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Kitchen Month – Spice Storage

Let’s start Kitchen Month off with some discussion on spices, shall we?  Chances are you have some sort of spice storage in place in your kitchen.  If it’s functioning properly, you probably haven’t given it much thought.  If it isn’t working for you, it’s time to figure out a better system.  I had my spices in a corner cabinet with turntables, it was working okay but I couldn’t see the spices all at once.  So after some thought and planning, I overhauled the cabinet and the cabinet next to it.

Let’s talk about a few spice storage ideas….

magnet spice storage – great solution if you purchase bulk spices

spices on display - great if you use spices regularly and if you have pretty containers to put them in

spices in a door – clever storage idea for a kitchen without a lot of storage

spices in a drawer – great way to free up a cabinet

I started by removing all the spices and turntables from the corner cabinet.  I also removed the teas and vitamins that I had stored in the cabinet to the right.   I was curious to see if it would work to switch the two cabinets out, so I tried it.  I don’t know why I had never considered putting the spices in a different cabinet, I guess I just figured that corner cabinets were perfect for spice storage.   But it wasn’t working for me – I couldn’t see all my spices at a glance, I had duplicate spices, and some spices that I couldn’t see were old and neglected.

15 minute challenge:

  • empty your spice storage and wipe area clean
  • discard old spices (experts recommend a 12 month shelf life for spices – some spices and spice blends may last 1-3 years) – spices don’t spoil, but they lose their potency, if they have a nice strong aroma, chances are they are still good
  • separate cooking/savory (basil, tarragon, chives) from sweet/baking spices (cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg) to maximize your spice efficiency
  • return spices or put them in a different location, making note of any changes you might want to make (need to order or find a product to make your cabinet run more smoothly, order it if you can!)

I’ll be back tomorrow to show you my revamped spice cabinet AND a free spice-y printable.  In the meantime, what’s your biggest spice storage obstacle?  Not enough storage?  Too many spices?

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Comments

  1. I detest my spice cupboard and am always trying to come up with a solution. I have to take 10 spices out to find what I want! It is so frustrating.

  2. definitely to mutch spices, different sized containers and a small rental-home kitchen…

  3. I have my spices in a drawer, lying flat with the labels up. I do like it that way even though it takes up valuable drawer space, because I can see everything. Right now I am trying hard to use up spices and not replace them, until I have a smaller number overall. I’ve been making lots of chai tea to use up whole cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon sticks. I made rosemary tea to use up all the rosemary… that was delicious! I’ll buy a rosemary bush next time I need it for a recipe, it’s probably cheaper.

  4. The picture is horribly blurry, but I think you can get the idea. I got some square bins from the dollar store and organized my spices/herbs/misc. cabinet in them. The top shelf has a bin for sauces, asian sauces, oils, salad makings, and sandwich makings. The middle row is my spices and herbs arranged alphabetically. The bottom row is basic spices (salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, etc), baking stuff, salts and peppers, Pampered Chef rubs (I’m a consultant, so it was easier to have a bin just for them) and a misc. bin. It only cost $15 dollars and took less than a hour to organize.
    Here’s a link to the picture of it: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.464013499485.251327.801384485&type=3#!/photo.php?fbid=10151266219769486&set=a.464013499485.251327.801384485&type=3&theater

  5. I had struggled with my spices for years, I have a ton of them. I went out searching for something that could go on the back of my pantry door, but after pricing the shelving out, I determined it would be more cost effective to have one built. Let me tell you, it is the best investment I ever made and spices are for the most part alphabetical and right at my finger tips. Thanks for sharing all of your ideas, they are awesome!

  6. I have one labeled spice rack on top of my refrigerator just to have it out of the way (Martha Stewart Collection Orbital Spice Rack). The handle on top is quite nice. Then, two Christmases ago, my husband got me the Swivel Store Spice Rack (yes, from As Seen on TV) and I actually love it. So helpful! I went through my spices to see what I had that I never used and pared down a bit, but I could definitely do it again. I also need a place to put our myriad spice rubs that my husband randomly acquires for grilling. I don’t have too much space, and I could definitely use what I’ve got more efficiently: We have deep cabinets where spices and canned goods lurk in the depths.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Yesterday I talked about spice storage – I gave you a few ideas and challenged you to do a couple things to clean up your spice storage.  Today I’m going to show you how I overhauled my spice storage.  I switched two cabinets around and I’m so happy that I did because it really makes a difference with the efficiency in my kitchen.  Here’s a before pic showing how I had my spices stored before (yes it’s organized, but it didn’t work the way I’d hope it would). [...]

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