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Organizing spices

Most cooks I've talked to feel like the organization of their spice cupboards is less than idea.   Awhile back I got fed up with mine. I kept the spices on both sides of my stove, which meant I had a 50/50 chance of guessing where people had last replaced the salt, pepper, or cinnamon.  And I always ended up pulling out 10 or 12 bottles before I finding the spice that I needed.

In thinking about my problem, and googling various solutions on the internet, the ideas I liked best were a wall mounted magnetic rack and a shelving rack.  Both had a common factor:  containers of uniform size and shape.   I looked around online and found some great clear top square tins (in the 4 ounce size).

I ordered 4 dozen, and as soon as they arrived, I set to work.I started by pulling out all my spices to see what I had. I typed their names into a Word document, experimented with fonts, and printed the names out on plain paper.   I cut out and taped the names onto the tins with clear packing tape.   Then the fun began:  filling the tins with all my spices. 

I found that my 4 ounce tins were big enough to hold a whole 3-4 inch tall jar of seasoning.  I stored extra dibs and dabs of spices in baggies, or in their original containers in a big tupperware container in the back of the cupboard.

Then I enlisted my handy husband to help me complete the job.   He built me a lightweight wooden rack (actually two with a small split between them, to allow for the shelf inside of the cupboard.)

These he mounted to the inside of one of my cupboard doors.   The rack was big enough to hold all my tins, which I then alphabetized.  I know, it sounds a little obsessive.  But keeping them alphabetized makes it nearly effortless to grab the right spice out when I need it.  

I absolutely love this new spice organization system.  The ease of using it makes me much more likely to take the time to use multiple seasonings in a recipe, which only enhances the yum factor of our food.