We’re going on 2:00 a.m. Thursday morning and all I have to show for this week is some organization progress in the kitchen. After laying in bed for two hours with a mind that wouldn’t turn off (probably because I was thinking about all that needed to be done beyond a couple of kitchen cabinets), I decided to pull my fanny out of bed and share my first project of the week- my easy, organized baking and spice cabinet.
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When we first moved in two years ago, the spice cabinet was Mama Nan’s baby. She visited during moving weekend and helped me get everything in the kitchen unpacked and settled, but that spice cabinet was her favorite little space (she still talks about it haha). Before we jump right in, I’ll first give you this caveat. I too gawk and drool over uniform spice jars with pretty labels (is there anything better?!) but in our house, it just isn’t practical. As I’ve said before, we cook most every night, we go through a lot of seasonings, and we purchase our most often used spices in bulk, when possible. We could put portions from the large jars in smaller containers and store the excess somewhere else, but then, that’s just one more grouping of items to worry about finding storage space. Plus, I like that when I’m searching, I know exactly what bottle to look for based on packaging. For us, the original containers work best.
On the flip side, our sugar, flour, and all the baking goods were a wreck – I was excited to finally get those in canisters. I’ll show you how I tackled and sorted each area but first, here’s a peek of where I started.
It could definitely be worse but it is far from satisfactory. You’ll also notice that as you get closer to the top of the cabinet, the space is used more sparingly. We have really tall cabinets and I have to use a step stool to access anything on the top two shelves but throwing tiny things up there I couldn’t see certainly wasn’t helping. The first thing I did was take every single item out. I even had to use a long spoon to swipe the top shelf to make sure I got everything. I wiped the shelves down and put my three-tiered spice riser back in. (The spice riser (HERE), along with a few other organizational items in my cabinet are currently part of a 25% off sale. You can get this expandable spice shelf – it also comes in a wider version for canned goods (HERE) which I also have – for under $7.50 right now). I’ve had my spice and can risers for years now and love them. LOVE them.
After about two hours worth of work, here was the result.
It was amazing how many duplicate spices we had acquired, just from not being able to see what we had. I tossed spices that were super expired (um, 2012 called and they want their Mrs. Dash back. Literally, y’all- 2012) As I trashed some jars, I grouped the survivors into like categories. By size, type (chili powder goes with cayenne and paprika; oregano goes close to the Italian), and then most commonly used to be positioned front and center. We had an overwhelming number of steak/meat rubs, so they got their own special area on a small turntable for easy access. (The one I used (HERE) is 10″ and under $6). I cannot tell you how much easier this makes things, instead of having to take spices out to access the back. If you’ve never used a lazy susan for organization, please, please try it!
Salts and peppers received their own dedicated corner on the bottom right, and oil and vinegars rounded out the first shelf. I keep the big cooking sprays, vegetable oil, and full sized olive oil in the pantry; because I use olive oil most often, I do keep this small bottle filled.
Knowing I was going to be utilizing the top two shelves for baking goods, I didn’t want to use glass canisters (I can see a major accident happening in my head, now). I am so totally in love with the OXO Pop canisters so while they are a little more than a basic jar, I think they are totally worth it. If you have POP canisters, you know where I’m coming from. If you don’t, you have to test one out. They are the same type as my dishwashing tab cannister I bragged about HERE. I pulled all the powders and sugars and matched them to appropriately sized containers. I actually got this big box (HERE) which comes with 10 canisters, and bought a few extra that didn’t come in the set. I’ll be allocating the remaining containers to my panty and purchasing more when that project gets underway. I can’t tell you how satisfying it was to toss crumbled bags into the trash- no more [email protected]$$ed paper roll down!
I used THIS chalk marker to label; it is intended specifically for non-porous, slick surfaces and comes right off with water!
When’s the last time you cleaned out your baking and/or spice cabinet? Have you ever developed a system? If not, this is a project that can be tackled while you’re cooking dinner one evening next week 😉
I still need to work on what’s behind most of the other cabinet doors but coming next – my favorite refrigerator organizational tools (officially cleaned out and reorganized as of yesterday).
With the holidays coming up (and the hauling out of ALL THAT STUFF), and a fall room makeover just a month away, I am trying to organize where I can to “lessen the blow” of the madness that will ensue in the next few weeks. Stay tuned for some fun upcoming projects; if you don’t already, you can subscribe to receive email updates at the bottom of this post to make sure you don’t miss anything coming this fall!
Paint: Perfect Greige by Sherwin Williams
Trim Paint: Creamy by Sherwin Williams
Floors: Nottaway Hickory in Weathered Saddle
Counters: Giallo Ornamental Granite
Backsplash: Puebla Travertina in Beige 3×6 Tiles with Snow White Grout
Cream Cabinets w/ Coffee Glaze: Unknown
Wanna see more organization projects? Visit other organized areas HERE.