OCD Spice Girl – Livin’ the Dream

**Update** I’m very obsessed with containers but I didn’t realize everyone else would like them as much as I do so I didn’t include a link. I got them here. I bought the 4oz size and they hold half a cup of spice each. You have to buy a minimum of 144. If you buy more, I think the price goes down. I’m planning on selling some to my next door neighbor and using the rest for Christmas gifts, filled with a spice rub people can use on meat.**

For years I’ve been looking at spice tins, craving them, caressing them and making plans for our highly organized life together. I dreamed of finding the perfect containers, opaque to keep in the freshness, wide enough for my biggest measuring spoons to scoop, uniform in size, shiny and beautiful. I would then purchase them, label them and we would ride off into the culinary sunset together, possibly even alphabetizing as we went. Ahhhhhh! Sends a tingle of joy right down my spine.

Finally I found them at the right price (if I bought a pallet) and today was the day of joy and gladness. I took all of these:
And all of these:
Pulled out my most beloved office tool.
And marveled. My life will honestly never be the same again. Now I need to find trays the size of my spice cupboard put them in and then label the trays A-C, D-M, etc., fill them with my little tins of flava, and stack them away to be pulled out fortnightly when I whip up a delectable culinary masterpiece. Then I can refill them forever from bulk and when I’m lonely I can hold their smooth surfaces up to my cheek and smile my wistful smile of organizational contentment. Yes. Today was a good day.

**Potty update. Yesterday he had 2 accidents, and was not a bit chalant about the whole thing. He just acts so oblivious sometimes, standing with a blank look on his face and unleashing his raging liquid fury. Today there was one accident followed by some great self-awareness and emergency potty runs. I’m completely unsure about how tomorrow will go.**

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41 Responses to OCD Spice Girl – Livin’ the Dream

  1. bananas says:

    That is freakin awesome.
    i covet your spice system, yo.

    • Laurie says:

      On Good Eats he uses velcro (I’m an Alton Brown fanatic, have them all on DVD!). I found a source for these same tins, and they are cheaper and you can buy them in any amount you want. I just bought one each of various size to see which ones I want to use. The site is Specialty Bottle, and they have tins, cans, bottles, etc. These tins can be found here: http://www.specialtybottle.com/index.asp?PageAction=Custom&ID=25

      I am going to buy self-stick magnetic sheeting to stick to the inside of my pantry door and stick the cans to that.

  2. mds says:

    there is a show on food network called good eats and i am hopelessly addicted to it. the host (alton brown) suggests storing spice containers like the ones you’ve bought with velcro along the inside of cabinet doors. it saves lots of space.

    by the way, i love the blog.

  3. Twoplus says:

    Oh I am so, so jealous. So VERY jealous!

  4. Yvie says:

    Wow, I love how you organized your spices. I love it! It’s so stylish! 🙂 (and yeah, it also reminds me of organizing make-up) 😛

  5. Jon says:

    Ok I need to know where you got the tins! Aurelia and I had been thinking about doing something like this but with the new baby and all just haven’t gotten to it. Plus finding the right container is an impossible quest…

  6. Mary C says:

    Be still my heart. Will you please come do that in my kitchen?

  7. amy says:

    Gorgeous, just gorgeous

  8. All Adither says:

    But are you Posh, Scary, Sporty, Baby or, err…the other one?

  9. these are very lovely…you really use cardamom pods?

  10. boomama says:


    Seriously. If we lived in the same neighborhood, I would totally hug you right now.

    So. Wanna hook a girl up with where you found the tins?

  11. Heather says:

    Alton (the Food Network – Good Eats) has magnet strips on the inside of his cabinets and then those tins just stick to them!

    LO E it – much better than my lazy susan cabinet of MESS

  12. Annette says:

    As cool as this system is (WAY cool), I’m stuck on the cardamom pods. Aside from my siblings, I don’t know anyone else who knows what cardamom IS. I like you already.

  13. Is everythign you own that organized? If it is can I come live with you? You are my hero!

  14. Becky says:

    Ooooh, I love the spice containers! I am such a sucker for organization though – I could look through my Container Store catalog for hours!
    🙂 Becky

  15. Jen says:

    I love those! Are you sharing where you got them? We should have had a bunch of people share a pallet!

  16. Nikki says:

    I thought I was anal, but you are truly my hero.

  17. grammyelin says:

    Now there is a girl after my own heart. When you find the trays to fit, let me know. I am so copying this idea, if I ever get around to it. You know that there is no more fun day for me than organizing stuff (and spices definitely qualify as “stuff”).

  18. Faith says:

    *Sigh* I am ever so envious of your neat and shiny tins filled with so much color, texture and flavor. It’s amazing how something like that can really get a person through the day. Enjoy!

  19. My favorite spices come from Penzey’s–have you tried them? They are really great spices. I think they make my mediocre fare actually taste wonderful!

    And I LOVE your organization. Now I have a before and after goal for BooMama’s challenge! Really. I’m serious.

  20. Awesome Mom says:

    Nice! I am drooling over the perfection of your spices.

  21. Oh, I’m so envious! My spice cupboard is so unorganized. I can (usually) find things, but poor Alexander has no chance. And I’m envious of the cardamom pods too. They don’t sell them here. Anywhere. Indian food without cardamom pods is just not the same. SIGH. (And I can totally relate with your oblivious-while-soiling-the-floor little boy – all of mine have done the same thing – sometimes as I’m saying to them, “What in the world are your doing?” Gotta love potty training!)

  22. Nancy says:

    Yes, please let us know where you got those. I got some much smaller ones, but my husband hates them because they’re too small. We’ve now got four places in our kitchen where we keep spices. And they’re all a mess. Sigh…

  23. Abby says:

    Please share your source so I can stop coveting and live the dream.

  24. cchrissyy says:

    those look fabulous!
    I don’t think I bought even a single spice in the last couple years, but even as a non-cook, I so appreciate the beauty and satisfaction of your system 🙂

  25. Janel says:

    What in the world is turmeric for? And how did “the spice girls” really get their name? I’m very doubtful that it had anything to do with these beautiful organizational system you have going on there. Which I’m jealous of. If we move to Seattle, do we have any chance of getting a Cmas spice rub from you?

  26. Kelsey says:

    Thats AWESOME! You lucky lucky girl!

  27. Stephanie says:

    What size are your containers? I think I”m going to have to get some of these!

  28. Tracy M says:

    OOOOOOOOOh! So pretty!! Kathryn, I would buy some from you if you need to off some more… Just sayin’… I’m an OCD labeller, too, and the idea of doing that to my spices is more exciting than a date night!

  29. Lisa says:

    I am so totally jealous, and so thankful you posted your source! I had no idea how badly I needed these until this very minute!

  30. Lisa O says:

    I have those tins. Mine have a magnetized sticker on the bottom and a little glass window on the top. That way you can see what is inside, too when you have them on the holderthingy. My OCD had me label them, I have the same labelmaker, and arrange them by color. They are so pretty that way.

  31. Honey Mommy says:

    Oohh! As a librarian I have to say that I am totally impressed with your organizational skillz.

    My spice cupboard is a total mess. No matter how you try to organize things it just doesn’t work with all the different size containers and whatnot. So did all your spices fit in those containers? I may just have to get some.

  32. Cheetah says:

    you’re the woman!

  33. Wendy says:

    Lee Valley sells something similar, although more expensive, with a clear acrylic lid. http://www.leevalley.com . I have been eyeing them for years, but the sheer volume of space required to house all of my spices in those jars just does not exist in my kitchen! The next house will, I swear…

  34. Renaedujour says:

    At first I thought organization and labeling would be too much work for me, but your spices now look like they came out of a magazine. That’s so worth it.

  35. RubiaLala says:

    I think I love you. This is the best idea E-V-E-R.

  36. Jia says:

    My OCD loves you! Seriously, I got giddy just looking at the pictures!

  37. Sarah says:

    PS I alphabetized my spices when we re-did our kitchen and it has changed my life … I highly recommend it! (Now I need to get some of those cute (and uniform) containers.)

  38. Big Nanny says:

    This is all kinds of awesome. I love my label maker too. Most people don’t understand the love I have for it, but finally I’ve found someone who has the same heart. Organize on!

  39. Lauren says:

    Love it love it love it. I’m a little bit lazier than you, so I just throw my store-bought spices in a SpiceStack spice rack (www.SpiceStack.com). This might be a better option for those that don’t have the energy/time/focus for your project. Kudos to you though, I’m impressed.

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