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Spice Storage Ideas


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56 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

 

What type of solution might work, @Anna N? Are you trying to create storage in existing cabinets or a pantry or do you need to try and create all-new storage areas? I'm in the latter camp in this house. I don't have room for much in the cabinets and my pantry isn't as large as I would like and I don't have much wall space for racks or shelves, so have to try and create new storage. I could reconfigure my pantry but it was easier to buy the over-the-door unit and add the small rack on to the end of the cabinets. 

 

One thing I am considering for the other house is a spice rack I saw on Amazon. This spice rack was attached to the side of a fridge by one user, you can see his review  - it's the top review (don't arrange by date), by Adam S. He used some strong magnets to attach it to the side of a stainless steel fridge. I'd like to try that, or attach it to the wall. (More wall space in the other house) But if it worked on the fridge, it would give me some more space without having to buy any new containers. 

 

But maybe you just want some new containers? 

 

 I wish I knew what I wanted. I want all my spices in one place. I want them organized in such a way that I can find them. I want them in containers that will accept a measuring spoon. I want a system that is easily expandable. I want the world!  

The most useless spice jar that I can think of is the usual McCormick’s. In fact the packaging for most purchased spices  is impractical.  It is time for a change. I’m calling for revolution!xD

 

 

 

 

 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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17 minutes ago, Anna N said:

Not sure exactly what it is I am looking for

 

A personal herb and spice assistant? xD

 

;)

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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I've seen these IKEA CD towers used for storing quilting fabric and thought they would work for spices, too. Sure enough, someone has been there before me! The nice thing about these is that you only need a very small strip of wall to get a considerable amount of storage. But you are still faced with finding the best container. 

 

5ab9a820cf427_IKEAspicerack.thumb.jpg.4fafa300eb66f99e0ea59dded8b4e498.jpg

 

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

The nice thing about these is that you only need a very small strip of wall to get a considerable amount of storage.

 

Yeah, I like that.

There's a spot in my kitchen where something like this would work well and nothing else would.

Easy to build from scratch too!

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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No great ideas here. A wire grid on the wall that holds various baskets. I needed something outside my cabinet space, since that is so limited. It's all quite a mess, and I'd say close to half of it needs to be thrown out. I just never get around to it. :o

spice rack1.jpg

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No photographs from me you will notice. My spices are in a pantry, in a closet, stuck to the side of my fridge, on top of my microwave, tucked away in some boxes in my front room and there are even some in one of the cupboards in the kitchen. Oh and my most-used Indian spices are stored in my masala dabba.  

 

Containers cover the gamut from resealable bags through decorative containers all the way to practical and useful small mason jars. 

 

Stackability is not a feature. 

 

The only people who seem to have solved the problem of what to do with their spices usually own 12 or less.  xD

 

Except perhaps our once frequent poster @Marlene

 

Click.

 

 

 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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2 hours ago, Anna N said:

The only people who seem to have solved the problem of what to do with their spices usually own 12 or less.

 

I have dozens and dozens. That's not counting the salts, 'modernist' ingredients, and the like.

Only the most used are in the Rubbermaid containers. I'm guessing about 36 or so.

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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I'm out of space in the cabinet (seen here) that is most convenient for spice and seasoning storage so I would like to find something more space-efficient. 

I have wondered if I could go to transferring everything into resealable bags that I would store in bins that would be organized like a card file but would sit on the cupboard shelves.  It could be one of the most space-efficient options.  It would accommodate measuring spoons though not shakers.

The bins could be labeled on the front with the range of spices - either alphabetical or types like "baking" or "chiles".

Individual bags would be labeled and could be separated by labeled, tabbed cards so there would be a labeled "spot" to put things back. 

 

The downside is that for commonly used spices, retrieval and return would become multi-step operations, likely requiring removal of multiple bins from the cabinet to select the spices, instead of just "reach & grab."

Also, most of those zip-top bags only tolerate so many openings before they refuse to re-close securely.

 

Maybe I am unrealistic in my wish for a single system and should do as @DiggingDogFarm does:

1 hour ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

Only the most used are in the Rubbermaid containers. I'm guessing about 36 or so.

 

Choose an easy "reach & grab" system for the most commonly used items and use another "organized and efficient" system for the rest?  I dunno.  Maybe just leave them the way they are and continue to whine?  

I see that I could free up a little space by removing the liquid baking extracts and storing them elsewhere.  But it's not prime real estate - I can reach up and grab a bottle by shape but can't see the labels without a stool.  Where's my glass of whine? xD

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 I’m inclined to go along with both @blue_dolphin and @cakewalk.

 

My head hurts just thinking about potential solutions. I grew up with salt, already ground white pepper and very stale curry powder. Why do I need all these fancy spices?  Think how simple life used to be.  I think I’ll meditate on that theme for a little while.  Minimalism has a lot going for it.  About the only thing it’s missing is a little flavour. What’s that between friends?  

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Here's my solution, but it is the result of saving many spice jars over many years. My spices are on rows of shallow shelves above the countertop. The drawback of open shelving is that the bottles need to be cleaned often. The other unfortunate thing is the location adjacent to the range/hood, which means they are subject to more warmth than other areas of the kitchen, but I am careful to buy small quantities and replace old spices as necessary.The shelves are about two bottles deep and they are organized pretty much by use, although that is variable. All bottles are labeled and re-used, as I pretty much buy my spices in bulk in small envelopes and transfer them to bottles right away. Over the years I have bought enough spices of different brands to result in a good collection of little bottles with various colored tops. So the shelves are color coded. I know where everything is supposed to be, but this really helps my husband with his infrequent forays.

 

Five shelves, from the top down: 1) oversize items and misc less frequently used things (need an assist to reach). 2) Black Tops: aromatics often used in Indian foods: curry, turmeric, coriander, mustard seeds, etc. 3) Blue Tops: loosely associated w/baking: extracts, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger, whole nutmegs, etc. 4) Red Tops: anything to do with paprika or pepper or chile, etc. 5) Black Tops again: mostly green things such as oregano, bay leaves, sage, rosemary, etc. plus a couple of exotic salts. On the counter are a few things I use all the time, like some salts, pepper grinder, large jar of small red chile pods. 

 

As you can deduce, in fifty years of buying spices the greatest number of products have come with black tops. I do have some white top bottles and mostly those hold salts. The bottles are of various sizes, brands and eras, and the labeling is far from uniform, so I am not embarrassed by being too "matchy matchy." That would be awful.

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1 hour ago, Katie Meadow said:

The bottles are of various sizes, brands and eras, and the labeling is far from uniform, so I am not embarrassed by being too "matchy matchy." That would be awful.

xD:DxD

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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31 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

Any chance of a photo or 2? 

 

I do like the idea of color-coding the lids and wonder if that might help me in some way.  Must ponder that.  With whine, of course!

 

Everything is better with whine!:ph34r:

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19 hours ago, Anna N said:

No photographs from me you will notice. My spices are in a pantry, in a closet, stuck to the side of my fridge, on top of my microwave, tucked away in some boxes in my front room and there are even some in one of the cupboards in the kitchen. Oh and my most-used Indian spices are stored in my masala dabba.  

 

Containers cover the gamut from resealable bags through decorative containers all the way to practical and useful small mason jars. 

 

Stackability is not a feature. 

 

The only people who seem to have solved the problem of what to do with their spices usually own 12 or less.  xD

 

Except perhaps our once frequent poster @Marlene

 

Click.

 

 

 

 

Oh, my!

 

I recall reading in one of my Georgian books that Georgian women have very little kitchen space for spices and traditionally buy blends from trusted spice merchants...rather than filling up their bedrooms with individual Georgian spices.

 

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This works really well for me. I have one shallow drawer dedicated to spices. But I should clear out the one below it - currently filled with my music CDs which I never listen to - and put all my salts and whatnot in there in a similar way. Very easy to find and use everything. I mean, of course, this requires a drawer. Which may or may not be available.

IMG_3272.JPG

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1 hour ago, nginear said:

My most used spices go into something like this.  The rest are in a cupboard next to the stove.

 

spice rack.jpg

 

I really like these.  May I asked where you got them and what they are called?

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 So I have not found the perfect solution that I’m hoping for. But I can’t wait any longer or I may have to leap off the top step of my stepstool. The problem is frustrating me so much that I have to make an attempt at solving it. 

 

Someone or perhaps more than someone on this thread mentioned that they keep 36 spices in handy containers for every day use and stash the rest elsewhere. 

 

This idea was percolating in my brain when I was in a thrift store today and saw these two things:

 

DA34ACCD-0442-4BB8-A146-3BB61A1CC9F0.thumb.jpeg.d87d60693e4786598063640157fd6bd2.jpeg

 

 Very compact spice rack. 

 

BDF1C761-C88C-4698-AFD7-F22B90A0DD35.thumb.jpeg.6b2627984c80a1032ead5a233820c690.jpeg

 

 12 brand new spice jars that are identical to the ones in the rack except for the colour of the lids. That is 24 spices that could be easily available.

 

 It is by no means the solution I want.  But I can make it work enough to get over my hissy fit.

 

I can look forward to six days of solitude. From now until next Wednesday morning I will be alone and can please myself what I do.   My plan is to gather all of my spices from all of their various places and hiding spots into two or more large boxes and then go through them, discarding those that are old and useless, combining duplicates and then selecting 24 that I commonly use and put those in the new jars I just bought. 

 

I will keep my masala dabba for my most commonly used Indian spices. 

 

Everything else will be inventoried and stashed in the closet most probably in plastic bags. Although depending on how many there are perhaps in other containers such as small mason jars. 

 

That’s the plan. 

 

 I believe I can move things around in the kitchen enough to keep the spice rack on the counter and the box containing the 12 new spice jars in the cupboard. I’m going to retain the cardboard box with the dividers as it is perfectly adequate.

 Wish me luck!xD

 

 

 

 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Best of luck! Six days should give you some nap time when arranging the bottles becomes too stressful. I don't see why white plastic tops should be harder to come by than others, but they are. That's why I am forced to have a second shelf with black tops; it really offends my sense of order, but not enough to shell out any dollars. It's nice to see that you will have pollen and cod liver oil at arms reach.

Edited by Katie Meadow (log)
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6 hours ago, Katie Meadow said:

It's nice to see that you will have pollen and cod liver oil at arms reach.

 Those labels were a b**** to remove!   The previous owner must’ve been some sort of health enthusiast who was into all sorts of supplements. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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3 hours ago, Anna N said:

 Those labels were a b**** to remove!   The previous owner must’ve been some sort of health enthusiast who was into all sorts of supplements. 

 

Rubbing alcohol, if you have any traces left you want to clean up.

Don't ask. Eat it.

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