Friday, August 20, 2010

The Spice of Life

There are so many good ways to organize one's spices. The point is that you should be able to find what you need quickly. Here are some great ways to organize these kitchen staples:
1. The Drawer Method:

This is from the kitchen of a friend of mine. What I love about this is that it's close to her food prep area and it's very easy to see what container holds what spice. And it's free. I love great organization ideas that don't cost any money.

2. The Door Method:

This is my pantry door. A rack on the back side of the door makes it easy to see the spices I need. Although you could organize them alphabetically, I prefer by type. That way, when I add a spice, I don't have to redo the whole system. So, I have my big Costco spices together. I have all my extracts together. I have all my seeds together. I have all my herbs together. And I have all my sweet spices together. And so on and so forth.

Mine is not pretty. Here's how to do this method so that even your spices add some beauty to your life:

This is Cindy Cage's pantry door and I'm in love with it.

3. The Other Method(s):

Okay, so there are ton of other places to store your spices. The point is, you want to be able to find what you're looking for quickly and you want them to be close to your food prep area so you don't have to walk the length of a football field to get them. Some people use these to put their spices on in a cabinet or the pantry.

Here's what does NOT get an honorable mention: the spinning spice racks that go on counters. Unless you have a ton of counter space, get the spices off the counter! And in general, don't put anything round on the counters if you don't have to - eats up a ton of space. If you really want your spices on your counter, putting them in pretty boxes or jars in a rectangular holder is the way to go.

The only spices I have on my counter are my salt and pepper because I use those on a daily basis.

I added a cutting board underneath them to give the area definition so that it didn't look like I just haven't put them back in the pantry yet. I also found these great boxes at World Market.

So, for those of you who are ready to tackle your spices, here are the steps:

1. Figure out which system works best for you and your kitchen.
2. Take all of the spices out of their current home.
3. Toss the ones that are either clumped together or no longer smell the way they are supposed to.
4. Put them back neatly and enjoy your life being a little bit more simple.


  1. Awesome ideas! I love Cindy's pantry door! Wow! So very "Martha Stewart"! I have mine in my freezer door, but when I have a pantry I will definitely use your method so that I will have more freezer space! I dont have any drawer space at all either! Boo!

  2. I love the cutting-board-defined-space for frequently used stuff! I keep that stuff out, too, but if just floats and wanders around. Great idea!!

  3. I love Cindy's pantry door! Oh my goodness!
    Since I've begun to buy many of my spices in bulk, and making my own mixtures of my favorites, I needed little containers to put them in.
    I've decided on little tins, sometimes called watchmaker tins. You can buy the same thing in cooking stores, but they cost much, much more.
    I got little tins, and put magnetic strips on the inside of my cabinet door, I just stick them up there.
    I decided to get tins that don't have windows because I read that spices stay fresher when kept from light. Plus the tins are less expensive. I simply label them, like I would anyway.
    I always keep my spices in alphabetical order too, I always have, they are so much easier to find that way.

    Here's the website when I get my tins:

    I do like the fact that you have set put a cutting board out to define the space on your counter. I keep out my Olive Oil and Grapeseed Oil, I don't use salt and pepper when I'm cooking, I'm on a low sodium diet, so I let people put those on at the table, and that's where they sit. I just got pretty containers for them, and for my husbands red pepper that he likes.

    I'm liking the blog.