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Spice Up The Kitchen

Well, there is no denying it now....November is here and the end of the year holidays are upon us.  Traditionally this is a time when many of us do some extra entertaining and baking.

Our advice for a less stressful season in the kitchen would be to select your menus and recipes as soon as possible.  The next step would be to check your cupboard to make sure that you have all the necessary ingredients on hand.  It's pretty annoying when you are all set to bake and find you are missing that one special spice that will make the dish unique.  So take some time soon to review your current stock of spices, check to see if they are still potent, and make sure they are well organized and accessible.

As a general rule, most ground spices will be potent up to four years.  If you are unsure how long you have had a particular spice, just use the sniff test to determine its strength.  For more information on a specific spice, check out Still Tasty's guide.

When we organize kitchens there are two common themes we find with spices.  First is duplication: multiple containers of the same spice.  Consolidating these various containers will help free up some space.  But the reason there are multiples is because the homeowner was unable to find or see what already existed, and purchased more, which is the second theme: disorganization of the spices. 

The manner in which you actually organize the spices is up to you.  It could be alphabetical, by ethnicity or by frequency of use.  Once you have a plan, and you have measured the space you have available, then you can look at the different storage options.

On a recent visit to The Container Store in Columbus, we found many many ways to store spices.  You can also find a wide selection at Bed, Bath and Beyond, and even on Amazon.  Here are some of our favorites:

Sometimes the solution is just a matter of creating another level so you can see the labels of the spices in the back row.  A Spice Shelf like this actually Spice Shelfcomes in a variety of sizes and materials, and some are even expandable.  If you don't want to purchase one, consider using a couple of blocks of wood.

Another way to maximize your vertical space is to utilize the inside of your cupboard door or even the side of the refridgerator.  The Spice Rack pictured here

Spice Rack

is a simple and inexpensive solution for you to keep your favorite spices close at hand.

One of our favorites is this Spice Dispenser, which will hold up to twelve different spices, can be mounted under the cupboard, and dispenses the spice in 1/4 teaspoon amounts! 

Spice Dispenser

With this, you could eliminate the need for measuring spoons!

For more ideas, inspiration, and even some do-it-yourself solutions, be sure to check out our Organizing Your Spices board on Pinterest. 

As Thanksgiving approaches, we both want to let you know that we are thankful to you for inviting us into your homes and offices this year through our various social media outlets or for some hands-on assistance.  We hope the tips and advice have led you to a more simple lifestyle.

Happy Thanksgiving,

JoEllen & Muffy

P.S. We invite you to take a Household and Business Organizing Survey being conducted by the National Association of Professional Organizers.  It will only take a few minutes of your time and you can participate in this unique snapshot of organizing in the United States. 


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