Kitchen Organization: Cheap and Easy Spice Cupboard
There are so many kitchen organization ideas out there, especially for spices. While many of them are wonderful, they either won’t fit in my kitchen, cost a lot, or would take a skilled carpenter to make. In my last house my spice cupboard was very skinny, only about 7″ wide so I had to come up with my own idea and today I’m going to share it with you.
As you get to know us, Jen and Chris, you’ll quickly learn that Jen is the chef and Chris is the organizer and we both struggle with the other. When I was over at Jen’s one day, of course she was cooking, I saw her spice cupboard and my brain immediately started going.
I’m sure many of you can relate. Bottles of all sizes were just shoved in making it near impossible to find what you’re looking for. With little bottles hidden behind big ones, duplicates because you didn’t know you already had a particular spice or just the aggravation of things falling out while you’re trying to find something.
One thing you’ll also come to learn is that while we’re both frugal, Jen really wants to save her pennies. Luckily this cost about ten bucks. A price she could handle.
Start by removing everything from the cupboard.
Now you have to figure out how your brain works. I know that’s a lot to ask. But you need to decide what things go together in your mind. For Jen we came up with these categories:
- Bulk spices to refill smaller containers
- General Spices
- Salts & Peppers
- Popcorn Seasoning
We placed all of the bulk spices on the top shelf because it’s hard to reach and she doesn’t need to get into them very often.
For the general spices, things like basil, oregano, pumpkin pie spice, we set them out in rough alphabetical order. Stay with me now. When I told Jen we were going to put them in alphabetical order she nearly fell over.
So then the question becomes where does ground savory go? Under “g” for ground or “s” for savory? Again, for Jen she doesn’t think ground, she things savory, so that would go under “s”. Once you have them in general alphabetical order. Split them up into baskets like these. They are very inexpensive and useful for so many things. I keep a stash of them because I’m always organizing something. Once they were split into baskets we put a label on them. A slip of paper with the letters written in sharpie and taped to the front of the basket with packing tape.
It’s a good idea to leave some room in each basket so you can easily add new spices as you purchase them.
Then we placed all of the popcorn seasonings in another basket.
The sprinkles took up two baskets. Those also went on the top shelf because she doesn’t use them very often.
The salts & peppers in a basket and the rubs in another. These went on the bottom shelf because she uses them everyday (told ya she cooks a lot.) There were a few left over that we just placed neatly between baskets in a row, also on the bottom shelf.
Here’s what it looked like when we were all done. Jen’s husband, John, was very surprised when he came home and saw the cupboard with the door open.
A word to the wise – So many organizing projects get stalled because we want it to be perfect. Don’t wait for perfection! You’ll notice that the labels are handwritten on little scraps of paper and we didn’t have quite enough bins for everything. But it works and that is what matters.
We hope that this little journey in Jen’s kitchen has inspired you. We’d love to see you’re before and after pictures. You can email them to us at [email protected]
Also be sure to check out our recipes section. Jen has whipped up lots of yummies.