Organizing your home doesn’t have to be a tedious or expensive task. Learn how I transformed our messy spice cabinet into an efficient storage space in just a few simple steps.
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It’s time to spice things up a bit!
Ain’t no one got thyme for a cluttered spice cabinet when they are in the middle cooking supper.
Alright, alight. I’ll stop with the play on words.
But seriously, how often have you been cooking dinner, the recipe calls for an uncommon spice and you spend several minutes digging through your shelves trying to find what you need?
When my husband and I first moved into our home, I placed all of our spices in a tall, narrow cabinet next to the fridge. It seemed like an appropriate spot because the cabinet was small and close to the stovetop where most of the cooking happened. The spice cabinet arrangement worked for several years but one night I decided a change was needed. I was tired of hunting through my spices or having to grab a small kitchen ladder to reach the top shelf. After much consideration I decided the spice cabinet needed to be organized.
Spice Cabinet Jars & Labels
With spring just around the corner, I figured now is the best time to start cleaning and organizing our home. The first place to start was the spice rack. I searched Pinterest for several spice cabinet ideas, read through multiple blog posts about spice cabinet organization and explored many shops for glass containers and spice jar label ideas. I finally selected some Kilner vintage preserve jars and several matching clear glass 4 ounce jars. I purchased both options at a shop in a nearby amish community but places like Hobby Lobby, Amazon and even Tractor Supply have a lot of great glass jar options to choose from. I used the larger vintage preserve jars to store my most used spices and put the rest into the smaller containers.
Deciding on how to label the spice jars wasn’t an easy choice. Being a graphic designer, I felt picky. I wanted the labels to be simple but have personality. I don’t care much for the modern, sleek look, nor did I want the black chalkboard style. But most importantly I desired for the label to be removable in case I swapped the spices out in the future. To spare you all the boring details, I ended up selecting the Ball dissolvable canning labels. The label checked all the boxes — simple with personality, removable and easy to write on.
How to Organize Spices
To begin the process of organizing my spice cabinet, I pulled out all of my spices and decided which to keep and which to toss. Celery salt was obviously a goner since I despised its flavor. Ick! The others I categorized into groups – frequently used and occasionally utilized. While organizing, I discovered I have a few duplicates … the drawback to having a deep, narrow spice cabinet. Next, I checked the expiration dates. I am ashamed to say there were several that had expired long ago.
How Long Do Spices Last
The good news is that spices are still usable well after their expiration date. They won’t poison you however they will loose their potency after a while. Around three years is the ideal time for fresh cooking spices. If you have ones older than that, they probably are nearing the end of their shelf life and should be tossed away.
Spice Rack Idea
After sifting through my spice collection, it was time to transfer them into my new jars. I washed and dried each jar thoroughly, wiped out the cabinet, filled each jar with a spice or dried herb and added a label. Through the process of reorganizing my spice cabinet, I discovered that the jars I selected did not fit well onto their current shelf. To save space and make accessing the spices easier, I moved the spices to a different cabinet right above the measuring spoons — so much more convenient when I need to measure something out while cooking!
Transitioning to a larger cabinet allowed for me to add a spice rack inside the cabinet. If you search online, there are countless spice rack ideas out there. Everything from wooden boxes and tiered metal shelves to hanging wall racks and magnetic spice organizers. A more budget-friendly option is to build one yourself. Using scrap lumber from our homestead, my husband built a simple shelving unit that allowed the spices to sit on multiple levels. Having the spices on two different tiers was a huge space saver and helped me to clearly see each spice.
Overall, the project was a success. The labels help me to identify what I have and what I am out of. The diy wooden rack keeps the spices organized so that I no longer have to grab a ladder just to find my garlic powder.
Are you ready to get your cabinets in order? Share your favorite way to organize your spice cabinet in the comments below.
Do you love organizing your home? Check out how I transformed a vintage cabinet into a decorative shelf with just a can of paint and some wallpaper.