One of the areas in our kitchens that can quickly become cluttered up and unorganized is our spice cupboard. Have you ever had the experience of accidentally knocking a spice onto the kitchen counter and having it spill everywhere, in your pursuit of trying to find another spice hidden at the back? If so, you need some tips to help organize your spices!
Or maybe you find yourself having duplicate containers of spices you don’t even need because you can never find the one you want when you want it. If you can relate to either of these scenarios, then maybe it’s time for a little organization!
Here are tips to help organize your spices.
A common reason that spices tend to create clutter and get disorganized is that we usually don’t end up having a lot of room for them in our cupboards. So, we squeeze them in, any way we can. Maximizing the cupboard space you do have is the key. Getting rid of those spices you don’t use, or need is the first step in maximizing that space.
Start by taking out all of your spices, wherever they may be hiding.
If you have them stored in different areas of your kitchen, bring them all into one space so you can get a complete picture of everything you have.
Next, remove any duplicates.
Getting rid of duplicates can save you space in what is usually an already tight storage spot. If you have a pantry area, or somewhere else to store extras, then move them to that spot until you need them.
Now sort through and find any expired spices.
If you have a spice that is expired, then chances are, you probably rarely use that particular spice. Maybe you bought it one time for a special dish and haven’t used it since. If you are tight on space, consider getting rid of it.
If you have plenty of extra space, then it is up to you on whether you want to keep it. But keep in mind, spices generally lose their potency or flavor as they age. Cooking with expired spices can tend to make your meals taste blander.
Invest in some storage solutions.
Just throwing spices loosely in the cupboard is not a very efficient way to store them. If they are all on one level, you have to constantly sort through them and move them around to try to find what you are looking for. And this way of storing them doesn’t maximize the vertical space in your cupboard.
There are some great storage options out there that are worth trying. Here are a few ideas.
A vertical spice rack.
This can be hung off the back of a cupboard door or permanently installed inside of a cupboard door. This is great solution because it allows you to see most, if not all, of your spices at once. You can also grab one at a time rather than having to shuffle them around trying to get to the one you want.
A spice shelf.
This is tiered shelf that fits right inside your cupboard and can hold quite a few spices. One suggestion would be to put the spices you use the most on the bottom shelf for easy access.
It can be harder to grab the ones in the back but displaying them this way will help you know exactly what you have without having to do a lot of digging. If you are really cramped for space, considering buying smaller bottles of spices. These can often fit underneath the shelf. This is also a good idea for spices that you don’t use as often.
A rotating spice rack.
A shorter version of this spice rack can be placed directly inside your cardboard. A taller version can rest on your countertop next to your oven. As the name indicates, these spice racks spin around, making retrieval super easy.
Some come with spice bottles that you can fill with your own spices. Others just have holes that will fit a standard size spice bottle.
A container to store spice packets.
Many of the spices we buy come in packets, whether it be a marinade for grilling, taco seasoning, or a gravy packet. One way to keep these organized and out of the way is to store them inside of a container rather than just lying loose in a cupboard or drawer.
I keep mine upright in a square Tupperware container. This always keep them from spilling if I only use a part of the packet at once. You also might think about buying some of these type of spices in bulk, if you have extra space.
We eat tacos at least a few times a month, sometimes more. The bulk container of taco seasoning from Costco works great for my family. It does take up a little more space, but then I always know I have some on hand.
Create an organization system.
Once you have a good spice rack and have gotten rid of spices that are expired or you barely use, you are off to a great start. Sometimes just creating the extra space in your cupboard or utilizing a spice rack will help you feel organized enough. But if you want to take it to the next level, here are a couple ideas to try!
- Alphabetize your spices. Yep, I said it! Of course, this is optional, but it can make you feel extra organized. For those recipes that call for lots of different spices, it can save you time searching through them all.
- Phase out odd shaped/different containers. As much as you are able to, try and stick with the same brand/bottle shape as you add new spices or replace existing ones. Again, totally optional, but having the same general appearance for each bottle will make your spices seem more organized.
I hope this article has given you some practical tips to help organize your spices and improve the organization in your kitchen! If nothing else, maybe it has inspired you to try out a new spice or two! Happy cooking!