Easy Organized Spices with Chalkboard Labels

 

This is one of those beautiful projects which is definitely not essential to a happy life, but definitely made me happy I finally got around to tackling it! This winter I was suffering from a serious lack of energy for any major DIY projects so I found a few little tasks that I could knock out without having to run around in the cold weather gathering supplies. One of those tasks was to tackle my kitchen spices, they were pretty much a jumbled mess, so I decided it was time to figure out a new system.

 

 

A few years ago I created a kitchen baking pantry, and that project caused me to have to rethink my overall kitchen organization. Since I have a rather small pantry in this house, I moved my baking items {which I rarely use} into an overhead cabinet to create more space in my pantry for the things we use every day. In doing this, I then had to move the spices, which had been kept in the cabinet over my stove that became the baking pantry, to a drawer in my kitchen. We have more drawers than cabinets in this house so this was a great way to free up cabinet space.

 

 

The spices went into that second drawer {down} next to my range, you can see our entire kitchen makeover HERE if you missed it. This new spot was ideal as I could easily grab what spice I wanted while cooking. To best utilize the space in the drawer, I basically arranged them to lay flat so I could see the labels. That worked great for awhile but then the lids loosened here and there and some of the spices would spill out, and it generally became a jumbled mess of different shaped containers.

 

 

I started by pulling everything out of the drawer and tossing anything that I wasn’t sure of the vintage or if I couldn’t remember using it in the last year or two. My favorite place to get spices is at the Fresh Market, I buy them in the plastic bags {those aren’t in this picture} but you get the idea of the assortment I had. I tend to use the same ones over and over so knew I really didn’t need to order a huge quantity of jars, as I don’t really want an extensive spice collection. I did a quick inventory {I would recommend counting, as you probably will need more jars than you think} and based on that I ordered new glass jars from HERE and HERE for a total of 36.

 

 

 

I made sure the jars would fit in the drawer, with the labels showing on the top so it would be easy to find what I needed while cooking. That only left me with 1.5″ of height to work with based on my drawer, so these jars were the perfect size to fit neatly. While they don’t hold a huge amount, I am pretty sure I won’t be constantly refilling them. They hold basically an entire small McCormick’s jar which, for most spices, should be enough to hold us for a year. After that amount of time, I am good with restocking with a fresh batch.

 

 

Once I ordered the jars, I looked for a printable round label and found these via Pinterest from Lia Griffith. It did take some resizing to get them to fit perfectly {something easily done using the ‘scale’ feature on my printer} on the lids. From the comfort of my couch, I also restocked my letter-sized label paper and purchased a 1.5″ circle punch from Amazon. The biggest mistake I made was selecting a {different} cheaper bulk label paper {because I also use it for shipping from my store}, the thin paper made peeling the backing off a bit of a nightmare. I highly recommend a good quality label paper for this project. Also, you can basically use any sized jars, just adjust the size of the labels and the size of the punch for a similar result.

 

 

Once I printed them, I punched each label out and attached them to the lids and transferred the spices. I only had a few spices that I didn’t have a label for, I just kept those in their original jars and tucked them in the back of the drawer. Some spices like cinnamon and oregano etc. that we use often I also kept the larger original jars in the back so I could restock as needed, but overall everything pretty much fit nicely. I saved so much space going to the smaller jars. My investment was about $30 for jars, not including the punch or the label paper since those have other uses. I am sure you can find the jars cheaper or even at second-hand stores if you wanted to save some $, but this system will hopefully last us for a very long time, and it saves digging through bottle after bottle trying to find what I need.

 

It has been several months since I did this and so far it has been working great, I admit to an eye roll or two from my husband who doesn’t always agree with my need for pretty organizational systems but he’s not the cook in the family, so I don’t pay much attention to that type of negative thinking.

*As luck would have it–as I was posting this I noticed these printed spice labels are available from Jane.com today. Note that you will need to order them within the next 48 hours as this is a flash sale site but even if you think you will want to do this project in the future this would be a less labor intensive alternative for less $!*

 

 

You can see all sorts of other organization ideas via our Operation: Organization series {including other spice organization posts from other bloggers} HERE.

XO,

 

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