Closed September 2017

Clutter Video Tip: How to Store Spices

In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. He was looking for spices and did not find them, can you relate? If your kitchen has enough spice of its own, watch this video about organizing your spice cabinet.

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Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet book and on-line program. Today, we are talking about organizing your spices. This is everybody’s favorite subject; when they find out I am a professional organizer, they want to know if I alphabetize my spices. The answer is no, I actually don’t alphabetize my spices, and I’m going to tell you why in a minute. I have 4 steps for you today in how to organize your spices.

Step one, decide what to keep. You might be very surprised how old some of your spices are. Get realistic with that, know that if they are too old, they are no longer useful or flavorful.

Step two, decide on your strategy. Alphabetizing is one of the strategies you can choose, and if you really like that idea, go ahead and do that. What I do is split up my spices between cooking and baking. Savory spices that I use in cooking, such as turmeric and paprika and basil, I put those together near my stove. & then I have another set of spices that are for baking, like cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, in another area near my mixing bowls. Think about what makes the most sense to you and how you cook, and make that decision, and then you’re going to go to step three, decide on your storage space.

The best storage space is often the point of use, putting things close to where you’re going to use them. If you’re going to have cooking spices, you might have them in the cabinet next to your stove. If you’re baking a lot, you might put those spices near where your mixing bowls are. You also may have a dedicated storage space that is supposed to be for spices. Some people have these very fancy pull-out spice racks that are built in between their oven & their other cabinets. There are special situations, decide on that storage space, and then your next step is deciding on the storage products that you’re going to use. This is where it gets a little confusing, and you can kind of fall for some of the gimmicks, and I want to help you out a little bit with that.

I prefer turntables, otherwise known as Lazy Susans, I can just spin this around and make a choice, and that’s why I don’t need to have it alphabetically. The goal of organizing anything is visibility. If you have visibility to it this way, then alphabetizing is just an unnecessary extra step. If the way to gain visibility is to alphabetize, then do that. Just make sure that there is a return on investment of your time if you decide to do something like alphabetize. Make sure you’re not doing it just for the sake of doing it.

What I don’t like for spices are the stair-step spice racks that you see that raise different levels like stadium seating in a theatre. I don’t like those because the visibility is not that great, and you also tend to knock down a lot of things trying to get to the ones in the back, and you might get caught in the trap of buying some spice racks that have really beautiful matching containers that you are supposed to take the original container and dump the spice into this pretty container and keep them all together. That’s the last thing I want to do when I get home from the grocery store. I would rather work with a storage product that uses the original container that you purchased the spice in from the store.

Another great thing for spices, actually, is racks that go on the back of a door, the racks that might be on the back of your pantry or even here on the back of a cabinet. That can be great. And then, if you have a drawer as your storage space, you may just use regular drawer dividers to help you divide up cooking versus baking, or just give you more visibility to those.

If you’d like some help figuring out your spices, we can help you in our Membership Program at You can find out how you can have a team of organizers helping you with your projects 7 days a week.

See you next time, & may you always be happy & grateful for having more than enough.

You may have been searching for ideas for organizing a spice cabinet or functional spice storage.

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