You can organize your spice cabinet in 30 minutes. Just a few minutes here and there can make a huge difference when it comes to decluttering your home. It can be so frustrating digging through stacks of stuff trying to find what you need. Clutter is a time thief. No matter how busy you are, you can find 30 minutes for something you really want to do. Now, I’m not saying that organizing your spice cabinet or drawer is on the top of your to-do list. But, in the long run, it will be worth your time and effort.
Organizing your spices actually takes very little effort. There is no heavy lifting unless you buy it in extremely large bulk quantities. If you are that person, I probably can’t help you. There are no power tools needed (I hope)! All you need is a little block of time, a little bit of determination, and a little bit of cleared off counter space.
Recently, I was digging through the bottles and tins looking for tumeric for Jalapeno Honey Mustard Dressing. I couldn’t find the tumeric but this led me to another 30-minute challenge for myself. Little by little, step by step!!! If I can do this so can you.
With just a few steps and a little bit of time, you can clean out your kitchen spice cabinet, closet or drawer.
To organize your spice cabinet, the first step is to clear a space and set all spice containers out.
It is a whole lot easier to sort through and cull out excess or out of date spices if you have just a little bit of room to work. I cleared the top of my kitchen island. If clearing a countertop is an effort all on its own then a card table will also work. You just need a little bit of room for a little while. Just a little decluttering tip: if you use a card table – when you finish organizing your spices, PUT THE TABLE UP!!! Don’t leave it out for more clutter to accumulate.
The plan that worked best for me was one shelf at a time. That way, if there is an interruption then it is not so hard to get it back under control.
This task can really be a trip down memory lane, too. Especially if it has been a REALLY long time since you have cleaned out your spice area. It is also amazing that we can feel an emotional attachment to our spices!!! Really? Yes, really. That bottle of whole cloves that you purchased back a decade or two ago so that you and the kids could poke whole cloves into oranges. The kids are grown and gone now. Well, grown but maybe not gone. Let it go.
Sometimes a move is good for culling through the excess but usually, we can be in such a hurry to pack that the decluttering is postponed until later…much later…or never!!!
These spice TINS were so cute and so old. Well, not so old. The hand stamped price on the top aged them a bit but the barcode was introduced in 1974. These little tins were probably 30 years old. I thought about taking them to put in our booth at Petticoats on the Prairie, a vintage market. But, sometimes a girl just has to do what a girl has to do. I threw them away.
When it comes to spices, some suggest tossing items that have lost their scent or flavor, that are discolored or over a year old.
Most spices don’t have an expiration date on them. You would need to mark them with a permanent marker when you purchase them. Just so you know, that will most likely not happen at my house. The caraway seed in the box went into the trash. I certainly was not emotionally attached to that. At this point, I am not even sure why I have caraway seed so I really should have thrown the bottle away, too. Maybe later!!!
While the spice shelf or drawer is empty, clean the area with warm soapy water.
A clean cabinet shelf is so nice, especially if it is near the stove. They can get a bit grimy near a stove. And speaking of stoves, the spice experts recommend or caution about storing your spices near the stove or in sunlight. “Spices and herbs will begin to break down when exposed to the moisture and heat from the stove. The spice rack on the counter is not ideal especially if the spot the rack sits gets any direct sunlight”.
The size of your space will determine how you reorganize. The little metal shelf is really convenient for stacking the small bottles of spices on.
Place the spices that you use most often near the front.
If you bake cookies, cakes and pies on a regular basis make sure that those ingredients are easy to get to without having to pull all the containers out. You can also group types of herbs and spices. For example, put all the leafy ones together: parsley, oregano, basil, etc. Group the blends together: Season All, Chili Lime Seasoning, Lemon Pepper, and Grill Mates. You get the idea. You can do this!
My baking spices were moved to the back because I just don’t bake that much anymore and the “Mexican Food” spices and Lemon Pepper were right up front. It only took a few more minutes to declutter the top shelf. But, the bottom shelf is an area that I have put off for awhile. One reason was the clutter but the main reason for putting that off was disposing of the last of my Hubby’s meds.
While you are in the Organizing/Decluttering mood challenge yourself by cleaning one or two more shelves.
Now that you have started, which by the way is the hardest part, go ahead and dive into organizing another shelf or drawer. You will be so glad you did.
So, I made myself a cup of coffee, took a deep breath, and grabbed the now empty spice box and started sorting. We are not going to talk about sentimental attachments to the pillboxes that had been so much a part of My Hubby’s life. Moving on. The expired meds were disposed of per my pharmacist’s instruction. You can ask your pharmacy for recommendations. Do not flush medications.
Organizing my spice shelf took less than half an hour, maybe about 15 minutes. Cleaning out all three of these shelves took just a little over 30 minutes but not much than that.
CHEAP, FAST, AND EASY!!!
Cheap or rather frugal. When organizing your spices you don’t have to spend a lot of money. You could but you don’t have to unless you are going for that “Pinterest Perfect” kitchen. And if that is the look you are going for and you have the budget for it – go for it!
Fast – Challenge yourself to get it done quickly. It may not be instant gratification but it can be pretty close.
Easy – This is probably one of the easiest clutter areas to conquer. No heavy lifting, no power tools, and hopefully no hurt feelings.
When you finish stand back and take a good look at a job well done and then reward yourself – watch a movie, take a bubble bath, something fun that feels like an “attaboy!!!”
I would love to hear what you think and see photos of your before and after. If you want to continue to challenge yourself 30 minutes at a time HERE is a clothes closet challenge.
“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19 KJV
’til next time,