Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Spice of Life

Like a lot of people, I store almost all of my spices, oils, vinegar and other cooking and baking supplies in the teeny tiny cabinet above the range hood/microwave. Who doesn't love leaning very near an active gas burner to reach the back of said cabinet and have multiple bottles of basil or cumin fall all over them? I know it totally makes my day. Alas, I have been searching for the perfect spice organization for quite awhile until fortune smiled upon me. Or was it the World Market algorithm? Either way, after about an hour of sorting, organizing and yes, trusty label maker utilizing, I am one happy girl.

IHeart Organizing featured kitchen organization last month, so I've been on kind of a nerdy organizing streak, packaging pirate's booty into freezer canning jars as 'snack packs' and purchasing an over-the-door pantry organizer that is still sitting on my washing machine because the pantry door needs to be re-hung to make it fit correctly (j is super stoked when I start projects that cause him more tedium.) but still, the cure to my spice overload eluded me. Until...

It all started when Our Best Bites posted a photo on facebook of a lime glazed quick bread that they'd portioned out into adorable blue and white mini bread pans. What?! I know-I promise, I'm getting there. Clearly everyone else was smitten with them, because a quick scan of the comments revealed World Market as the source of said cuteness. I hopped online and after I put them in my virtual basket, the helpful folks suggested I might like some round glass spice jars. Hold. The. Phone. Why yes, yes I would like them. Actually, I would like thirty-two, thanks! They arrived and then sat on my counter for two days.

Tomorrow morning I'm leaving for the weekend. My first child-free weekend since last December's (2011, not 2012) weekend at the Rock-n-Roll Vegas Half-Marathon. A weekend of girlfriends, laughter, wine consumption and blessed, sacred, uninterrupted sleep. I have a lot to get done before I leave-closets to purge, books to sort and laundry to fold and put away. Naturally, this was the perfect time to organize the spice cabinet.

(Sorry for the iphone pictures)Here's the scary and overflowing before:
Notice that several of the jars are precariously perched...guess how many times they've lost their footing.

After taking everything out of the cabinet, I knew I wanted the bulk of the spices to go in one of the drawers by the stoves so a quick shuffle of contents so that things made better sense and I had a empty drawer. I then matched up all the spices because lord knows when things are that crammed, there are going to be duplicates because sometimes it was just easier to buy another bottle of turmeric than to find the one that you think you're pretty sure you maybe saw when you took them all down to find the coriander last week.

I initially thought it would be cute to paint a square if chalkboard paint and then write each spice...cute unit, it rubbed off the first time. Also, who has time for that? So I busted out my old pal the label gun, and I filled each jar then applied a label so that I wasn't left to later guess what one might be. I was able to fit a lot of them in the drawer, and chose the few that I use infrequently to go back in the cabinet above, but the new jars and labels made the, easily identifiable. My big containers of cinnamon and chili powder went back in the fridge door-I'm sure it's not true, but I heard somewhere along the way that they are better kept there and I'm sticking to it.

The ahhh after. Like Pretty maids all in a row!

I like these jars for several reasons just a few of them being that at $3.99/four-pack they're affordable, they can hold more than a full-sized jar of most brands and they have a wide enough mouth that all of my measuring spoons will fit inside. Next up; baking drawer organization. I know, the excitement of my life is just astounding.

Everything in its new home and I may or may not have opened the drawers about twenty times just to gaze at the shiny little jars. I swear they winked back. And then I made a batch of Banana Nutella Granola to take and share with my girlfriends-organized and yummy smelling kitchen?! It's the 1-2 punch for this girl. Now, I must pack.


Crafty Mama said...

We re-did our kitchen in 2007, gutting it right down to the studs. Before the rehab, I had a cheapie bookcase next to the counter that housed all my spices and baking needs. It was always dusty and dingy-looking, and I really hated it. We used IKEA cabinets in the remodel, and one of the things I got was a drawer stand to put the spices in the drawer. LOVE IT! However, it's a bit of a game to get them all to play nice and share space, and my crushed red pepper lives in a different cabinet. (He was simply too large to fit with the others) Now that I see your jars....hmmmm I may have to check out this World Market page!

Enjoy your weekend away!! What am I saying, of course you are going to! :)

The Renegade Seamstress said...

This is so great, Sarah! If only I had a label maker.....

Anonymous said...

Must buy label maker. And all those super cute little jars. Inspiring!!

Sherri said...

did they come with labels?

Anonymous said...

Isn't it awesome what a little organization can do?!? Looks (and I'm sure functions) so much better. :)