Sunday, November 6, 2011

Organizing the Spices

My spice organization has been on my mind for quite a while.  While I've been keeping my pantry pretty organized since the pantry challenge earlier this year, it seems like my spices had a mind of their own and would jump out at me while getting other items from the pantry.  I'm a fairly patient person but even I get tired of picking up spices off the floor.

Here is a before pictures of my spices.  Note - this is AFTER I've already gotten rid of some in my first solution

I personally don't use all these spices (my husband buys a lot of spices for his own use) and do believe there is an opportunity to purge at a later date, however this solution involved finding room for all of our current spice selection.

As I mentioned before, my solution was two-fold.  The first thing that I decided to do was to make use of the spice rack that we have on our kitchen counter.  I bought it a few years ago when we re-did our kitchen, I'm embarrassed to admit that quite a few of the spices still had their original sealed top.  Non-functional items don't really have a place in my kitchen (with the exception of the Eiffel Tower and a plant) so I decided to make better use of this spice rack.

The first thing that I did was to dump out the spices I didn't need, wash the containers and re-fill them with spices I use fairly regularly or buy multiple containers of because I can never find what I'm looking for.  Seriously, how many jars of nutmeg does one girl need?  I then used a label maker to label the containers with my new spices.  The labeling doesn't have the same visual appeal that the original labels have but they are definitely more functional.

Here is what my spice rack currently looks like.  Sorry for the poor quality of the picture, I couldn't position it so that the flash wasn't hitting it.

I then needed to do something with the jumble of spices that were left.  My goal was to add space to my existing pantry and organize the spices in a way that they wouldn't fall all over and be easy to find.  Without a clear vision in my head as to what the solution would look like I headed over to Wal-Mart and found this.

This is a five shelf storage rack that I found in the kitchen section of Wal-Mart for about $17, bonus points for the fact that it matched my existing shelving.  There were two different ways to hang it, I chose the vertical option.  I was able to hang it myself in about a half hour with a screw driver and level so the assembly was quite easy.  If I can offer a suggestion, make sure the second piece you hang is the correct piece otherwise you will need to re-do your work which creates unnecessary waste :(

The three middle shelves are being used for spices, the bottom shelf is baking supplies while the top shelf is sandwich and freezer bags.  You can't quite see it but on the last spice shelf I took a long narrow basket that I had bought at the Dollar Store (same type I used in my bathroom organizing here) and added my seasoning packets.  This allows me to keep the packets together and easily see what I have.

By adding this extra space I was able to spread out my other pantry supplies making it easier to see what I have.  This should also make it easier to keep the pantry organized.

I'll be linking this up over at I'm an Organizing Junkie, Organizing with SandyA Bowlful of Lemons and Organizing Homelife

You might also like:

Keeping the Kitchen Semi-Company Ready
Freezer Cooking Wrap-Up


  1. Nice job! I'm trying to organize my daily supplements that are in a spice rack that hangs on the wall. I've been looking all summer for a spice rack with empty jars - no luck yet. I was thinking that if one side had the pop up hole & the other side had the sprinkle side, I could use the big hole to get out a single capsule. It's just that some of the supplement bottles don't fit on the spice rack...

    Anyhoot, it must feel nice to have that job finally done. :-)

  2. Thanks - it's so nice to finally have it done. I love crossing things off my list :) It looks like Amazon has some empty spice racks but they run about $30+. If you could find an inexpensive spice rack you could always throw the spices away and make the holes a little bigger to fit the supplements. You could actually do that with your current spice rack if there are some spices you don't use but like the rack.

  3. I'm envious of your pantry. It's so big and beautiful. What a great way to organize spices. I don't even have the counter space to have a spice rack in my kitchen, so I'm still trying to figure out how to organize all those little buggers!

  4. Great job! I love the spice organizer. :)

    I'm hosting a brand new linky party on my blog, Organizing Homelife, and I would love for you to link up this post!