Nesting: Kitchen Organization Time

Labeled kitchen drawers… sweet, spicy, snacks!Since moving into our new home, food and spices have been piling up and sometimes it's hard to find what we need. Yesterday, Jeremy and I spent some time purging and organizing. It was fun. Every once in a while we really enjoy getting geeky about organizing.

First we took everything out and threw away any expired or unusable food. We separated the non-perishable foods into drawers beside the fridge. I labeled the front of the drawers with paint. In the future it will be much easier to find things and put them away correctly. 

Snacks drawerSnack storage was a big problem in the past. Since a lot of people work from our home we needed a designated spot to keep quick snacks for working hours. Everyone always makes fun of me for not having any food (except cheese!), so I'm hoping this will help! :) 

Labeled spicesSpices were another problem area for us. Since Jeremy started cooking (mostly Vietnamese and Indian dishes) we've acquired a pretty big collection of spices in a short amount of time. They looked cluttered in the drawer and you had to pull out every single spice jar to see if we had something. This caused a lot of accidental repeat purchases. We used Martha Stewart for Avery labels to organize the tops of each spice. SO helpful! Now we can find what we are looking for at a glance! 

David's TeaThe last area that we tackled was my tea collection. I've shared about my obsession in the past. Buying and trying new teas is one of my guilty pleasures. They have added up. I frequently go through and clear out flavors that aren't my favorites and pass them along to friends to try. Even still, it's an insanely stuffed cabinet. To make it easier to find the tea I am looking for I labeled all of the tops of the lids, and organized them by container. I hope to have a more beautiful system in the future, but this is an improvement for now. :) 

I love organization!Yay! Labeling stuff makes me happy. 

I still have quite a few kitchen organization projects to tackle, including storage for pots and pans, a solution for small kitchen tools (like cookie cutters, can openers etc) and inside the fridge organization. If you have any tips and tricks that have worked for you I'd love to hear them! 

Happy Sunday, Elsie 

  • Love tea too! I put my tea into mason jars and cut out the label of the tea to put on the lid. This way I can see what it is from the top and also they look beautiful through the mason jars.

  • we recintly moved and i am having the same problem trying to find a space for everything. i did come across an little old lazy susan i had stored away, i decided to use it to store all my baking items, such as baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa, vanilla, and anything else i use while baking. it makes it a lot easier (since i bake A LOT) to find just what i need. i also have a drawer dedicated to all things cookies/cupcakes (it includes, cupcake liners, tips, bags, cookie cutters, and sprinkles!) i find it also helps to store flour and sugar in large jars, i do this and labeled them with Martha Stewart chalkboard labels, so cute and so fun! oh and i got the large jars at target! hope i inspired someone! πŸ˜€ happy nesting! xoxo

  • How have I never thought to label the lids of my herbs and spices before – it would make my cooking life so much easier as I never plan ahead and always end up tipping out my jars on the work top to find the one I need! Thanks for sharing your ideas πŸ™‚

  • This is such a good idea, dividing herbs and spices by their flavour. I’m always looking forever to find the stuff I need!


  • Did you ladies (especially Emma) see that David’s Tea Tea-Of-The-Month for February was Red Velvet cake? I’m really considering trying it out because I’m also a big Red Velvet fan!


  • Organizing my kitchen is honestly one of my favorite things to do. I love when all of the spices and specialty ingredients look organized together because it inspires me to cook/bake more πŸ™‚
    David’s Tea <3 I love how they give you a metal tin with a colored label, making it perfect for organization!


  • 3 words – under shelf baskets. My kitchen is teeny weeny (thanks, London!) and they’ve doubled our cupboard space. They cost hardly anything and you can get them everywhere.

    …just don’t put plates (or, you know, really heavy stuff) on them, they won’t like it.

  • are you pregnant?? here is what nesting means

    Nesting refers to an instinct or urge in pregnant animals to prepare a home for the upcoming newborn(s). It is found in a…

  • Oh my, I love it!
    Such great ideas to organise all spices and small stuff hanging around in the kitchen.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • I like how you wrote descriptive words for items on the drawers.

    Not to be snobbish but we don’t go to IKEA for much. There isn’t one downtown so it requires driving and we choose not to drive much so don’t go there. That said however we did go after recently having our kitchen renovated and the stuff they have to help get you organized in the kitchen is impressive and really handy. Our favourite pieces were these wooden divided drawer liners that fit in standard size drawers perfectly. We have them in most of our shallow drawers and they’re excellent. So you might want to check them out for the drawers that will hold the can opener, cookie cutters, pastry brushes etc. Another excellent piece is a flat large knife holder that fits into a shallow drawer. We deemed one drawer for only sharp things for safety reasons. It holds the knives, vegetable peeler, nutmeg rasp, scissors, etc.

  • I love the way you organized. I may have to something similar in my cupboard. πŸ™‚

  • I really like this! Since my kitchen is drowning in chaos I might have to think of a similar way to organise the food. I really don’t like throwing food away and it happens far too often.

  • I have never been interested in Kitchen Organization. Just not my thing.

    Seeing the Spicy and Sweet labels though…That appeals to me..I have no idea why, it just does.

    *runs off trying to find some food to label*


  • I have nothing constructive to say. I always over think organization and these tips will be really useful when we move. I love the idea of painting/labeling drawers to really EMPHASIZE where things go. My bf loves putting things where ever he feels; drives me crazy!

  • For the layout of your kitchen goodies, this is brilliant.
    A few weeks ago I reorganized my entire kitchen. There are still some little adjustments I’d love to make, but it’s an improvement indeed.
    I was glad to clear the counter tops that had many Asian sauces. I’ve designated a specific cabinet for all things Asian. Horray for functional counters! =)

  • Ah I love it! I love the labels and drawers. So organized. It makes me organized self happy, I can’t stand clutter and not knowing where things are.

    I might label things in my kitchen, myself!


  • Don’t even know where to start – I love everything about this post! But I guess the drawers must be my most favorite ones. It’s cool to have drawers that can be labeled in such a fun way. All in all, I guess labeling is super-addictive, at least for me. Luckily there are always new things to label, so new ideas are more than welcome. πŸ™‚

    xx Kaisa

  • Those drawers are pretty awesome. Although I think having a designated snack drawer would be a bad influence on me!

    xx Penny –

  • These are so perfectly perfect! I love labeling things, too! Thanks for the inspiration, Elsie.

  • I love the labelling on the draws and the spices! Here is an idea for your readers – Last week I bought some spice racks at IKEA and I use them to store my powdered gravy packets that I buy at my local store. It’s so easy to flick through them and I’ve stopped accidently buying repeats!

  • I’m a new reader and I’ve been trying to work my way through all of your old posts however sometimes my Internet browser will get closed out and I’ll lose my place. It’d be helpful if you could add a feature to your blog that allows you to skip to a specific page. If you take my suggestion, thank you very much! πŸ™‚

  • Lisa- I not pregnant and am aware of that definition of “nesting”. As I’m sure you know, there are alternate more general definitions of the word, that refer to simply preparing a home, which is what I mean. Sorry for any confusion!

    When I move into a new home I feel the need to do lots and lots (and lots) of projects and make it our own, so I call that “nesting”. Sorry if it bugs you that I am using a term with multiple definitions. I’ll probably keep using it because I think it’s a good way to describe this season of life, pregnant or not.


  • I love how you labelled the drawers; your handwriting is absolutely beautiful!
    My family has such a large tea collection also, I think we need to rethink how we organize everything.

  • Whose handwriting is on the spice labels? Love that print! *jealous* Awesome handwriting aside, brilliant idea for the spices… label the tops… so simple, yet I never would have thought about it. Thanks for sharing!

  • I love this idea! For organizing my mass collection of kitchen odds and ends, I purchased photo boxes from my local craft supply store. I have one for baking and another one for misc items like corn holders, skewers, etc. I love them because they hide the mess, look nice on a shelf, and! they have built in label holders. Plus they come in lots of patterns and colors so its easy to find something that will coordinate with your color scheme if you have one. Anyway, love your incorporation of text tthroughout your home! And can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

  • In my apartment we have pretty containers for things like flour, sugar, salt, pasta, etc. This way we have more storage for other goods in the cupboards and our kitchen now has some style to it.

  • I use those plastic barrels that animal crackers or pretzel rods come in to corral my cookie cutters. Most of the time they are clear and it makes it easier for me to see what shapes and sizes I have. This post was so inspiring.

  • Still waiting for the moment to tackle the spices in our life, but thinking that a side-lying drawer organizer might be worth a try. Kudos to you for all those labels! For my cookie cutters, I rently found that a pretty box will hold most of ours, and a vintage cut glass bowl on top holds and displays the ones that I love and use the most. Have fun!

  • I love this! Moments ago, my husband asked me if I had any good ideas for our out of control spice cabinet while we were digging through it looking for an ingredient for dinner. I love this! It’ll make a good rainy day project. Thanks for the tip!

    CUTE drawers too!

  • Hi Elsie! I love this blog that you and Emma have created, and have been obsessively checking it out for the past week. I love all of your ideas! I have been wanting to be more creative recently, and your cite is a great way for me to find awesome ideas of how to do that. I just wanted to write a quick note, because my name is Emma and my little sister’s name is Elsie, so I think it’s so funny how even with our unusual names, there still manages to be another set of Emma and Elsie’s somewhere out there. Thanks for being an inspiration! -Emma

  • Adorable with a capital “A”!

    I love this idea. For me, organization (be it kitchen, bedroom, books, etc.) is always easiest when everything is out in the open and/or easily accessible. Anything that requires digging or shuffling through (like deep kitchen cabinets) never works. These pull-out, labeled shelves are such a perfect solution!

  • I love organizing my kitchen! We have a tiny apartment kitchen so I’m constantly reorganizing and finding better ways to keep things tidy. I keep all my cookie cutters in one of those giant glass jars from Target! They look so pretty on display for everyone to see.

  • Job well done. I love your labeling and the way how you organized your stuff. You will now have a systematic kitchen. You have so much spices by the way.

  • This is such a good idea πŸ™‚ I cannot wait to get a house with my partner and start labelling the heck out of everything haha!

    Katy xx

  • Very cute! I started using mason jars to organize baking goods and other dry foods, and it helps so much and looks really good.

  • Oh that looks so nice!! πŸ™‚
    we did this some month ago, but I sometimes forget about what things we have and find them mostly when I’m not looking for them πŸ˜€

  • Labelling the tops of spice jars – genius! We have the same problem and always have to search through the spice jars and lift them up in order to see what’s inside. Now I need to go and search for the Martha Stewart labels…not sure if they stock them here in the UK?
    Also, being a brit, I love it that you have a tea obsession πŸ™‚

  • Love your spice labels! They look really fun and pretty πŸ™‚ I’m half-way through organising mine – I’m searching for little jars that will fit into a system that I’ve found. I have some in big jars and some in tiny jars, and I’d like them all to be in the same sized jars πŸ˜›
    I’m interested to see what future ideas you have for your tea cupboard! I have the same problem. Currently, I have two high shelves and some of my tea is housed in a clear plastic box on the upper shelf – I don’t open it very often, but it’s there for my sanity because I kept having to move a lot of things around all the time and was always at risk of knocking over the whole lot! :S

  • Just yesterday, I posted on Facebook that I want all of my favorite bloggers to show me how they organize our kitchens. And lo and behold, there you are. Thank you so much for this, I look forward to other organization projects to come.

  • i tellya. the simplest things make the biggest different sometimes. my hubby was sitting next to me this weekend when he saw this & immediately said we need to do this. that’s huge coming from him. guess we have a project to do! love it.

  • I recently organized me tea collection, which is not nearly as extensive as yours, I put them all into mason jars and labeled the tops. I have to say it looks pretty nice πŸ™‚

  • Love this. I have a narrow/deep pantry as well, and need to add drawers ASAP. Plain shelves are not cutting it –everything gets pushed to the back and we end up with four (FOUR!) jars of molasses.

  • i just purged my kitchen as part of the ‘i <3 organizing' March challenge. i had tons of almost-empty boxes of tea and could never find anything, so i got two old lunchboxes out, used the old tea boxes to make compartments in the lunchboxes, and now i can find my tea! the bigger lunch box is for medicinal teas, the other one for caffeinated/herbal, and i stuck all my old stevia packets in a crystal creamer i never use. for a week after i organized them i kept pulling the lunch boxes out just to admire them πŸ™‚

  • Wonderful ideas! Especially for the spices.

    Big Island Candies treats often come in beautiful gold boxes- I use these to store some of the individually packed teas. I use colorful dot stickers to label which box has which tea. Looks a lot better on my bookshelves than all the different boxes.

    Or one could use other beautiful boxes, like gift boxes to store things in.

    I’m thinking I might get some tin canisters like the ones you’ve shown to put the looser teas. Thanks!

  • Unffff I love your Nesting posts.
    I’m just about to move house & you fill me with endless ideas + inspiration!

  • I just did the SAME thing last week and I feel SO good! I love living as simply as possible and I can get a little freakish about organizing and I am so proud of that because I think it was a learned skill for me NOT natural. It makes me so happy too! LOVE organizashhhyyyuuun!

  • Great work!I love your aesthetic of organisation πŸ™‚

    PS: Tea cant be a *guilty* pleasure! Because it is SO good for you – concentrated antioxidants and the goodness of nature in a cup.

  • Elsie, I was wondernig if you have ever been to or have gone to teavana’s website. It’s exactly like davidstea! Just a suggestion if you haven’t heard of it before, I think you’d like them.

  • i am OBSESSED with davids tea! i have their “read my lips” loose leaf tea and it completes me in all kinds of ways.