Organizing And Storing Spices Hall of Fame: Part of Week 3 of the Organized Home Challenge
One of the tasks in the Organize Pantry Challenge was storing spices, and keeping them organized for use.
There are both fancy ways to do this, using spice racks and specially made storage solutions, and those that you can do yourself at home with what you've already got.
Here are some before and after pictures from readers (scroll down to see more) showing how they conquered this challenge, and organized their spices for use in their pantries, kitchen cabinets and drawers.
In addition, check out the spices decluttering mission here on the site to make sure you're only organizing and storing the herbs and spices that are still good, and not keeping old, expired, or duplicate spice tins or bottles.
My spices and Tupperware cabinet was the one I was least looking forward to but now it is done! We purged and reorganized and YES the spices are in alphabetical order :)
Lisa, that looks awesome, and so impressed with the alphabetical organization!
Another way some people like to organize their spices is by group or type, such as sweet spices together, Italian spices, curries together, etc. We typically use a couple of the same spices together in different meals, so some people may want to consider that method of organization too.
I think I see that you've used some spice shelf extenders too in your cabinet to let you organize more spices and see them all (see the example on the right for those who don't know what I'm talking about). I love these little "risers" that let you stack things three rows deep and still be able to see the spices in the back.
***Update: A reader, Jane, discussed a con of using shelf risers for your spices. She said:
I have two of the shelf risers. The problem is that for tall bottles you can't see the labels. When I reach for something in the back the ones in the front tend to tip and often fall out and knock others over. Can be very frustrating.
That's good to keep in mind Jane, so thanks for sharing your experiences with me!
Newly purged spices/cooking supplies (note the turntables - these are great!)
Re-orgainzed corner cabinets
Megan has shared pictures of her newly decluttered spices and cooking supplies.
I completed a badly needed purging of my spices and other cooking supplies.
Although they had been pretty well organized on turntables before, there were lots of out-dated things (see picture). The worst was an unopened bottle of peanut oil I believe I received as part of a wedding shower gift with an expiration date of 2003! Sadly, that means I moved it to two different houses AFTER it had expired. Yikes!
Many of the cooking wines/vinegars dated back to my experimental cooking days before kids and expired 3-5 years ago.
Everything is now back in place (and still alphabetized!). I'm glad to know everything is fresh and edible. :o)
I have also gone through the rest of my kitchen cabinets and found lots of stuff to throw or give away. My best re-organization was adding baskets and labels to the kids' plastic cupboard and the sprinkles/cake/frosting supplies. (see full cabinet picture)
Thanks so much for sharing your before and after pics. Your cabinets and food pantry now look like you've got lots of room, and can find things more easily, which is great.
I love turntables too! They are great for organizing spices, or other small items in your pantry so you can find things easily, including stuff in the back of the cabinet.
In addition, adding containers like cute baskets can make it easier to keep like items together on your shelves so that was a great choice. Great job!
However, she has such an ingenious and creative idea for storing spices in her kitchen I had to share this with you too.
She has an older house, and the previous owners had a built in ironing board cabinet in the kitchen, with a fold down iron. Since she doesn't iron she and her husband redid the space to instead hold spices, installing adjustable shelves.
What a creative storage solution Jan! Great job, and very ingenious.
However, she did such a good job with her spice storage I wanted to share these pictures too.
Not only did she declutter her spices, getting rid of duplicates and ones that have expired, she also created her own spice inventory, to keep track of what she has on hand, and posted it on the inside of her pantry door.
I was so impressed I had to feature her here too, in this Organizing and Storing Spices Hall of Fame!
She had been storing the spices on her counter, in her breadbox, and also on top of it, and to the side of it.
When she had first decided on using the bread box in this way she explained, "It really seemed like a good idea at first. But, it just wasn't big enough, and I could never find anything. So I had some duplicates."
She threw out expired items and paired things down, and before she put them in the drawers she labeled the tops with a white paint pen, and put them in alphabetical order so she could find what she needed easily.
Then, she moved the bread box and some other kitchen counter clutter, and voila, she had more clear work space as well!
Storing Spices Is Easier When You Get Rid Of Duplicates
Too many pepper shakers!
Christine also shared her pictures on the Facebook wall.
I got 2 cabinets down to just one. I wish I had a little shelf for spices but I improvised by turning a container upside down.
I can't believe how many spice duplicates I had. I feel better that this is done and nothing is falling out at me when I open the doors. Wish I would have taken a before pic. Oh well. I love the after!
She also said:
Honestly, who needs 7 pepper shakers? 5 of which are almost empty!!
Thanks so much for sharing your pics Christine, and I think you did a great job paring things down if you could combine 2 cabinets contents into one.
It is easy to accumulate duplicates of spices since we easily forget what we have in our cabinet already while we're at the grocery store. If you use the printable pantry list I've created though, you won't have this trouble in the future since you'll know what you've got in your pantry and make sure you use it before it goes bad (or in the case of spices, loses flavor).
Please note I've gotten so many submissions I started another hall of fame page, which you can see here.
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