It’s the last days of Summer, and that makes it time for me to do some spring cleaning. Fall cleaning. Fall cleaning! You see, with autumn come cooler weather and holidays. With both of those come lots and lots of cooking. Yes, even more than we already do! Heating up the house with the oven or by boiling big pots of soup are no longer an issue, and we crave things that are warm and comforting. This also means that inevitably, I will find deals on all kinds of dry spices and BUY ALL THE THINGS and then realize I have 5 pumpkin pie spices and 3 poultry seasonings and multiple jars of rubbed sage, and a distinct lack of whatever I DO need for that fall-time butternut squash turkey thing with chestnuts and root veggies.
Enter handy kitchen gadgetry and nifty fun things to help me get my herbs and spices and seasonings together so there’s at least less of a chance I will buy 6 jars of cinnamon sticks on sale. ON SALE, I SAID. Ready? Let’s organize!
This is actually a project that has been in the works for me for a month or so, because I am a fantastic procrastinator in addition to how busy I’ve been. The good news for you is, if you feel like doing some spice organizing of your own, I’ve done a bunch of research for you!
I am kind of a spice collector, and sometimes that mans I get seasonings in those little cellophane packets, especially at the Latin or Asian markets. My spice organization was going to have to consolidate those little baggies into bottles, which was the first part of the project. I looked everywhere. I searched high and low! Container places, spice stores, bottle-seller websites, eBay, Amazon, Google, Google, Google. I ended up finding that the best deal on glass spice jars with shaker tops was actually at Bed, Bath and Beyond, for $0.99 each. Since I have one of those not far from me, it was a quick trip up the road to score 10 or so of these to start the process.
Then I needed labels. I wanted labels I could write on myself, because sometimes the spices I have are things you wouldn’t find on standard spice labels. Since I’m doing all this crazy pickling and canning lately, I figured something that could multi-task as a label for a canning jar would also be wise. I found something perfect!
These labels are as cool as heck. They’re vinyl, and they have a texture that is like chalkboard. Use a “chalk pen”, actual chalk, or wipe-off pens like for a whiteboard. They remove with heat like a hair dryer, and you can “erase” them with a damp rag. PERFECT. I got these and a set of “chalk pens,” and figured I would also use them for my upcoming pantry organization.
And finally, I needed somewhere to keep all these jars. I have been using two Lazy Susan carousels for my spices, but they fall off, they don’t fit, they fall behind the carousel, and I can’t always see what’s in there past whatever is in the FRONT. Something had to change! Enter…
These things are spendy, but I think it’s going to be worth it. It is at least going to keep me from getting confused about what I have and what I don’t. Of course, as soon as I commit to these, I see all kinds of SEEN ON TV ONLY $19.99 spice organization things, but I’ locked in to the Spice Stack. They are multi-level holders with slide-out drawers that tilt down for easy access.
It was just a matter of taking the plunge and switching over, so today I dove in. Here’s the progress:
I already feel much better — things I use all the time are in the bottom drawers where they’re handy, but everything is accessible and I can find everything I need. Here’s to being at least a little bit on the ball!