Having ADHD means that organization does NOT come naturally to me. But, having ADHD also means that I NEED to be organized maybe even more than the average human.
I swear I have tried everything to stay organized, but nothing ever worked for me (sorry Marie Kondo – I couldn’t get past the purging). And, I’m pretty sure there were a few years I was solely responsible for keeping The Container Store in business. But mostly I ended up overwhelmed with all the options and gadgets and I stayed disorganized.
I finally figured out that if I stuck to three basic rules, I could keep any space organized. So, now – no matter what the organization project, I use these three rules every single time. This is how I used my rules to organize our spice cabinet.
The Chaos That Was The Spice Cabinet
We have been in our home for two years now and the kitchen organization is still a work in progress. We did a complete renovation on the pantry last summer and I am slowly working my way through the rest of the room. This past weekend, it was time to organize the spice cabinet.
The first step in organizing any space is to look at what is working and what isn’t. Let’s be honest…not much was working here. We had a ton of wasted space up top and all the spices were stacked together on the bottom shelf, making it impossible to see what we had.
My Three Rules of Organization
Rule 1. Organization Has To Make Sense
When you have a solid organizational system in place, you don’t have to think about how to stay organized. It works because it makes sense. For example, items need to live closest to where they are used most often. Otherwise, things won’t be put back where they belong. (I know my weaknesses)
In this case, we had already been using the cabinet closest to the stove for our spice cabinet, so that was working. But the set up inside the cabinet clearly was not. The first thing we did was remove one of the shelves to open up the space for taller items. Next, we cleared out the cups and random items to make room for other cooking and baking necessities.
We brought in a lazy susan for oils, locking containers for dry goods, and clear bins for baking items on the top shelf. Now, the things we use most are super easy to grab – and to put back – which takes us to Rule #2.
Rule 2. Organization Has To Be Easy to Maintain
Organization should make your life easier, not make you work harder. That means, everything should be easy to find and grab when you need it. But, the most important part of this rule is that everything must be easy to put back when you are finished with it. The coolest gadget, bin, or even system won’t help you stay organized if it is a pain to use.
Switching all of your spices to the same type of container saves a ton of space, makes it easy to find what you need, and just plain looks so good! (See Rule #3)
To organize our spice cabinet I chose these glass bottles from Amazon. They fit perfectly into the spice racks which means I won’t have to worry about losing smaller spices behind larger ones. These come with several different inner lids, so you can pick the opening size to match each spice.
Decanting spices into the new bottles only takes a few minutes and having everything visually similar is totally worth the time.
For the labels, I used waterproof vinyl sticker sheets for durability and added numbers to the tops of the labels to help us return each spice to its home.
Rule 3. Organization Should Be Stylish
Whatever your style, find organization containers that you love. If the containers are pretty and make you happy, you are much more likely to keep it looking good.
In this case, I wanted the organization solutions to be super simple. Going back to Rule #2, I didn’t want to have to keep up with a fancy system for something we use every single day.
The acrylic spice racks disappear into the cabinet, so you hardly notice they are there. Also, they were easy to put together and I love that the larger rack holds so many bottles.
For the labels, I again wanted a simple design and found some really nice ones on Etsy here, here, and here. But, I love designing my own labels and printables. It is fun for me. So ultimately I decided to make my labels myself and used Canva to design them.
If you are going to print your own, I recommend using full vinyl sticker sheets, rather than individual labels. Print the entire page, and then cut out your labels. That way, you aren’t limited in size or shape. You can see the large Chili Bomb bottle in the back is the original container. I simply printed a larger sticker and wrapped it right over the label.
Spice Cabinet Organizing Shopping List
Here are all the things I used to organize our spice cabinet.
- Large Acrylic Spice Rack
- Small Acrylic Spice Rack
- 4 oz Spice Bottles
- Printable Vinyl Sticker Paper in White
I still love The Container Store. A girl doesn’t change that easily.