Welcome to Day 3 of my month long series “How to Organize Your Kitchen Frugally in 31 Days”. Every day during the month of October I will be sharing an organized space in my kitchen with you. My goal is to inspire you and give you ideas on how you can organize your kitchen.
If you missed it, you may want to read why I’m embracing my outdated kitchen. It might give you a little perspective on why the pictures of my kitchen organization won’t be “magazine worthy”, but helpful for real life organization.
Today we’re tackling the spice cabinet! Are you ready?
One thing you may not know about me is that I love cooking with herbs and spices, so I have a lot. And yes, I am one of those crazy people who keeps my spices in alphabetical order. I just think its so much easier to find what you’re looking for when you use a lot of spices.
However, there is one problem. I buy spices of all brands and sizes, so it can be difficult to keep the cabinet organized. I’ve seen beautifully organized drawers filled with matching spice containers all over Pinterest, but I just didn’t want to shell out the big bucks, nor do I have a drawer that big in my kitchen. Plus, I like the mini spice containers that the spices come in. Some spices I hardly ever use, so I don’t want a big jar to contain such a little amount.
Although most of my spices were alphabetized on my lazy susan, I had to stack them on top of each other because of the space. I also had to be careful not to spin it too fast or I would have little spice jars flying out of my cubpoard landing all over the counter. It just wasn’t working and I knew I had to find a better solution. Here is what it used to look like:
As I mentioned in Day 1 of this series, one of the best ways to organize any space is to remove everything. Yes, everything. Look at what you are storing and find what you don’t use. Recycle, donate, or pitch it. I was actually surprised to find at least three or four jars of cumin in my cupboard! (Can you tell we like Mexican food? 😉 ) And here I thought it was “mostly” organized to begin with!
The next step is to clean out the cupboard and evaluate your plan for organizing everything you use. I had been thinking about this project for a while and knew what my plan would be, so I didn’t actually clean it out until I found the products I was looking for.
One problem I wanted to solve was to have easy access to my mini spice containers without having to unstack them or spin a lazy susan. I found this picture on Pinterest and LOVED the idea.
I was so excited about this idea of attaching these spice clips to my cabinet door, so I searched online and found them here on Amazon. Then I read the reviews. 🙁 Lots of people said they don’t stick and keep falling off. Bummer.
So, I kept searching Pinterest for ideas and looked and looked online for a solution that would be inexpensive and work well. Let me just tell you – hard. to. find! I found pull out spice racks, slide out units, drawers, racks, and many, many more ideas, but none in my price range.
But I couldn’t get those spice clips out of my head. I loved the idea. And that’s when it hit me. I thought of a solution that I was pretty sure would work great!
I started by looking for a a way to make use of the vertical space in my cupboard. I found this small cookie rack at a garage sale for a quarter. Whoot! And thankfully, it turned out to fit perfectly in my cupboard!
I took all the spices out, cleaned out the cupboard, and put in the cookie rack.
I picked up this medium shelf rack at Bed Bath & Beyond for a few bucks.
Also at BB&B I found this long, narrow, container to hold my garlic. It’s the perfect size for several cloves and keeps the skins from shedding all over the inside of the cupboard.
I ordered 2 packs of these SpiceStor Spice Organizing Clips from Amazon (my affiliate link).
But instead of sticking them to the door, I decided to stick them together back to back. That way I could slide them in the cupboard underneath the cookie rack. However, once I put the spices in the clips, they bowed a lot and I realized that the sticky would never hold under that pressure.
So I got my cheap-o package of zip ties that I had previously bought at Walmart. I love these things. They are fabulous for attaching laminated labels to almost anything.
I lined up the two clips, flipped them upside down, and zip tied them together. Voila! It worked great! And now I don’t have to worry about them coming apart. Note: snip the end off of the zip tie after you tighten it.
Next, I slid the mini spice jars under the cookie rack and slid the taller jars on top. No need for unstacking spices ever again! There was even a perfect space for my garlic container under the cookie rack.
Now when I need a spice, I simply pull out a row of spices, open the lid and use it. You can easily pull it out of the clip, but most of the time I find it easier to just lift the lid, dump out the spice, and put it back. Easy peasy.
By the way, these spices are still alphabetized according to their sizes from left to right.
I took apart my two tiered lazy susan and used the bottom to organize my cooking oils and sprays.
The other part of the lazy susan I used for some matching spice jars. Easy access to items you use most frequently makes it simple to put away after use. I also put the medium shelf rack above those spices to maximize the space. Just in case you’re wondering, that’s my hubby’s candy stash. Shhh. 😉
Most of my spices could fit in the clips, but there were a few larger jars that were just too big, so I kept my stair step rack and organized them on that.
And that’s how I organized my spice cupboard frugally.
Here’s a little before and after for you. By the way, I’ll tell you about the bins on the bottom shelf another day. 😉
I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Join me tomorrow as I show you how I organize some of my dishes and breakfast area.
Following along with this series with interest. I did an organizing challenge on another blog, so my kitchen is in good shape (also recently renovated with granite counters makes it look more up to date), but stealing little ideas to tweak as you go along this month.
A thought on these clippy things. Since you are using them back to back, why not just super glue them together? I have the clippy things on an Amazon shopping list and I was considering super gluing them to one of those cheap plastic flexible cutting boards and then using command hooks heavy picture hangars to secure it inside the cabinet door.
My only thought with the super glue is that you would have to remove the adhesive pads from the plastic before gluing it. I’m not sure if that would work unless you can get all the residue off. In addition, once you put the spices in the clips, it bows a lot (like I showed in the picture above), so I’m not sure glue would hold with the spices repeatedly being put in and out of the clips. It’s a possibility, though! If you try it and like it, let me know!
Niiiiiiiice! I found a side-by-side lazy suzan with a raised ledge in the back that’s a perfect fit for my tiny cupboard. But it’s still not big enough for all my spices, so the rest are in a basket on the top shelf (which I can only reach on my tippy-toes). Brilliant use of the spice “clips”…that just might be my solution…
Danielle Chandler says
I’m so glad you used the little snap racks! I have been looking at these too and even have them on my Amazon wishlist but have been unsure whether I wanted to buy them or not. Also, I am so glad I am not the only one who has spice jars of every size imaginable in my cabinet! Great solution! My only issue is my spice cabinet is only about 7 inches wide with 3 shelves in it, and of course the top shelf, I am too short to see anything on it! So…I have little baskets up top and I actually used two of the slide out shelves which I actually have found to work quite well, only I still need to attach them on the bottom so they don’t completely come out when I am in a hurry and just pull! 🙂 You have definitely given me some other options…I just need to down-size it to fit my mini cabinet! Have a great day!
Christy P says
Thanks, Christy! xoxox
I LOVE this idea for my regular spice bottles. I also have tons of Wildtree jars full of spices. I use a over-the-door can rack to store them inside my oantry. I wish I had enough cabinet space that I could store it all together!!! 🙂
I am loving this series so far! I’ve been trying to figure out a way to organize my large (but outdated) kitchen for a few years now and so far your tips have been great! thanks so much… can’t wait for the rest of the series! 😉
really like this series! at the end of each post I would like to see a dollars and cents cost list of each organization…..partly just curious and partly what is frugal to one…… think it would enhance this great idea of frugal. the ‘simple dollar’ blog would be a good place for you to link this series.
Jacque SJ says
Thank you! Thank you! I bought some of the clip organizers about a year ago. When I got them in is when I found out that they had the permanent sticky backs. I am in a rental house so there is no way I could stick them to the cabinets. At this time they have been in my cabinet just collecting dust until now. So I wholeheartedly say Thank You for such brilliant ideas…
Missy Klimkowski says
I am having trouble wondering do you really leave the spice jar, tall ones in the clip while shaking out the spice? Small ones seem ok to do that.
Jacque SJ says
I am hoping that on one of your days you will tackle teas. The reason I bring this up is because I have in one cabinet spices, oils, and candy stash on one side and teas, coffee’s, and accessories on the other. I have all kinds in different shapes, sizes and packages. You organized my spices for me but now the other side of my cabinet looks so messy. Looking forward to the rest of the month. Thank You
Thanks for introducing me to a handy AND frugal new product! I have Swivel Store Organizers (see Amazon link) but I’m not entirely sure they’ll be a “keeper” for me. http://www.amazon.com/Swivel-Store-Organizer-Storage-System/dp/B005BY6HRU
Kristen @ Joyfullythriving says
My “problem” is that I buy many of my spices at an Amish bulk store. They are great prices but odd shaped (and large) containers. I’ve debated buying uniform containers, but I just haven’t yet. I need to get on that!
Hahahaha…I thought I was the only one who alphabetized spices! Nice to know that I’m not alone.
I alphabetize my spices too, saves time!
Brilliant! Thanks for your suggestions. They’re very good. Now to just do it.
Kudos to you! I hadn’t thhuogt of that!
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I have a question on the clippy spice organizers on the inside of the cupboard door – could you take a small drill and screw them onto the door?
You did a great job and I always appreciate solutions that are frugal! I love the big budget Pinterest ideas, but they aren’t feasible for me right now, either. Anyway, if you ever want something to stick, and the strips that come with the product aren’t reliable, you can buy adhesive backed, heavy duty velcro and stick one side to your item and the other side to your surface and then just “velcro” the two sides together. It works great and I’ve used it for some pretty heavy things, much heavier than these filled spice racks would be. Plus, it is relatively flat so it would work for this. Here is a link to the one I used: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001O6T2ZS/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Hi! I know I’m joining this party a little late (like a year!) Just an FYI, trader joes spices are only $1.99, they are in nice little square glass jars. I refill the jars over and over with less expensive spices. They are great and sturdy I’ve dropped them millions if times. I’m sure they would fit in your racks and they are pretty. Like the expense Pinteresty ones.