When you are cooking whether for yourself or a crowd, are you filled with dread when the recipe asks for different herbs or spices? Ugh, that means I’ve got to open THAT cabinet or THAT drawer and I have no idea if I have whatever the recipe requires. During the rush of mixing and blending and seasoning it is very easy to just shove them all back in the cabinet and close it quickly however, you are back in the same quandary the next time you read the words “cumin” or “ginger” or “cinnamon.” Can Neatsmart make it all go away, a la Calgon? Yes, we can and it’s so easy a 5 year old can do it!
First thing you want to do is take all of the spices out of the cabinet. Take everything out of the cabinet and give it a good cleaning. You always want to start with a clean slate on any organizing project.
Next, check the expiration dates on your containers. Yes, Virginia, herbs and spices expire. That’s why they have expiration dates. And by expire, I mean “lose their flavor.” Your chili won’t have the same kick with old chili powder or cayenne. Toss the ones with recent expiration dates but write down a list of the ones you need to replace. My guess is if they expired you don’t need to replace them because you haven’t used them. Makes sense, right?
Ok, now here is the fun part and you can engage the assistance of a 5 year old for fun: Alphabetize your spices! Holla! From Allspice to Tumeric just line them up in alphabetical order.
So your spices are all lined up on your counter, now what? Get a turntable or Lazy Susan that will fit in the cabinet. Actually, I probably should have told you that first but you have to know what you need first before shopping and you still had all of those old spices to toss first.
Pick one of the bars as your starting point and add your spices to the turntable in alphabetical order from left to right with labels facing out. When you get to the end of the top level, move down to the next. Start at the same beginning point as the top with the next spice and continue around. If you have too many to fit on one, you may need to get another or separate savory from sweet spices. Also, I suggest you keep salt & pepper separate because you’ll reach for them more often than the others.
The hard part, though, is putting them back where they belong after you use them but you can do it with practice! Now you’ve got a home for each spice, so when you’re finished, each goes back to its home. See, it’s that easy!