I might be setting myself up for ridicule by sharing this next piece of information but I don’t care. I have to share because I love it…I keep all of my spices in a drawer in alphabetical order.
I’ll admit, when I first read this tip in some housewife book, I thought it sounded crazy. But then, I tried it! Now, there are so many reasons why I am smitten over my spice drawer.
I can see everything quickly and it is a snap to put spices back in their home. As soon as I look down I can see the empty spot where it belongs. I don’t have to turn a lazy-susan or reach behind a jar of vinegar, I can easily reach everything I need. I hope there are some other spice drawer aficionados out there!
Whether your spices are in a drawer or on a shelf, today is the perfect time to focus just 10 minutes of concentrated effort on our spices. And now my drawer needs some 10 minute Tuesday attention because it looks like a jumbled mess.
Apparently, my girls removed all the spices and set up some type of play store when I was out for the evening. I opened the drawer one morning to sprinkle cinnamon on my oatmeal only to find an empty drawer! They had moved all the spices to their drawer for play time. I had the girls put all the spices back when their store had closed, hence the dishevelment.
I set my timer for today’s task and began putting the spices back in alphabetical order. As I organized them, I updated the labels on each lid from the masking tape I’d previously used. After 10 minutes (plus a little extra time for labeling) my drawer has new life.
Steps for today’s Spicy organizing
1. Dispose of unused and old spices
The queen of all homemaking, Martha Stewart, instructs that whole spices last 1-2 years while ground spices last only 6 months. Although I don’t follow this rule to the “t”, I do sometimes smell a spice to see if it is still fresh and viable.
Choose a spot right by your meal prep area to store your spices. I cleaned out a drawer specifically to use for my spices. I previously used two drawers of kitchen utensils, but I purged and joined all of my utensils into one drawer (It was a needed step anyway). Avoid storing your spices in your pantry unless it is right next to your meal prep area. If you have to trek to your pantry each time you want to grab a spice, you are adding extra unnecessary steps to your prep and clean up.
I used an old children’s shoe box and lid to keep the spices from tipping over when opening and closing the drawer. I loathe toppling bottles of spices, which happened all the time when I stored my spices in a cabinet. Containing my spices in a drawer solved this pesky problem for good!
I like alphabetical order, it works for me! Some recommend grouping similar types of spices together; such as, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and allspice. I find when I group my spices this way I am still left searching for what I want to use, but when they are in alphabetical order I know exactly where they are.
I buy our spices in bulk from a health food store (they are much cheaper), so it is simple for me to keep the same labeled lid and only refill the container. If this is not the case for you, simply write on your spice lid with a Sharpie. You could keep a marker right in your spice drawer for easier access and quick labeling each time you bring home a new spice.
My spice drawer definitely needed an update, however the main purpose of this 10 Minute Tuesday is to hopefully help you clean up your messy drawer. There’s no need to stay frustrated searching for a particular spice while knocking over other spices in the process; once you try organizing them in a drawer you won’t go back!
The location of each spice is almost second nature to me since I have used this system for a while and I cook everyday. Anything that saves time in the kitchen is welcome in my home!
I am so curious, please tell me if you store your spices in a drawer? Anyone else hate knocking over spices too? Anyone an Alphabetical order enthusiast? Please share your spice organizing tips!