Thrive At Home: Spice Edit

Going through quarantine is an experience. It felt so routine – like reliving the same day over and over again, right? But get this, it ended up influencing lots of people to work on projects around the house. I’m guessing it was something about the quarantine’s boredom that made people want to edit their homes.

I thought about organizing my spice cabinet, but I didn’t completely commit to it at first. For starters, I was totally okay with the mix-match shapes and sizes of the spice containers. And I so-called had my own system of organization – I kept the salts with the salts and that sort of thing. I never really thought I could break tradition and reimagine my spice cabinet being any different than it was. Plus, I didn’t know if I would even be in the mood to take this on? But after seeing all of the cute spice jars and spice racks, I decided to give it a try. I’m so glad I did. It ended up being a fun and creative mini-project.

If you’re looking to reorganize your spice cabinet, here are some ideas to get you started

Declutter

Get rid of old spices that are taking up space. Spices have a pretty good shelf life – they can last a couple of years. So how do you know if they are ‘not so good’ anymore? Check Best By date on the container. If it’s beyond the time, consider getting rid of it. You can also do a quick smell test. You know how peppery your pepper smells when it’s fresh? That intensity of the aroma can wane over time, which can give you a decent indication of the flavor profile you can expect by cooking with expired spices.   

Categorize

Group like spices together. This will give you an idea of the number of spice storage containers you need. This can also be an opportunity to get additional spices you’ve been wanting to buy. For some time, I wanted to order spices from my favorite spice place – Colonel De Gourmet Herbs & Spices, in Findlay Market, Cincinnati, Ohio. I only visited there once, and that’s all it took to love the spice choices they have. I had no clue that so many spices and spice combinations existed. So I figured if I was going to go radical and reorganize my spice cabinet, I might as well order the new spices I wanted. I was so excited when they arrived. To my surprise, they added in a sample spice mix for me to try.



Custom Fit 

Think about the space that you’d like to place your spice rack and buy the appropriate size and style you want. I looked around online before going into the Container Store. They had lots of Spice Jars and Spice Storage Container options that were flying off the shelves – so many people had the exact same idea. I had to think super fast about the size and style of the spice rack I wanted, or I’d miss out until the next shipment came in. But the real test came when I got home and confirmed that the fit. Thinking back, I should have measured my shelf space before going to the store. So, please have your measurements before making your purchase. Returns policies got pretty weird with Corona. I wouldn’t want you to buy a spice rack you couldn’t use or return.

Like Your Labels

I’ll be honest. I needed to really like the labels for the spice jars. Spice storage gives you excellent uniformity and saves space, but the aesthetics that blow in with cute labels can really top it off. Labels may come with your spice rack and jar set. If you love the style of your rack and jar, but not so in love with the labels they come with, shop around for ones you really like. Here are a few things to consider

  • Get the right size label and styling for your jars
  • Get the right amount of labels for the number of jars you have
  • Get the right amount of labels that have the names of your specific spices. Some gourmet spices may not come with a pre-packaged label, but they usually have a good number of blank labels that you can write on.

Kudos to you for taking on this mini-project! Here’s my Spice Edit. I would love to hear about yours. Please add a comment and let me know how it turned out.

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