Organizing Spices to Solve an Annoying Problem

Okay by now you must all know that the basis for any organizing I do is almost always to solve some annoying problem that is bugging me.  I’m constantly thinking about how I can streamline systems to save not only space, time and money but also how I can keep from being irritated about things.  Take my spices for instances.

We don’t have a bulk store in my town so to save money I buy my spices in bags and refill my spice jars as needed.  Of course the bags hold more than the spice jars do so there was always some leftover.

spice bags

I used to collect all these spice bags in a basket.  I’d just seal them off and toss them in.

Here’s what it used to look like before.

spices disorganized

Umm can you say overflow?  So much so that I, you guessed it, could never easily find the one I needed.  I would have to pull out the entire bin to dig through them all to find what I was looking for.  Now I’m not saying this is a terrible system.  In fact it’s great that I had them contained and that is a really good place to start.  I went years this way without being irritated by it.  Then suddenly I noticed that it began to bug me more and more often.

We have to pay attention to these things so all the little irritations don’t manifest themselves into one really grumpy attitude. Sometimes all it takes is a tweak or two to fix the problem.

So once I recognized it was a problem for me, I pondered the situation for a couple of weeks.  I posted about it on Instagram and Facebook.  You all provided me with some excellent ideas.

First thing I did was try to move to a bigger basket.  I don’t have a picture of that one but while it didn’t look overflowing, I still had to dig for what I wanted.

I decided small containers of some kind were in order.  After some searching I purchased 3 of these Rubbermaid container sets from Walmart (no affiliation).  They were $2.97 each.

Rubbermaid Take Alongs

I liked the idea of them having twist and seal lids as I thought they would be easier to open without spices going flying everywhere.

I also purchased a 12″ turntable from Solutions online to put them on.  You can also get these at places like Bed Bath and Beyond or sometimes even the dollar store if you are lucky.

turntable

I then got to work dumping and filling and labeling all my spices.  It was a fun job, I had a great time making a big mess :)

spices being organized

And this is how it all turned out.

spices reorganized

spices reorganized 1

This system is working out so much better for me now, I’m really happy with it.  The whole project only took me about an hour to complete and now I’m no longer irritated every time I need to find a certain spice.  I just have to give my turntable a whirl, whee!  Totally worth an hour of my time and the $20 I spent, that is for sure!!

I labeled the sides with some kitchen labels I had from Stuck on You as well as some clear labels I had for my label maker.  I also labeled them on the back with the expiry date if there was one.

spices organized

spices reorganized 2

Many of you recommended I store my spice overflow in the freezer which isn’t a bad idea and I still might do that now that they are all organized into containers.  We’ll have to see how it goes.

The actual spice jars on the left of the lazy susan are all labeled on the top of the lids so I can easily see what I’m looking for when looking down on them.  I think I’m going to put all of those on a turntable as well.  I posted about how I organize my lazy susan here and here if you want more information about it.

Moral of the story:  start with something that irritates you in your home, figure out a way so it won’t and get it done.  You’ll be so glad you did!

How do you organize your spice overflow?  Do you buy spices in bulk?  How do you store the excess?

Linking up at  A Bowl Full of Lemons and 36th Avenue

Filed under: Containerizing, Kitchen

Comments

25 Responses to Organizing Spices to Solve an Annoying Problem

  1. 1
    Lisa says

    Another way you could save space is gluing the lids to the ceiling of the cupboard and just twist and pull the pot away when needed and screw it back when done…. x

    • 1.1
      Laura says

      That’s an interesting idea for sure because you would be using otherwise wasted space. It probably wouldn’t work for me though because I almost never use a permanent method when it comes to organizing. I change my mind too much and then I’d be left with holes lol.

      • 1.1.1
        Mridu Parikh says

        I agree! Love that idea…so creative! But I’m rearranging stuff all the time! I put my extra spices in the fridge as you mentioned Laura. :)

  2. 2
    Lemonade Budget says

    This is a cool idea. I can never find my spices easily, I should really do something like this x

  3. 3
    Alice says

    Love these ideas! Thank You :)

  4. 4
    Michelle says

    This is a good idea. I never thought to buy spices in bulk. I tend to have lots of different spices because I like to try a lot of different types of foods but because I have so many, I have the ones I used most frequently in the drawer next to the stovetop with a drawer organizer but the ones I use less frequently are in a cabinet and they are a mess!

  5. 5
    Kathy J. says

    My husband and I built the GREATEST spice organizing system! I’d love to show you, and I have pictures, but I am not sure how to send them to you, or upload them. Being as organized as you are, I’m sure you would really get a kick out of this system – and it looks so awesome!

  6. 6
    Michelle says

    Another idea is to save your parmesan cheese bottles…we use one to store minced onions, etc.

  7. 7
    Laura Jane says

    What a great idea! I love those containers with the twist on lids. I have overflow spices and at the moment they are all in a plastic bin, but I really love this idea.

    • 8.1
      Laura says

      That looks awesome, thank you for sharing it!!

  8. 10
    Tammy says

    We used the cabinet (that didn’t have anything in it) above the sink and bought pull down wire shelving at Lowes. Works great for spices!! AND I can reach them.

  9. 11
    Prince says

    Hi Laura,

    Thank you so much for sharing this idea, you know what? My mom was having more spices in her cabinet but the problem is, she can’t easily find it, what she looks for.

    So thank you so much for this, now I can suggest to my mom this and also to my aunts.

    Question Laura: Where did you get the stickers or label?

    Thanks a lot Laura!

    Prince

  10. 12
    Brandi says

    This is a great idea….
    Just another idea…. Lids from Parmesan cheese containers will fit on ANY regular mouth mason jar……
    That would also be great for organizing spices…..

  11. 13
    Amy says

    I have a similar system for my spices and I used a label maker to do the labelling, but I love the idea of clear labels and a pretty font instead. Your post has inspired me to tidy up my spice cupboard too!

  12. 14
    Karen says

    I love the idea of using those little Rubbermaid bowls for spices! Perfect!

  13. 15
    Karin says

    I prefer the mason jars for spices; the excess (what doesn’t fit in the little jars) can be frozen (keeping the spices and herbs away from light sources), the the little jars are filled right from the freezer jars. After the BPA situation, I’m a bit paranoid about plastics and foodstuffs, so this keeps me happy and organised at the same time

    • 15.1
      Laura says

      It’s funny you should say that because mason jars are what I originally went looking for but then couldn’t find. I still may change over to them though if I find them at a good price.

  14. 17
    Morgan - MorganizewithMe! says

    I love how you organized the left over spices, brillant! I keep all the leftover spices in their individual bags, in one sealed container, but I like this idea of separating, labeling, and organizing!

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