I Need a Place to Spice Things Up

I have a question for you, readers …

What in the WORLD do you do with your spices? How do you organize them?!

We just threw them haphazardly into our old cabinets before but now that we’re starting over, we’re starting with a clean slate, (or cabinets, if you want to split hairs), and I really want to try and find a place for everything; I want organization.

Only, I am NOT the most organized person, trust me. Kevin organizes me and though he’s currently working on the problem, this is the best we could come up with for our spice problem.

We went to Target last night and bought this spice rack. Which is great, and it’s nice, and it looks organized, but it only holds 16 spices.

Now please turn your attention to the plastic containers indicated in the photo – we have spices coming out our ying-yang!!

This seriously drives me nuts.

I’m trying to get away from just throwing our extras into the cabinet (which sort of negates the whole pretty spice rack thing, doesn’t it), but I don’t really see a way around it. The spices in the cabinet are the ones we use all the time. The spices in the containers are either extra spices or spices we don’t use as often.

I would never, in a million years lose sleep over this problem, but this really bugs me.

And then … AND THEN …

We have the medicine problem. We don’t have a medicine cabinet, we’ve always just stuck our medicine up in our kitchen cabinets. And we have room for them now, but again, how do I organize these suckers?? I have a whole duffel bag full of drugs (I’d take a picture but honestly, you get the idea). How in the world am I going to put them back into the cabinet in an organized fashion?

I’m having a serious brain fart here.

Kevin came home last night to find that I had NOT put the kitchen back together again like I said I was going to (he was very annoyed with me). And if you want the God’s honest truth – I was so stumped on what to do with the spices and the drugs, I simply couldn’t put anything else into the cabinets until I had figured it out.

I’m so pathetic!!

Anyway, nearly everything else is in place, I still need to store my “good” dishes, but other than that, we’ve moved back in. I have a whole box full of old/warped dishes that I was going to try and give to the Salvation Army (we’ve had some of these dishes since the 70’s!! Well, not “we”, but they were Kevin’s) and we’re on a mission to buy new pots and pans but WOW, those suckers are expensive. AND, to top it off, our stove top? Super sensitive to scratches.


So, we went to Target, Wal-Mart, JCPenney Home Store and Bed, Bath and Beyond looking for a skillet and a saucepan that had a smooth bottom so they wouldn’t scratch our new stove top. We found it in hard-anodized nonstick cookware. At least, we hope it won’t scratch – I’ll be cooking with it for the first time tonight.

We’ll just have to concentrate on lifting the pans straight up as opposed to scraping them along the burner when taking them off.

Oh yes. We’re being quite anal but you know, this is nice stuff, stuff that needs to last us, well, a lifetime, so we’re hell-bent on making sure it STAYS nice, you know?

In the meantime, I still have this stupid spice and medicine problem.

This domestic stuff is not as easy as it looks. lol

9 thoughts on “I Need a Place to Spice Things Up”

  1. To add to Rachel’s tip: Even though the coupons have expiration dates on them, they will always accept them past the date. If the cashier says no, just tell them that is what you thought their policy is. The customer is king there, and if you push back just a little, they’ll give in. (I worked at the on on Glenstone for 4 years. πŸ™‚ )

  2. It looks like you have a LOT more spices than I do, but I keep mine in a drawer. I have a huge, flat drawer next to the oven that is the perfect size for spice bottles laying on their sides. I also keep my baking items located in a different place; we have a cabinet that is for all things baking. πŸ™‚

  3. @ Stacy: You can use multiple coupons in one trip at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. It’s one coupon per item. So if you have 5 coupons and 5 items, you’re good. Also, they always apply the coupon to the more expensive items!

  4. Thanks for the tips, everyone!

    I must admit, I feel relief! Here I thought there was some big spice secret and I was just too dense to figure it out. LOL

    I really like how you guys separate your cooking spices from your baking spices – what a great idea! I’m definitely doing that!

    I’ve got Kevin brainstorming a solution (he’s so creative) and if he comes up with anything, I’ll let you know!

  5. I’m not much help here, as I have kitchen issues of my own (and please let me state for the record, that I am incredibly, incredibly, sickly jealous of your new kitchen, it looks incredibly awesome!). I know you’re not supposed to store spices near heat, but that’s what I do. I have a tool caddie/spice thingie on my countertop, right next to my stove that I store some in. I have TONS more spices, so the regular ones (cooking, flavoring, not baking ones), go in the cabinet to the right of my stove. I use those plastic 3 tier shelves to store mine on, and also just on the shelf itself. I do try to consolidate and throw out any I don’t use or are old, on a regular basis. I keep the baking ones (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, etc) in another cabinet, where I keep baking supplies like brown sugar, splenda, chocolate chips, cake mixes, etc.

    I just redid part of my pantry (do you have a pantry, don’t remember seeing one in the pictures) in January. I had gone to Bed, Bath and Beyond over the course of a couple of weeks to purchase several Oxo good grips pop-top, air tight canisters. Yes, I made multiple trips so I could purchase them one at a time, with a coupon. No, I did not waste gas because it was in a shopping center we were already going to, LOL! I like those and recommend them for pantry or shelf storage, I’ve been really happy with mine so far πŸ™‚

    Can’t wait for more pictures, the ones I have seen are awesome. Love the tile, love the cabinet colors and LOVE LOVE LOVE the appliances! We’ve replaced everything in our kitchen except the stove/range. We have a black dishwasher and black/non-smudge stainless fridge. Now, I just need one of those fancy schmancy smooth top black stoves. I am so jealous of yours, but like you, afraid of scratching it. I tend to be clumsy with my cookware and having coil burners for so long, you can’t hurt them. So I feel you there πŸ™‚


  6. I use shoeboxes to put the spices in (you could do the same with medicine). Right now we have have 2 boxes – one with baking spices, cinammon, vanilla, etc. And the other has the “dinner spices” like basil, oregano, cooking rubs, etc. And we have one of those fancy spinny things on our counter with even more spices. If you wanted the boxes to be pretty you could wrap them in wrapping paper – or maybe buy some wicker baskets to use instead but that defeats my purpose of making it free.

  7. My house has racks in the pantry door in which I put the spices in alphabetical order.

    In my previous house, I tried to line them up with like size/shape containers together and with the most used in front. It worked fairly well, but they did get jumbled up pretty quickly. For a while, I used a silverware tray (with all straight sides) to keep them lined up, but the larger spice bottles don’t fit.

    For my medicines, I keep like medicines together and store them in small bins. Painkillers in one basket, allergy in another, cough and cold in another, and so on. Then, when you need something, you only need to pull out that one bin to grab the right bottle.

  8. Our spices are in a plastic containers that are just a little higher than the jars ( I buy the small ones that are about 1.5 inches tall.) I write the name of the spice on the lid & store them alphabetically. When we redo our kitchen, I want to move them to the inside of the pantry door. Similar to this:

    As the medications, they are also in a kitchen cabinet. I keep them in plasticebaskets. There is one for unopened over-the-counter & one for opened over-the-counter and Rx. I try not to keep more than what will fit in the baskets.

    We have a glass cook top that is 10 years old. It doesn’t have a single scratch on it. We were paranoid about scratching it at first, but you will get used to it.

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