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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Miracle of Miracles…An Organized Spice Cupboard!

I have never attempted to organize my spice cupboard. I don’t know why because I have always hated my spice cupboard. If I want to know if I have a particular spice, I literally have to pull out every bottle in the cupboard to see if it’s there. And I often end up with multiple bottles of the same spice floating around. I could go on and on with the troubles my spice cupboard has caused me…and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one!

So, this past week, I couldn’t take it anymore! I took a trip to the store and bought a lazy susan-type double shelf thingy and went to town on my spices. Here’s what I did:

  • The spices I use most frequently are on the bottom shelf, organized on the lazy susan. I can easily see them all and spin the shelf around to reach the ones in the back with no problem!
  • I put all the spices I use less often on the second shelf.
  • I wrote down every spice I have in the cupboard and taped it inside the cabinet door. Now I can look at the list and see if a spice even exists in the cupboard before I begin the big search!

I know it’s not much. For example, I could type my list and alphabetize it. I could also better organize those spices on the second shelf. But what I have going on right now is sooooooo much better than what I had going on before that I don’t even care! Maybe one day I’ll have that perfectly organized spice cupboard that I’m sure Martha Stewart has, but, until then, I’m downright ecstatic over my “new” spice cupboard!

And, one day, when I have a giant kitchen, my dream is to have a spice drawer, with the names of all the spices on the lids. Doesn’t that sound heavenly?

Please do share any spice organizing tips that you may have. I’m certain you people are full of great ideas!


  1. 1

    We just remodeled and I made a spice/knife drawer. I got two side-lying spice jar racks and a low-profile knife block that perfectly fill the drawer, so now I have a rack of savory spices and one of sweet/baking spices (and overflow) and all my knives clean and organized in the middle. It’s so calming, sometimes I just open it to admire it when things get crazy.

  2. Nice job! I tackled this beast last summer, too. It will make your life a lot easier, I promise! I love the idea of an inventory…I was JUST thinking about doing that myself with my whole pantry.

  3. oh, and a peek inside my cabinet if you’re interested 🙂

  4. Oh, a spice drawer… one of those things I dream about when I’m cooking! We tried to rig one here a few months ago, but our drawers are too shallow for most spice containers. We could always buy small spice containers and transfer them all, but that’s a decent chunk of change that we need elsewhere. :/ Maybe someday!

    Your newly organized spice cupboard looks good! 🙂 I especially love the idea of a list of spices, that one seems obvious I feel silly for not thinking of it myself!

    • Jane Maynard

      the funniest thing about my list, I told nate how I was going to make it and he said, “where are you going to put the list?” and I said, “uh…” I was about to say, just stick in the side of the cupboard. before I could get that out he said, “hang it on the inside of the door?” to which I responded, “oh, duh, YEAH. that’s a great idea.” so, no need to feel silly for not thinking of it…because even when I thought of it, I only got halfway there! 😉

  5. 5

    I have mine on a two-tier lazy susan also. However, I put the names facing out and in ABC order. It’s great! I can quickly spin the rack to see if I have what I need. For the mixed spices and big patches, I just have those in a drawer. I need to organize that!

  6. I shopped around until I found reasonably priced magnetic spice tins with clear lids and have them all hung on the side of my fridge. I LOVE LOVE LOVE having them so easily accessible, and the clear tops make it so easy to see which ones are getting low. Also, I like that I was able to utilize an otherwise wasted space in my kitchen.

    It looks similar to this – but mine are labeled with my handy little label-maker:

  7. I use the lazy susan method, too. It works pretty well–as long as no one messes with my spices! 😉

  8. Our kitchen has absolutely NO space… so I bought a four shelf rack (not sure what it’s original purpose was…) and hung it on the wall. I was able to organize the spices to the ones I use the most, baking spices etc… so now I pretty much know exactly what is on the shelves (if they actually get put back where they belong!)

  9. 10

    I used these containers from IKEA. I had a lot of extra wall space just inside my pantry door, between the door and the edge of the shelf. I hung the magnetic strips, used a label maker to label each container (I love that they are metal and the lids fit tightly) and can fit 6 containers on each magnetic strip. They are beautiful to look at with all the different colors and textures of the spices, use space that would otherwise be empty and take up no shelf or cabinet space. I smile every time I see them….

  10. 11

    This is what I did. What I love about this is is that it opens up more space in the cupboards amd my spices are right all at there for me in alphabetical order..

  11. 12

    Highly inspirational, Jane, thank you!
    Whilst the cupboard is still messy I have found solutions for some of my spices.
    I use a metall board and spice tins from IKEA which I put up next to the stove, additional benefit of the board when cooking: tack your recipe on the board at eyelevel. I wonder whether the exposure to light will harm the spices. What do you think?
    I also use an Indian spice box which I bought on a market in Southern India. It comes with an inner lid and two spoons and when opening the box all the heavenly spicy fragrances will tantalize your olfactory senses.
    Yes, like you I am also dreaming of a wonder kitchen …
    Have a good day,

  12. 13

    While we’re celebrating our Penzy-love here is a question. Have you tried their Shallot Salt? I bought some yesterday to try. I used my coupon for the free Northwoods seasoning and then the last coupon for the Jar of Your choice free. Woo hoo! Which of their seasonings do use the most? I love the Arizona Dreaming (which I originally tried free of course with a coupon as well) in a potato, green chili, corn chowder recipe.

  13. As part of our kitchen remodel that is was put on hold until fall for medical reasons, I’ve asked hubby (the custom cabinet maker by trade) to do something similar to the spice rack Aartie Sequeira blogged about a while back ( Hubby has agreed.

    We tore out the wall between our living room and kitchen and installed our Margin fire-view wood fired cookstove. We used rusted corrugated metal roofing for the firewall behind the stove. But, we have have the cinder block chimney for the furnace that we can’t tear out. So, keeping with the “rustic” theme, we’ve decided to use rusted sheet metal stock as “panels” on at least two sides of the chimney when he trims it in. Then I want to put all our spices into the magnetic jars and make cute old fashioned “general store” looking labels for the jars and plop them onto the rusted sheet metal (I’m going to coat it with a lacquer or epoxy to “seal” the rust into the metal.

    We’re counting down the months until we can restart the kitchen remodel. Although, we’re more anxious about being able to tear the last remaining pink and sky blue shag carpet out. September/October can’t come soon enough for us as a family in so many ways!

    • Jane Maynard

      married to a custom cabinet maker? you lucky girl! I’m excited for the fall for you, too…sounds like it will be amazing when you can finally do the remodel!!

    • Jane – think the cobbler’s wife! But, I can’t complain too much. One of the silver linings with the downturn of the economy and our son getting ill is that the hubby’s been doing less work for others – meaning more opportunity to do things for us. Now I just have to keep him from taking on too many “paying” projects this fall until after our kitchen’s done.

  14. 15

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