Spice organization? What blog are you reading?
Yeah. I know. Not my usual topic.
I wanted to add my 2 cents to the spice organization conundrum though. My solution is not particularly fancy or photogenic. However, it’s quick, practical, easy, useable and maintainable.
Matt and I both enjoy cooking, and my husband (who’s also chief grocery shopper) doesn’t hesitate to stock up when he’s buying a particular ingredient. That’s how we end up with a spice cabinet that looks like this. Particularly, all of those bags of spices crammed on the top shelf.
It was next to impossible to quickly put my hands on the spice that I needed, and as a shorter person I usually had to pull out a step stool to dig to the back of the cabinet and find what I was looking for.
Also, because we didn’t know what we had, we often ended up buying more or opening another packet. That (along with Matt’s Indian kick) is how we end up with eight (!) bags of curry powder, four of which are open.
The situation was all round annoying.
When I was organizing my office, I found some great bins at Solutions (the Canadian version of The Container Store). They have straight sides so they fit tightly into a drawer or cabinet and are clear so that the contents are easily visible. Plus they were the right size for the spices and the cupboard.
I bought two and started sorting (and combining bags where I could).
My technique was alphabetical. First half of the alphabet in one bin, second half in another. I didn’t bother labeling the bins, because I think it’s pretty easy to figure out what bin you need based on the packet at the front.
Two bins fit perfectly side by side in the cabinet.
I did a quick pass through the rest of the cabinet too, putting all of our bottles and tins of spices together, and grouping like foods together. Thanks to the reorganization, I was able to move a couple of items off the counter and into the cabinet, which felt like a major win.
Obviously, I’m not Martha Stewart, but while it may not look like much, this simple system makes a big difference in how easily we can find the ingredients we’re looking for.
What’s your organizing nemesis in your kitchen? Do you have any tips to share for organizing spices? Please tell me someone else out there also has multiples of a certain ingredient?