Category Archives: Organizing

Storing Spices

Storing Spices in Mason Jars with Chalk Labels 4

When we moved into our house last fall, I decided to change up our spice storage. We had previously been using magnetic canisters on the side of the fridge but now that I had actual cabinet space to store our spices in, I wanted something with a little more capacity and a better seal, so we wouldn’t keep accidentally spilling our spices on the counter.

Kitchen Before 2

So I went to Pinterest for ideas and found this. Glass jars with chalkboard painted lids for labeling. I already loved using mason jars to store my dry food in, so I was pretty sure they’d be perfect for my spices too.

I gathered all my small mason jars and spray painted the lids with Krylon’s Chalkboard Spray Paint. I gave them four to five light coats letting them dry for 10-15 minutes in between each one. After allowing the paint to fully cure overnight I conditioned the chalkboard surface with regular white chalk and got a chalk marker for labeling the spices so it wouldn’t smudge like regular chalk as we used them.

Storing Spices in Mason Jars with Chalk Labels 2

I love that the mason jars are big enough that I don’t have to store any bulk spices for refilling smaller containers anymore, which makes my life easier. The wide mouth mason jars are easy to fill up and measure from too.

This was such a simple upgrade (I already owned most of the jars and the chalkboard spray paint was leftover from another project) but it works so much better for us. Cooking and baking take so much less time when you don’t have to spend it filling up empty spice containers or cleaning up spilled spices. And I’m all for more pretty organization in my life.

Storing Spices in Mason Jars with Chalk Labels 3

How about you?  How do you organize your spices? Any other ways you like to use chalkboard paint?

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Organizing Toys To Encourage Play

With two cute growing kiddos, our toys collection just seems to keep growing along with them. Every six months or so, I like to do a purge of the extra ones and then figure out a system to keep their favourite ones in order and easy to find. I’m finding that as our family grows and changes, so do our needs.

Organizing Toys

Currently, we keep most of the toys in the living room and the kids bedroom which works out well. But the past couple of months as Brendan is nearing two years old, I’ve noticed that the baskets of miscellaneous toys in the living room don’t work to keep his attention as they used to. When he was younger he used to love sitting in front of a basket of toys and digging through it to find something new. But recently they were just getting dumped and then passed over for something else.

Organizing Toys - Before

Now that Brendan’s old enough that he and Emma play together for more extended periods of time, they’re both engaged much longer in an activity if it’s something they can do and use their imaginations with (like building a castle or racing cars around). Certain toys I’ve always kept separate because it made sense, like the wooden blocks and mega blocks, but now I decided to take the two miscellaneous baskets full of toys and do the same.

Organizing Toys - Shelf close up

So one became for their toy animals and farm and the other for their cars and fire station. The others hold their wooden blocks, train set and play tools. While I was at it I tidied up and sorted through the rest of the shelves and gave away some things we weren’t using or loving anymore.

Organizing Toys - Kids playing

And you know what? It worked! The kids are so much more ready to go and play on their own now that they can really see and find what they have to play with. Instead of just a jumble of toys there are more actual activities together for them to use their imagination with to create something fun. It’s also so much easier for me to redirect them to something to do, when there’s a variety of ideas together for them to play with. We might need to change things up again in the future to suit them better but right now, at the ages of four and almost two, this suits them perfectly.

Organizing Toys - Kids building

Now I’m on the hunt to find the perfect dresser to makeover for their bedroom to corral all the play food and dishes beside their kitchen, and make the doll clothes and dress up more accessible.

What about you? How do you organize your kid’s toys? Do you find yourself having to change things up as they get older?