in that cabinet- it was way past time.

Last summer I found myself in The Container Store with my lovely sister-in-law and knew it was time to take action.  I didn't really have a plan at the moment...but I was definitely in the right place, right?
I started out in the obvious place- the kitchen section.

And, well...if I had like 12 spices that would have been my last stop.
I have just a tad bit more than that!

Those little spice containers were several dollars apiece...multiply that by a lot and the cost of organizing my spices spun wildly out of control.  So I kept walking.

I stumbled across these Seamless Tins and I was totally sold.  They're neat and uniform and they close snuggly enough that they keep my spices fresh.  They come in several different sizes- so I can have a small tin of, say, lavender, and a big gigantic container of roasted garlic.

But do you know what happened?
Pretty much the same thing that happened halfway through my stairs.  I just... you know...walked away for a bit.

A long bit.

The thing was, I wasn't sure how I was going to label all of these tins I'd purchased.  I finally got tired of my husband asking me when I was going to get it all organized and as a stopgap measure just slapped some painters tape on them so I could start putting them to use while I figured out what I was going to do long-term.

Yeah...I know.  Classy.  But at least I was using my little tins.

Anyway, so they were like that for oh, I don't know, a year?


A couple of weeks ago I had had enough.  I picked up a few more of the tins and ordered this paint pen and these shelf organizers from Amazon.  The pen worked PERFECTLY and dried quickly.  The organizers do their job, but there are a million tier organizers out there.  I even found this SUPER cheap idea on Pinterest if you want to save a little!
I briefly found myself Googling fonts that are easy to write by hand...but in the end I kept it simple and just freehanded it with what I generally think of as "teacher writing".  Is it perfect?  Nope.  But it's good enough for me :-)

I started by just labeling the sides of the canisters so I could read them while they were on the shelves but as I put all of the labeled tins back in the cabinet I realized it might be helpful to be able to read them from the top if they're out on the countertop while I cook so I labeled the tops too.

The last addition to my cabinet were a couple of large, clear glass jars from Penzeys.  I used them to hold my dried chiles and bay leaves since they're too big for the tins.  They're fairly inexpensive and I only needed a couple of them.  They come with labels, but I like the clear appearance of the jars in my cabinet.  I think I might get a white paint pen and label them on their black plastic tops.

Guys...I'm in love.  My spices are organized and I think they look great too.  I wish I'd done this years  ago!

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