Editor’s Note: Like Angela, from Joyously Domestic, my spice organization is a hot mess. Her solution is totally inspiring and colorful. She is here to share her spice storage makeover and some don’t miss tips for making your life easier in the kitchen!
I was one of those people who had just never taken the time to brainstorm and implement a solution to storing the spices in my kitchen. I recently bit the bullet and tackled the project. Let me tell you that it has made a world of difference.
I don’t have a ton of cabinet or pantry space, so I’ve always kept my spices in a couple of kitchen drawers. I buy a lot of spices and dried herbs at a local health food store where I can buy them in bulk, instead of pre-packaged. But, I end up with numerous little baggies tossed into the drawers with my regular grocery store spices.
Tip: Buying in bulk instead of pre-packaged allows me to buy what I need in small amounts, so that I don’t have big jars of things on hand that may go bad before I use all of the contents.
Let me share with you what one of my spice drawers looked like before. It was a hot mess, friends.
I heard once that glass containers are the best vessels for storing spices. For just under eight dollars for a pack of twelve, I bought four-ounce glass jars (a.k.a. “jelly jars”) for my spice storage.
Tip: If you have a baby in the house and don’t want to invest in the four-ounce glass jars, save up a bunch of your empty baby food jars for this project. Give them a good washing, paint the lids with chalkboard paint and label using chalk.
I first made a list of all the spices I had, then tallied up how many jars I would need. Once I had purchased the containers and washed them, it took me about an hour to make up the labels on the computer (I used Microsoft Publisher), about fifteen minutes to cut them out, about fifteen minutes to transfer all of my spices into their new homes and just a few minutes to label them all.
I decided to get a little creative with the labeling of the containers. I didn’t just want to center the names of the spices on the labels. So I typed them in different positions and in different font sizes on each label. I like the look of the words running off of the labels.
Or, you could simply label your jars with a permanent marker or use a label maker. If you do decide to create your own labels on the computer, be sure to measure the size circles you’ll need before starting.
Tip: Write the date of purchase or expiration date for each spice on the underside of each label.
If you store your spices on shelves, you could still use this jar storage method. My jars came with their own oval label stickers that can adhere to the smooth section on the sides of the jars – perfect for shelf storage. Those labels could also be placed on top of the lids if you’re using the drawer storage method and simply do not want to make your own labels.
NOTE: Since a few of my spices and herbs were purchased in larger quantities, I did end up with a few that had to be split between two small jars. I just simply stowed the extras away on a pantry shelf until I use up what is in my drawers.
I did some rearranging in my kitchen and ending up converting my entire spice collection over to one large drawer instead of it being divided between two drawers (as it was before starting this project).
I couldn’t be more thrilled with the outcome of this project. It’s now a joy to open my spice drawers. I used to dread having to scrounge around to find what I was looking for, but now everything is perfectly labeled and immediately ready for use.
Tip: I even decided to store my measuring spoons right in with my spices. (Doesn’t it make perfect sense?)
I’m glad I invested a couple of hours into this project. I’m now considering tackling some of my baking and dessert decorating supplies in a similar way – all those sprinkles, chocolate chips, dusting sugars and cupcake liners sure could benefit from some organization, too. And, since I recently inherited my grandmother’s canning jar collection, I may just go crazy converting my dry goods (beans, pastas, flours, grains, etc.) over to Mason jar storage. I love the thought of being able to see everything I have on hand while keeping everything super organized and aesthetically appealing.
Joyously Domestic is a family friendly recipe blog that offers lots of comforting, easy-to-prepare dishes. Angela’s Slow Cooker “Melt in Your Mouth” Pot Roast would be a fabulous dish to use several of the spices and dried herbs from your own kitchen.