When I’m helping people get organized, I like to start small. It’s a hard place to be when you know you want to get organized but are feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. A small start is usually a drawer, or a small cabinet, something we can tackle in an hour or an afternoon, but can still give someone the confidence that they can organize a space. A spice drawer or cabinet is one such place to start.
Before I get to what I did for my space, I wanted to go over a couple of other options that might work for other people. What organizes one person’s spices, might not organized another’s.
This is not a sponsored post, and there are no affiliate links in this post.
A wall mount spice rack (Amazon, jars not included) is great to free up cabinet space, if you have the wall space in your kitchen (or pantry) to spare. Since the jars aren’t included AND each section is separate, you can use your spices in the containers they come in and adjust the heights accordingly. A counter top spice rack or spinner (Amazon and Amazon, jars and labels included) is great if you have the counter space to spare and don’t want to purchase spice jars separately.
Spice cabinet organizers are excellent if you have the cabinet space to spare. I especially like the pull down ones like this (Amazon, stackable) and this (The Container Store) because I’m short. This one, that you probably saw on TV or pinterest (Amazon) is also great. All of these are made to utilize the spice containers you already use. No decanting unless you have a compulsive need for everything to be uniform, like I do.
Whenever we are talking about drawer organizers (and if you hang out with me, that’s bound to happen) I will rant about the sizes of drawer organizers offered and how often there’s just enough space left over in a drawer to drive me insane. Which is why I love expandable drawer organizers like these (Amazon and Amazon). The spice liner roll (The Container Store) is a good second place because you can cut to fit the length of your drawer, but there’s nothing to be done about the width if it isn’t exact. All the above options also allow you to use the spice containers you already own.
You don’t have to decant your spices. But if you want to, you can get very cheap (buy the same spice brand, always, and if you have to stray, repurpose a used container) to very expensive. These bulk spice jars (Amazon and Amazon) are very reasonably priced. Whereas this gorgeous spice jar (The Container Store) isn’t sold in bulk and is more expensive than a subway sandwich. You can purchase labels anywhere from Amazon to Etsy. Or if you have a vinyl cutting machine or even a regular old printer you could make them yourself.
Decanting spices can be a hassle – I still store backups in a bin in my pantry – and I write the expiration on the container and have to remember to change it each time I refill. But one reason I love decanting my spices is because our local grocery store (Whole Paycheck and a lot of other places are doing this now too) will let me bring in my clean and empty spice container (or any other clean container) and fill it with spices and purchase it by weight. This means no package waste. There are several spices I do still buy that aren’t purchased in bulk, but when I can, I absolutely do.
My Spice Situation
I don’t have a spice cabinet, because I’m short. I don’t like spice racks because I don’t like having too many things on the counter. I also like to have my spices in one row but able to see what and how much is in the container. And I can’t have a wall rack because the kitchen walls are tiled. So, a spice drawer was what worked for me in my kitchen.
When I first put the kitchen together, the spice drawer looked like this.
This was an ok set up. I was slowly collecting the Simply Organic glass spice jars and decanting spices into them for uniformity – which is an essentially free way to collect your own spice jars. I have a basic label maker that I was planning to use (because I hate my handwriting) to label the jars. But that all went to crap when Chad got a smoker for his birthday and he was cooking, a lot, all of a sudden. And with that cooking came a lot of grilling spices that came in various sized and shaped containers.
It was time to get really really organized.
After doing a bunch of research I decided that the grilling spices, and things like cinnamon sticks, needed larger containers for storage, while the regular spices would make do in smaller containers. Of course, I wanted these containers to match. And that is why I landed on these containers.
The seasoning keepers (Amazon) and the mini prokeepers (Amazon) worked for what I needed. They aren’t cheap, but I had a birthday gift card to Amazon to burn. I also purchased a custom drawer insert from this etsy shop (imageworksva) and I would recommend them to anyone. Finally, to make the most use of the drawer, I installed full extension drawer gliders. I had labels made from an etsy shop (Gracefully Neat) and would definitely recommend using them for custom vinyl labels.
I’m really happy with how the drawer turned out. I keep the larger containers in our Elfa Door and Wall Rack (The Container Store) on the back of the pantry door. Home Depot and Lowe’s both make great copycat versions.
The most important thing is to have a place for everything, and a little room left over to grow. I have a few empty containers in case we need to store more spices. I can add a shelf to the pantry rack if I need to. Everything is within reach and easy to find when we need it – so this solution works for us.
How about you, are you inspired to get your spice containers organized?