Stick 'em Up!- Organizing Spices and Craft Supplies
Organize your Spice Jars with Magnets
Making the Most of Your Kitchen Counter Space with Magnetic Spice Jars
I have a small kitchen! I am also the kind of person who goes to the grocery store for 3 items and comes home with a trunk full! In other words, I like to have what I need when I need it :). I also enjoy (kind of!) cooking and trying new recipes. Or rather, now that I am the full-time caregiver for my 95 year old mother, I am always looking for soft food recipes that she will eat while at the same time trying to satisfy my college sophomore's hungry appetite!
Getting to the main point of this lens, I am always searching for ideas on how to maximize the little counter space and storage space that I have in my #smallkitchen. Which brings me to my spices... I must have a zillion of them. Some of which I have no idea how to use but which I may have seen listed as an ingredient in a recipe I found on pinterest! So, I have 2 baskets of spice jars in my cupboard. I also have several bottles of spices (that I use most often) on a little metal spice rack on my counter along with an assortment of other spices just "sitting" on my counter. I decided to bite the bullet (or should I say the "spices") and organize them by making my own #magneticspicejars.
Besides being a great way to #storeandorganizeyourspices, these little magnetic jars also come in handy for all sorts of things. They can be used to #organizecraftsupplies in your craft room. Paper clips, rubberbands and lots of other small items will go well in these jars hung on the side of a metal file cabinet for an office or study area. In the work area or garage, they are very useful to store nails, screws, washers, etc. Read on to see how to make your own handy-dandy magnetic jars.
Searching for Mr. Right- Spice Jar, That Is
Finding the Right Spice Jars
I had decided that the way to go for me was to have my spices in jars and be able to just attach them with a magnet to my microwave. In this way, they would be off of my counter and right near the stove (which is where I want them to be while I am cooking!). So I researched #magneticspiceracks and I found several ideas which I liked. One was a dyi (do it yourself) to glue small magnets to the lids of jars, nail a metal sheet to the wall and then attach the spice jars to the metal sheet (could be a metal cookie sheet). I thought about that and I didn't think that you could unscrew the jars without having the contents of the jars fall out. Hmmm...
I read about another product which I almost purchased. It had metal tins with see-through lids so that you could see your spices. However when reading the reviews, I noticed that the complaint was that the tins rusted sometimes and there were problems with unscrewing the jars.
I decided to make my own. I found these fantastic glass jars with plastic lids with holes for shaking- made by Ball which is the classic canning company I have known since I was a child. They had a great new product especially made for keeping herbs and spices. It is just the right size (in my opinion)- 4 oz.- for storing spices (or herbs). It is glass, which solves the rust issue and the top is plastic and has large size holes perfect for shaking. If you need to spoon out the spice, you simply unscrew the lid and, voila, easy access! Love the jars! P.S. They come with blank labels- love it!
How to Separate Strong Neodymium Magnets
Working with Neodymium Magnets
Not as Easy as You May Think!
Doing a little research on magnets, I found the neodymium magnets. I read that #neodymiummagnets were super strong and so I ordered some. I wasn't sure what size to get, so I thought that the 1inch diameter discs should be good. And were they!!! They are so strong that when you order them, you receive an email with a warning that you need to be careful when separating them because they can snap back together and hurt your fingers. I discovered that this was absolutely true :(
even though they come with little separator rings in between each one. I knew there had to be an easier way to #separatethemagnets than just pulling them apart. So I did some more looking and found a demonstration video from a magnet company and that did the trick. I learned that what to do is place the roll of magnets at the edge of a sharp counter or table so that the first magnet is situated past the edge. Then you slide or pull down on the magnet. It separates from the roll and you continue separating them in that way. I also learned that when I separated them, I had to set them far apart from each other and away from anything else magnetic or they would just fly together.
I think that if I had to do over, I would order a little bit smaller magnets- probably the half inch discs- which would be a lot easier to work with and still very strong to hold the jars and their contents!
Gluing Magnets on Glass Jars
Pick the Right Glue!
"The right tool for the right job"- we've all heard that familiar quote. Well, from experience I can testify that it's absolutely true. I discovered that this applied (no pun intended) to gluing the magnets onto the glass jars.
I had thought that the llittle adhesive "refrigerator magnets" would be the simplest way to attach the jars to my microwave (which is where I wanted to place my jars for easy access while cooking). I peeled off the little paper off the magnet and put the magnet on the bottom of the glass jar. So far so good. I put the jar on the side of the microwave- Nothing!- the magnet was no way strong enough to stay up.
As I have always liked using the white craft glue, especially because it dries clear, I decided to try gluing the magnets to the jars with that. I let them dry and it looked like it would work. Wrong! As soon as I put a jar on the microwave and pulled the jar away, the magnet disattached from the jar!
OK, I guess I should really use glue that is meant for working with glass- duh! I had a little bottle of super glue and I was sure that this would do the trick! So I applied the glue carefully to the jar and lay the magnet on the glue. The label said that it dries in 30 seconds, but I noticed that it was definitely not dry. I let it sit for several hours to dry. When I felt that it had had sufficient time to dry, I tried putting it up. It seemed to work. So I did the rest of my jars.
Well, wouldn't you know it! When I tried to use one of my spice jars, the jar again disattached from the magnet!!! I couldn't believe it! These are some seriously strong magnets!
OK, this meant war- I needed the strongest, industrial strength glue that there was. I went to my local craft store (Michaels) and asked the cashier for the best and strongest glue for working with glass. She immediately recommended "E6000" in the adhesives aisle. "Even the name sounds strong; It's got to work," I thought.
When I got home, I hopefully applied my new super duper glue to the jar and placed the magnet on it. I turned it over and let the jar sit on top of the magnet. The instructions said that the glue needs at least 24 hrs. to dry. Impatient person that I am, I let it dry the required amount of time. I did not want to take any chances. And sure enough, the magnets had met their match. I now have my beautiful spice jars labeled, filled and looking pretty good on my microwave.
Super Strong Glue works with just about anything
Sort and Label Your Spices
Pick the Most Used to Place in Your Jars
Selecting the spices I wanted to put in my new magnetic jars wasn't too difficult. I had only room for 16 spice jars on the side of my microwave, so that was my goal. I sorted through all of the spices I had, put those I frequently used on one side of the counter and those I rarely used on the other. I threw some out that were really old :0 I ended up with more than 16 and so I combined some similar bottles (ex. "Italian Seasoning Mix") until I had the 16 I wanted. I filled up my spice jars. The remaining spices I put back in the little basket and put back in the cupboard where they will be for when they are occasionally needed.
Now I can "put a little spice" in my life with a lot less looking and a counter that is looking so much better with a lot less clutter!
Before and After Magnetic Spice Jars - Kitchen Organization Idea for SpicesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Do you have any suggestions for organizing your kitchen counter or organizing those small items? Thanks for sharing!