Spicing Up My Life!

I wish this post were as exciting as the title… but, to me, it is. One of the fun things about moving to a new place is figuring out where everything should go and how to make it the most efficient use of space. I totally dig everything having its place. If I were positive that people wouldn’t come in and see how messy my apartment can get sometimes, I would totally be a professional organizer. I love putting like with like and maximizing efficiency.

I’m totally loving our new apartment. Our bedrooms are bigger, but we have downgraded in the size of our kitchen. Since Josh and I love cooking (and have the schmancy appliances to prove it) it has been a struggle making the kitchen work. The wonkiness of the cabinet schematics have only compounded the problem. The lower cabinets are super deep, but not very wide… and the upper cabinets are also not very wide, but super tall. So, this kitchen apartment organizing has been all about maximizing the depth and verticality. The organizing has been a triage situation with multiples of items being boxed back up and stored.  If we use it, but not often, it gets stored in the way back of the lower cabinets (like bundt pans). Things that we use often (like colanders) go in the front for easy access.

Throughout the years, Josh and I have cultivated quite a spice collection. I have been on a mission for quite some time for the most efficient way to store and access it. In the previous oldsystemeditapartment, I had two different systems implemented, neither of which fit efficiently in this kitchen, of course. The first was a plastic unit (as seen on TV!) that pulled out and pivoted. There was only room for one here and even then it couldn’t fully pivot. The other was a tiered rack which wasted so much room underneath it and could only hold 15 spices. Neither of these options would hold our collection. So, I’ve been flummoxed with what to do… which had my kitchen organization stalled out as I didn’t want to put everything away only to take it all out again if I came up with something else (my neurosis is showing).

Since this is a rental, there was no way we were going to invest in custom-sized pull-out racks. drawereditSo, it occurred to me that the best course of action would be to find some organizer drawers that best-fit the lower cabinets (long and skinny). We could put all our spices in these bins and then label the tops of the spices so you could see which ones were which. The quest to find the perfect organizer was harder than I anticipated, but finally I found one at Target that roughly fit the dimensions. It was a Fridge and Freezer Organizer which– although not cute or stylish– was sturdy and the right size.

The second part of the equation was finding the right labels. In my mind, I could see the round, white price-tag labels that you get for garage sales. For whatever reason, Target only had these in florescent colors… which I wasn’t about. What they DID have was a really cute punch and some adhesive labels!


So, over the course of an episode of Bomb Girls on Netflix, I punched out 80 or so labels and started going through our collection. Not only did it give me a chance to consolidate some duplicates, but it also gave me the chance to give our spice collection a good wipe-down, removing all the stickiness- which is something I wish I had had time for BEFORE we moved.

spicelabelseditI think the punch shape makes it uniform and fun. I thought about trying to figure a way out to print my labels on the computer, but in the end it wasn’t worth the headache.


fulldrawereditI wound up filling two drawers full (not including baking spices– which are in a completely different category– I know… again with the crazy) and am pretty tickled with how they turned out! This may be my favorite spice organization system yet. I like how I can see it all and Jojo has plans to alphabetize them.


So, here they are, living in their new home. Easily accessible and maximizing the vertical space. There is even enough room to store MORE stuff on the left! Notice the shadows of the cavernous cabinets.


So, things are progressing unpacking-wise. Every empty, broken-down box that is carted to the recycling gets us one step closer to making this place a home. How about you? Is anyone else out there a little cray when it comes to organizing?

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