The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Sharon at Mom of 6.
When an area of your home starts to really annoy you, then you know it is time for a makeover! And this week, my spice cabinet which also houses my tea and coffee supplies was driving me batty! So one morning, in the 30 minutes of “free time” that I have between putting my older three kids on their bus and waking up my younger three kids for elementary school- I decided to tackle the spice cabinet.
All of the spices were no longer organized by any method- alphabetical or otherwise, so I couldn’t find what I needed without pulling dozens of little jars out of the cabinet each time I was looking for something. Baking supplies were located on multiple shelves. Tea boxes were literally falling out when I opened the doors, and the top shelf was under-utilized.
So how did I tackle this spice cabinet makeover in just 30 minutes?
Remove, Sort, and Assess
The first thing I did was to remove everything from each shelf and then sorted items into groups based on similar categories: Spices for Cooking, Spices for Baking. Spices Rarely Used, and Beverage Items. When I came across duplicates (I had 2 bottles of dried parsley for example)- I combined them into one container. If a spice was super old or I couldn’t remember the last time I actually used it- into the trash it went. Once I grouped items into categories, I was surprised that most of what I owned were cooking spices, and most of the rarely used spices I wanted to keep around were mostly cooking spices (not baking) as well.
Once I could see what I truly owned by own category, it became easy to assess what I needed to store and figure out what a better layout for the cabinet would be…..
Clean, Consider, and Containerize
Before I returned anything to the shelves, I thoroughly cleaned each shelf as well as the stacking units that fit inside of the cabinet that make the spices easier to see. Then I spent a few minutes considering whether or not I would be better off relocating the beverage supplies to another area….
….such as on this little shelf right above my stove. Think of how convenient it would be to have my tea supplies right there on my stovetop! Except that there would be a great deal of heat up there, which means it is probably not the best place to store paper-based items. Hmmm….. on second thought- I better just find a way to house them in the spice cabinet.
Next I considered whether or not I needed to buy anything to make this space more functional. I have seen so many lovely photos on Pinterest of beautifully organized spice cabinets where all of the containers are identical. And labeled beautifully. But then I thought about of all of the time I would need to spend shifting contents from the store-bought containers to pretty match-matchy ones…. and I decided to stick with what I had.
Return Items in An Organized Manner
Now there are lots of ways to organize your spices- alphabetically, by frequency of use, by category. I actually chose a hybrid of these methods- I am using the bottom shelf to hold cooking spices and I placed my rarely used spices in the back of this shelf, the more frequently used ones in the front, and they are alphabetized within those two groupings. And right in the front row are the items I use the most often- onion, garlic, and seasoning salt.
On the second shelf I have all of my baking spices, on the third shelf I have baking supplies and beverage items. And waayyy up there on the top shelf (which I can only reach while standing on a chair) are the items that I rarely use.
And I accomplished all of this in just 30 minutes! (Which begs the question- why did I wait so long to do it?!!)
Aahhh… it feels SO much better to have a spice cabinet that looks visually appealing when I open the doors and where I can find exactly what I am looking for without any effort!
If you get a chance, I hope you’ll stop by to see me at Momof6 – a place where I write about organizing your home, using a family calendar, creating household routines, hosting at-home birthday parties, and holding a DIY summer camp! You can also find me over on GreatFamilyRoadTrips– where I share ideas and itineraries to inspire you to hit the road!