Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sorted Spices

Full disclosure: this idea did not come from me!   It comes from my germophobic sister.   Let me back up

Back in the mid 90s, Al decided to organize all of my mom's spices.  They were housed in an under-cabinet drawer that was an excellent use of space, but did not provide the chef (Mom) with a good view of the spice labels.   Well, the first row was fine, but the rest of the bottles were visible only from the top, and most lids look the same.   We should have known then that Alison was destined for a top-10 school.

What did she do?

She put small stickers on each lid, with the spice name clearly printed.  Pull out the drawer, and see many many rows of spices, arranged alphabetically, and easily retrieved when viewing from above.  Genius.   It kind of looked like this:

Flash forward to my pantry earlier this year.   I had been using a small Lazy Susan (one of my favorite organizational tools of all time, I know, NERD ALERT) to keep the bottle corralled.  The problem was our collection had outgrown the turntable and I had some spices there, and others sort of lumped on a shelf.   It was turning into a mess, and I had to figure out a new plan.   This actually spun out of control into a pantry overhaul which I will address at a later date.

I wracked my brain and hopped onto Pinterest.    There are so many good ideas on that website!   But so many of them involved expensive systems that required me to decant all spices into identical jars, and/or attach a magnetic piece of metal on the door of a cabinet and stick magnets on the bottoms of the identical jars.

Don't get me wrong, I love identical jars.  But for me that was not practical and I am so not crafty, so there goes affixing anything to a cabinet door.   Then I remembered what my sister did many years ago for my mom.   I don't have a drawer deep enough to stand up all spice bottles, nor do I have a drawer in my pantry.    But I do have a Target nearby, and what does Target sell?   BASKETS!

Baskets are wonderful.   Do you know why?   They can usually be purchased at a reasonable price.   I have heard that even the Dollar Store has them!   They come in so many shapes and sizes and colors.   The crafty ones among us [my hand is not raised] can spray paint them or add liners or ... what else do you add to baskets?  My point is, you can dress them up for not too much money.  The selection is vast, and the item itself is practical and customizable.

What's not to love?

So, as you may have gathered from the above photo, I arranged all my spices on the counter to see how many I had so I could get the right size  (During this time I took inventory of other items and ended up buying several baskets of various sizes)   I also ordered these amazing labels from Amazon.   Alison used small square stickers that were probably originally intended for a garage sale, which she easily found at Drug Mart.   I am OCD so I wanted mine printed in a uniform font.  It is a sickness.

Once the labels arrived, I took my laptop into the kitchen and made labels for all my spices, printed them out, affixed them to the jars, and voila!   I have an easy way of taking inventory.

The most ironic part of all of this?   I don't cook.  Michael does.

What's your favorite way to organize spices?   Or a million similarly designed bottles?

1 comment:

Momsie said...

How do I organize my spices? I get one of my daughters to do it for me! :-D