Select-an-Effort: Spices

Select-an-Effort: Spices. Seana juggling jalapeno peppers.

Today is Saturday, and hopefully you have a happy weekend ahead. Today should be a “light lift” compared to others we’ve looked at. Let’s head over to where you store your spices.

Spices tend to be controversial. Early in my adult life, I read that spices should be replaced each year. Honestly, that seems like an unnecessary and expensive proposition. Instead, spices can last for years, especially if they are properly stored in a cool and dark location.

Let’s look at the choices for today’s project:

Low Effort

Peek into your spice storage area. Remove and pitch any that you never use.

Medium Effort

If you have a bit more time, pull out any that you can see are duplicates. Often, we buy and start using a spice that we forgot we already had. Now is the time to consolidate.

High Effort

If you feel like overhauling your space, pull out all of them to a sorting surface. Arrange the small containers alphabetically. Create a separate category for oversize containers (e.g., the containers you might have bought at Costco). I also suggest that you store salts and peppers together, as well as spice blends, such as Montreal steak seasoning.

Remove any that you never use and those that look too faded to be worth using.

Now consider how you want to store your spices. First, find a spot for the larger containers. These often go well in a pantry or pull-out shelf. The salt & pepper and blends, which may also be of irregular sizes, do well on a turntable on a shelf.

For the standard size bottles, you have a few options.

  • In a drawer, nested onto a spice organizer. Note that you need sufficient drawer depth to use these, and you may want to get a set of spice jars to make sure everything fits. Decanting from original containers to uniform jars is a personal choice. It does take time, especially initially, but the result can be quite satisfying.
  • If you need to store your spices in a upper kitchen cabinet, you might like a pull-out or pull-down product.

There are no “right” or “wrong” solutions. Your kitchen may have a built-in space designed especially for spices, so play around until you land on a system that suits your particular needs.

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When is the last time you reviewed your spice collection?

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Select-an-Effort: Organizing Tasks for 2023

4 thoughts on “Select-an-Effort: Spices”

  1. I have a wonderful pull out spice rack in a kitchen cabinet cabinet. I have organized and cleaned it out several times but I notice that though I try to keep them in alphabetical order they are definitely out of order. Time to attack it again. It’s so frustrating to be in the middle of cooking and unable to fine a needed spice in a hurry. I also find I sometime decide I don’t have it and buy another only to later fine that I now have two!

    1. I’ve done that… not realized I had a spice. Alphabetized is the way to go if you have the space. It’s a pretty simple project, and it feels so good to have them in order!

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