Organized Spices

You know that phrase, “bug up your butt”?  Well, I get a “bug up my butt” quite often – meaning something strikes me and I feel I need to take action to solve it/fix it NOW!

And that’s exactly what happened to me last week while making dinner.  Things were going along just fine.  I was making a variation of the taco muffin recipe, this time using some leftover grilled pork tenderloin which I diced up and some black beans because my family is basically obsessed with black beans.  My adorable little girl was helping me assemble them:

Then I had to open the spice cabinet to get something out.  And that’s when it happened.  I had a “bug up my butt” moment.  My brain just freaked out at what a disorganized disaster the cabinet was and instead of adding “organize spice cabinet” to my to-do list, of course I had to deal with it that instant… you know, because that’s such a wise thing to do in the middle of also trying to make dinner.  But whatever, sometimes it’s for the best and having a “bug up your butt” moment helps me tackle a project that would otherwise end up on my to-do list for months and months before I would ever actually get around to dealing with it.

This is what my spice cabinet looked like when it inspired my freak out moment:

It was just a jumbled up mess.

Luckily for me, I had been inspired months ago by something I saw on Pinterest.  (If you don’t follow me yet on Pinterest, please do so I can follow you back!)  I had seen some little stick-on spice holders that attach to the inside of cabinets.  I actually pinned a picture of them months ago onto my “Wish List” board.  And wouldn’t you know it, I was smart enough to have actually added some a few months ago to an Amazon order, so I had them sitting in our den still in their packaging.  (I guess the fact that the spice holders had been sitting in my den for months actually means that organizing the spice cabinet was on my to-do list already, but whatever.  It wasn’t officially written down on my list, so it doesn’t count!)

First, I took everything out and cleaned the cabinet.  I mean, if I was going to take the time to deal with this project in the middle of making dinner, I was going to do it the right way so I didn’t have to do it a second time!

I cleaned both the inside of the cabinets and even wiped down the bottles and containers themselves with some of my FAVORITE all-purpose organic nontoxic household cleaner.  Easy peasy.

I grabbed the spice holders and some rubbing alcohol.

I wiped the inside of my cabinet door with the alcohol as the directions specified.  (Personally, I think next time I’ll skip this step.)  I stuck on the spice holders and went to town filing them up.  It took about three minutes.

I have to say, I would recommend this product.  The spice holders were easy to install and use and really help to keep the spices in an organized spot where I can see all the labels at once.  In fact I ordered more and they should be arriving soon.  You are probably wondering why I ordered more when I didn’t even fill up the ones I had.  Well, here’s why – check out all the EXPIRED products I found in my cabinet when I pulled them all out to wipe them down.

Grossly wasteful!  So anyway, I ordered some more spice holders so that when I replenish my expired spices with fresh ones, I will have an organized spot for them the moment they come home from the grocery store!

Next I carefully put back all the spices/salts/oils/etc. that were not expired and were not going to be kept in the new spice holders on the door.  I basically just did a combination of shortest in the front/tallest in the back.  And check it out… it looks SOOO much better:

Looks so much better!

I will admit, I stood back and admired my work for a bit.  But then the oven beeped me back into reality letting me know it was time to eat so I had to stop patting myself on the back and get back to real life.

It always feels good to tackle a project, no matter how small!

How do you organize your spices and cooking oils?  And even more importantly, do you have any tips on how to not have so much expired waste?  (I know the obvious answer is to cook and bake more, but c’mon, let’s be real!)  😉  I feel like there should be a neighborhood spice box that everyone shares so when you need a teaspoon of fennel for a recipe you don’t have to go the store and spend $3 on a container of it only to have it expire before you finish it.  Hmmm…

 

2 thoughts on “Organized Spices

  1. This cracks me up because I had a similar epiphany about my spices shortly before we moved last spring. They were all just in a cabinet and I could never remember what we had or find something when I needed it. What set me off though, was when i realized I had bought 3 of the same spice, not realizing/remembering that we actually already had it and not being able to find it easily. I was determine not to let that happened in my new kitchen once we moved, so I found and bought this little contraption from amazon. http://www.amazon.com/YouCopia-Super-SpiceStack-27-Bottle-Organizer/dp/B002N3NTVY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1354764497&sr=8-2&keywords=spice+rack+organizer
    Love it! Not sure I would like your contraption as much, just because then you’d have to be sure to have nothing in the front of the cabinet or else the door wouldn’t close, and most of my cabinets are pretty full. Definitely better than the alternative of not having anything though!

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