Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Spice Cabinet: Conquered

Jenn at Frugal Upstate recently wrote about organization (see divide and conquer, parts 1 and 2)--an area of my life that is sadly lacking.

But after all the velveeta I used this weekend, I looked at those boxes in the recycle bin and was inspired.

So I organized my spice cabinet.

I didn't think to take a before picture, so you'll have to imagine my jumbled three entire shelves of nothing but bottles of spices. And ever time I looked for something, I'd practically empty the whole cabinet to find it.

- top shelf: since I need a step-ladder to reach anything but what's at the very front, I put all those bulk-bins in the rear. Salt, jumbo chili powder, taco seasoning, extra peppercorns, and italian seasoning blend. Then I placed my less frequently-used spices, such as my jerk seasoning blend. In front is my box containing those bag-packets of 5-spice powder, ground fenugreek, lavender and dill.

- middle shelf: the herbs and spices used fairly regularly are kept here in the new box-bottoms, like tarragon, saffron, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg.

- bottom shelf: the items I use weekly, like custom-blended (by me, of course) seasoning blends, italian spices and adobo.

My most frequently used herbs & spices (such as the one nutmeg in grinder, red pepper flake, and chili powder) were moved to the spice rack on the counter beside the stove, next to my bottles of olive oil and vinegars.

Maybe if I get really energetic I might cover those boxes with con-tact paper for eye-appeal and added durability. Until then, it works for me.

It may sound silly, but I have to say that I'm pretty proud of myself! It was exciting to take control of this one tiny but really disorganized area of my life.


Lulu said...

Please come to my house. I have plenty of organizing to keep you busy. The spice cabinet is the least of my worries!

Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

Yeah! Congrats. (and thanks for the mention)

Now I'm so lazy that I'd put all the stuff on the bottom shelf in a box too so I could just pull the whole thing down onto the counter instead of having to move things around to find the bottles in the back :) I like to conserve my energy don't ya know.

Mrs. W said...

Not a chance Lulu! I've got my own mess horror stories to keep me busy.

Plus we've lived here 1-1/2 years now and there are still unopened boxes in the basement... because I haven't gotten organized with the things I have out.

Hi, Jenn--my pleasure on the mention. And normally I would have used boxes on the bottom shelf, too, but it's below eye level, and there are really only like 6 or so bottles in there now--I can see them all without moving anything. *yay*

Scribbit said...

If I don't keep my cabinet at least partially organized I end up running out of something when I go to use it. I just hate that!

Mrs. W said...

Hi, Michelle,

Oh, yes--it definitely would not be good to not have enough of an herb or spice when you want to use it!

I discovered that I was over-buying. Not knowing what was in my spice cabinet created duplicates. And as you know, spices lose their potency after a period of time--it's a careful balance to have enough, but not too much.

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