I know: you’re probably reading this and thinking, “Why on earth would I want to?” 😀
But trust me when I say that once you figure out a system how to organize your kitchen spices, it will save you money and it will save you time.
And honestly, there are probably better systems out there than mine. My spice cabinet is kind of small, and I’m not inclined to move it (nor do I know where I’d move it to.)
But think about it. Have you ever ended up on more than one occasion with multiple obscure spices that you don’t use often?
Or what about this one?
I’m a big fan of Paleo cooking. One of the reasons I love Paleo meals is that they are very flavorful. In other words, they are recipes which require spices. Multiple spices.
When you have a household with two cooks who both like flavorful food and have a tendency toward impulse seasoning purchases, you end up with a cabinet that looks like this.
That’s the top shelf, with about 10 varieties of hot sauces.
See what I mean? Would you want to dig through this every time you needed something? I’m in spice hell! 😀
One item that has made finding them a whole lot easier is a lazy Susan. (Just who was Susan, anyway?) I’ve been using this guy for about 16 years. (These work great in your bathroom vanity too, by the way.)
All the little ones sit nicely on the top shelf, and the bigger ones on the bottom.
This certainly makes it a little easier to identify what’s there. But what about all these?
Wait. I saw something out the window. What is that?!?!
Yep. Squirrel! Sorry. The little stinker.
So the other day, after digging through that cabinet for the LAST time without any idea whether I had something or not, I snapped.
My solution to this cesspool of spices was to take inventory. Sure, it took a few minutes to set up: I was waiting for something to come out of the oven, so I alphabetized them while I was waiting, and I jotted them down on paper.
Next, I typed them into a Word Document. The beauty of this is that you only have to do this ONCE. (Unless your hard drive crashes and you lose everything on your computer. In which case, you have bigger problems than this.)
I sorted mine into 3 categories: Spices, Seasoning Blends, and Hot Sauces.
The final list looks like this, and hangs just inside the door. Now do you feel my pain? 😀
This handy dandy system has already saved me money: I was at the shop yesterday making my grocery list, and realized I’d forgotten to check and see if I had some whole cloves. Dang. It meant either a trip back home, or a guess. What would you do? Exactly: I would have guessed. And had a 50/50 chance of getting it right.
Wait! I have a list! So I went into my computer files, and Ta Da! I had ground cloves but no whole cloves.
My plan is to update this list every once in a while, after I get several scribbles on it. And if I run out of something, or it’s past the expiration date, immediately add it to your grocery list.
A little bit of time for a lot of rewards. That’s a winner in my book.
Add a little SPICE to your life, friends! 😀