This is a new series of posts focused on life at home. For other posts on organizing at home, click here.
Is your kitchen cluttered and out of space? Do you love to cook and find yourself trying to cram all of your spices into a tiny drawer or spice rack? Today’s post is for you, my friend! Not only do I have the ultimate spice organizer for you, but follow the tips I have below and you’re bound to have a tidier, less cluttered kitchen!
Why am I Starting with Spices?
In any major home reorganization, sometimes it can be daunting to know where to even start. Starting with spices makes sense because most of us have spice jars of all different shapes and sizes, which makes it hard not only to keep tidy in a cabinet, but also to find them when you actually need them. By organizing your spices first, you’ll get immediate results that are extraordinarily satisfying.
Use the Right Spice Organizer
If you already have a spice rack or some pretty jars, take a good look at them. Is your spice rack big enough to hold the spices that you normally use? Do you have spices crammed elsewhere that you don’t know what to do with? Are you finding yourself always hunting in cabinets for other spices that aren’t in the spice rack or designated drawer?
For me, I already had small spice jars that I purchased years ago to organize my spices, but my organization system was flawed. For one, the jars were so tiny that it made it hard for me to actually measure out the spices. I had to pour them out of the jars, as opposed to being able to stick a measuring spoon in and scoop out the desired amount. Usually that meant ending up with spice all over the counter or the floor, and I had to be really careful when pouring to make sure I measured the right amount.
If you find yourself shaking your head in dismay, it’s time to start new. The spice organizer I’m using now is this system of 16 small boxes with lids. All 16 of the boxes fit into a holder, which is great because you can organize your spices into “kits.” I have a “kit” for baking spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, star anise, cloves) and a “kit” for my more exotic spices (z’atar, kashmiri chili powder, sumac).
All of the recommendations I’ve listed above are for jars and boxes that hover around 6 ounces, or 0.14 liters. This is enough for you to store all of one standard sized spice jars’ worth of spices inside. Plus, I picked selections that have a wide opening, making it easier for you to dip a measuring spoon inside.
Of course, if your existing spice rack could just use a little decluttering, just use what you already have.
Once you’ve figured out your new storage system, it’s time to be ruthless. Get rid of those spices you really don’t see yourself using, or ones that have lived in your cabinet for too long.
Generally speaking, most spices don’t really “go bad,” but they do lose their potency and aroma over time. If you have any spices that have lived in your cabinet for more than two years or that you can’t really smell anymore, say goodbye. Whole spices, like nutmeg, allspice or cloves also live basically forever, so there’s no need to purge those.
Consider also getting rid of those “single use” spices. You know, the Urfa chili you used to make that killer Middle Eastern tagine that one time last year and then haven’t touched since? Let’s be real. Are you going to make it again? Yup, it’s time to toss it.
Label Your Keepers
Once you’ve got your spices decluttered, clean out the jars or spice boxes that you’re using. Pour each spice into a box, recycling the jars and/or bags the spices came in. Make a note: in the future you’ll buy spices wholesale from Penzey’s, which will sell you spices even in the tiniest quantities.
Then, get to labeling! Clean, uniform labels are easier to read and make you feel as if your cabinet is tidier than if you had different sizes and types of jars with colored labels. I swear by my trusty Brother P-Touch labeler, which I’ve owned for more than 17 years and is still going strong.
So, what do you think? Are you ready to tackle your kitchen? Invite me over and let’s get to it!
Looking for other at home tips? Check out these posts below:
- The IKEA KALLAX Is Your Tidy Home’s Best Friend
- Using Cube Storage Bins in Your Magical IKEA KALLAX
- How to Set a Beautiful Holiday Table
- Five Tips for Hosting House Guests with Ease