Friday, October 21, 2011

Organizing Spices

Am I the only one with a spice issue in my pantry? I was talking to my mom last weekend when she was over about my plans for my spices and she started laughing. She was laughing because for Christmas last year she almost bought me a spice organizer since she thought my spices were such a mess. I would not have been happy!

Here’s the deal, I have a spice rack. It’s a very nice spice rack. It’s a spice rack that I bought four years ago because it matches my appliances. It’s a spice rack that only has about three used spices. Why does it only have three used spices? Because who the heck cooks with mint, coriander, marjoram or mustard seed? Alton Brown – pipe down, I’m not talking to you.

I’m sure that there are some people out there who use the wide range of spices in a typical spice rack but that isn’t my style. I do use typical spices like thyme, rosemary and sage but I also like to use onion salt and garlic salt which aren’t included in spice racks.

So, what’s a girl to do? First item in the WWIN arsenal is the question:

Q. What is my fundamental problem(s)?

A. 1)Spice rack on the counter not being used 2) spices falling all over my pantry 3)numerous jars of the same spice because I can’t find the ones that I have.

My solution was twofold. I’ve completed phase one but am still working on phase two. The first phase was to make my existing spice rack more useable. I threw out all the spices I didn’t use on a regular basis, washed and dried the container. I then went through my spices in the pantry to decide which spices I wanted in my counter spice rack. There were two methods that I used. 1) Is this a spice that I regularly use? 2) Will adding this to the counter spice rack allow me to get rid of a jar in my pantry?

The second question may seem silly but cinnamon is a spice I use regularly so I buy it in large containers. I added it to my counter spice rack but I still have the master jar in the pantry that needs to be dealt with.

Once I added the new spices I needed to label the containers appropriately. One of the things I loved about my spice rack was it had the names of the spices engraved on the top, it looked very elegant. My new look isn’t as lovely but it is functional. I’ve created labels with my wonderful label maker, updating the tops of the containers for both the new spices and the original spiced I kept so that it had a cohesive look.

Now that phase one is complete I need to focus on phase two. I have quite a few more seasonings that didn’t fit in the spice rack or are the master containers for spices in the spice rack. There are a couple of different options that I’m mulling over. The first is one of those racks that slide out and rotate, but some of my bottles are larger and may not fit. The second option is buying some racks I can hang on the pantry wall to keep the spices in. I’ll let you know what I decide.

What do you do with your spices?

I'll be linking this up over at I'm an Organizing Junkie


  1. I'm still at the heap in the pantry stage with multiple bottles because I didn't know I already had one. It's a pain that nice racks come with fixed labelling as like you say most people's collections are different. I quite fancy a magnetic strip rack on the wall for regularly used spices so they'd be handy but not cluttering up workspace. I might have to ask Father Christmas! I'd have the same conundrum for what to do with the rarely used ones though so I look forward to your update!

  2. Ugh...I hate my spice cupboard. Yes. They have their own cupboard. Because I have no idea what to do with them. Our kitchen is small and everything else has a home, but the spices...I'm sure if I could figure out how to corral them a little better I could free up two of the three shelves, but for now I have two baskets with jars and bags plus assorted loose jars...

    Where do you get the sliding racks you mentioned? I've never heard of those, but they might help my mess!

  3. I have been thinking about tackling my spices too. I like your solution with reusing the jars you have and I've been thinking about doing something similar. I already invested in a bunch of those magnetic strip ones years ago and I DO NOT recommend them. I'll try to post more about it as soon as I can!!

  4. All my spices are in a drawer in my kitchen, but I have organized them by type so they are easy to find. All the sweet spices like cinnamon and nutmeg (including the nutmeg grater) are separated in an unused plastic container, then the Italian spices are grouped, then the peppers. Even though I have many spices I can always find the one I want, especially because the drawer allows me to look down on them not up so I can see more of them.

  5. Most of my spices are in Tupperware & are in a drawer in the pantry. The larger jars/bottles are on the shelf above it. However, it's trashed in my pantry & that's one organizing spot I've got to get to yet.

    Love to see pics of what you've done so far.