Dec 21, 2009

Organizing Spices

Have you thought about New Year resolutions? Are you any good at keeping them? I normally don't have a resolution for the New Year, but I've read that 88 percent of people don't keep them, anyway. But I've decided to make - and keep - one resolution this year: To organize my kitchen within six months.

Believe me, there are many parts of my house that need organizing, but to make the goal more achievable, I've chosen to focus on one room for now. And I've given myself a time line under one year. And I will break down that goal into smaller goals with guidelines, too.

As I think about making my kitchen work better for me through good organization, the first troublesome area I consider is spices. I have a lot of them. And over the years, I've tried a variety of storage options, and none have suited me. Here are some of the ideas I've considered:

* Spice rack. I've done this before, and there are two disadvantages, as I see it. One, I like to keep my spices near the stove, where I use most of them, but in my kitchen, the spice rack always ends up greasy. It might not if I cleaned it every day (or even every week), but who wants all the work of removing each bottle, cleaning it, then cleaning the entire rack? The other problemis spice racks don't hold enough spices for my purposes.

* Magnetic wall hanger. There are a lot of nifty versions of this. The under-the-cabinet variety looks like a space saver, and the type that has a large magnet attached to the wall looks pretty serviceable, but neither would work well in my kitchen. (And I don't like spice jars that are see-through; spices need darkness to last well.)

* Drawer organizers. These look like a good solution if you have plenty of drawer space - but I do not.

* Spice shelf. These might make it easier to see spices in a cabinet, but unless the cabinet is quite shallow, you loose all the storage space behind the organizer.

* Back of the door. The higher end varieties look really terrific - but are too expensive for me. I'm skeptical the more affordable varieties would work with my cabinets, but I'll definitely be looking into that more closely.

* Tubs. Honestly, I think this might be the best solution for me. Although I know it's best to put opened spices into airtight, dark jars (so they last longer), I doubt I'll do that. That means I have jars of several sizes to try to fit into whatever spice organizer I choose. So I think I may go to the Dollar Tree and purchase a few cheap plastic tubs. I'll put like spices together in one tub. (For example, a single tub might have typical baking spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, while another might have "spicy" spices like chili pepper and curry powder.) When I want to use spices, I'll just pull the appropriate tub from the cupboard, then replace it when I'm done.

What solution will work best for you?

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