Hi, friends – happy Monday! Are you ready for a super quick and super simple project that will make your life 100 times easier?
(Maybe a slight exaggeration. But only slight.)
Today’s project is fast, incredibly affordable, and so easy that you can do it in under an hour (not including dry time for the paint). I’ll warn you – it’s nothing revolutionary, but it’s something I wish I would have done ages ago and it’s one of those little life hacks that has made cooking way simpler.
Are you sold yet? Let’s chat about organizing spices.
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Our spices have been a mess for a while now – we started off with these cute tins on the side of our fridge, but they were hard to use, kind of messy, and never looked as nice as I wanted them to. We slowly amassed more spices, and we ended up trying a basket system in the small cabinet next to the oven. Of course, over time that organization system fell into chaos and for the last few months it’s been impossible to find the things I need when I need them. Bottom line? This is what my spice cabinet looked like:
It’s hard to tell from the photo, but there’s absolutely zero organization – some spices are in baskets, some are just sitting on the shelves, and there’s no telling where you might find anything. It could be in a basket one day, on a shelf the next, and in the other basket the following week.
We had migrating spices. It was a problem.
I wanted to come up with a system where I could prioritize the spices that we use on the regular but still keep the lesser-used spices easy to access. I also wanted most of our spices to be in uniform containers so that we weren’t dealing with a dozen different sizes and shapes. I snagged these cute little glass containers from World Market as a start.
I went through several different plans before I landed on the one I actually used – I wanted to try this tape transfer method that I shared on my Facebook page (and I even shared an Instagram Story of my attempt at doing it) but it was a total disaster. I just could not make it work. I considered just making simple labels for the lids, but that wasn’t very pretty (and I like pretty).
And then I used a chalk pen to jot down what I was putting in each jar. I like that it’s erasable because we definitely go through phases where we use some spices more than others, so we can easily switch out what’s in there without it being a huge hassle. So far we haven’t had an issue with the names getting erased unintentionally, but I’ll keep you updated on how that goes.
I put all of the spices that we use on the regular in the drawer right next to the stove – they’re the perfect height to stand up in the drawer, and it makes them incredibly easy to access. I thought about trying to store all of the spices in this drawer, but I stuck with the idea of keeping the things I use the most easiest to get to – I ended up keeping the most-used spices towards the front of the drawer, and our pot holders are in the back.
(Side note: I recently discovered I’m missing, like, all of my pot holders. Where did they go? Do I have a pot holder thief? More importantly, where do you buy your pot holders? I need new ones, apparently.)
I took the rest of the spices that don’t get used as frequently and put them back in one of the baskets from the shelf (they all fit nicely into just one basket once I cleaned out the expired ones and the ones we never use), then I corraled the rest of the junk that was in this cabinet (mostly baking supplies and a few other rarely-used tools) in the second basket.
After about 10 minutes of organizing, I had an entirely new system that is way easier to manage (and a lot easier on the eyes). It’s nothing earth-shattering or particularly genius, but it makes a big difference in the functionality of our kitchen and makes my heart really happy.
Oh, and my other favorite quick & easy kitchen organizing tip? Toss a small tray on your counter to corral your most-used cooking tools – and buy pretty tools that you don’t mind leaving out all the time. There’s something about not having to open a drawer to get out and put away the things that I use every single time I cook (for me, that’s salt, olive oil, and my measuring cups and spoons) that makes it so much easier to keep my kitchen clean.
Our kitchen still has a long way to go before it’s where we want it to be (I’m in the process of scoping out options for counters, so hopefully that’ll be the next project we tackle in this room) but I love making little tweaks like this that help it feel more functional and enjoyable to be in.
What are your favorite kitchen hacks?