Can’t find the spices you need to cook your latest meal? Here are my tips to a hassle-free declutter – spice cabinet edition.
My spice cabinet has always been an issue for me. It was a space that consistently underwent some kind of rearranging or reorganizing. But it never fully satisfied my desire of functionality and order. The following steps definitely helped me. Read on about my process of a hassle-free declutter – spice cabinet edition.
Clutter in the spice cabinet
I love to cook and I definitely love trying new recipes! What ended up happening though was a multiplication of spices and dried herbs in my collection. That wasn’t much of a big deal… until it became a problem. Which in my head, it was…or has been.
I would stare at this cabinet and constantly think about how that space could possibly be improved. Do I want new jars to make things look cohesive and pretty? Or do I just save my used spice jars, that don’t match, and just refill when necessary? Or do I keep buying jarred spices? (Seems like a lot of waste.) Do I want a spice rack? Which one? Do I want to use counter space for it? The questions went on and on. I didn’t want to buy anything, not really. And I didn’t want excess.
So I started getting anxious and began going through a kitchen declutter, without realizing that was what I was doing. All because I got overwhelmed with not knowing exactly what I wanted to do with my spice cabinet. So every cabinet was going through some sort of organizing and reorganizing, just not the one I really wanted to work on.
What ended up sparking much needed inspiration was this video. And then I knew what I wanted to do.
With that said, here are my steps toward a clutter-free, more functional spice cabinet.
Steps to a hassle-free declutter – spice cabinet
Step #1: Take everything out and clean
Everything. Take it all out. And clean. All of it – the shelves, the cabinet doors, everything. There’s something to be said when you start over with an absolutely clean slate.
Clean cabinets = clean mind
I wiped down the shelves, the edges of the shelves (because I changed shelf levels), cabinet doors, door edges. I wiped down the racks used. I cleaned everything! It’s amazing how much stuff accumulates even in the cabinets.
I stepped back and saw clean and empty shelves! And let me tell you, it was a beautiful sight!
Step #2: Toss the unused and expired ones
This might seem like a no-brainer. But we always make excuses, right?
I had amassed a large quantity of expired herbs and spices. I knew I had them. But I always kept them just in case. Not this time. It’s not like expired spices will get you sick. But they definitely lose flavor as time goes by. So if they expired years ago, out they went.
And what about all those doubles of stuff? Like the 2 opened and used oregano? Crushed vs ground thyme? Ground vs whole nutmeg? If they were the same, I consolidated. For the different types, I chose the one I would use more regularly and tossed the other.
I also had barely used spices. Spices I used in a recipe I tried once! It wasn’t expired. But did I keep it? Nope. Because realistically I knew I wasn’t going to make that recipe again. Why take up valuable real estate with it? That is unless my family enjoyed it, then I did keep it.
Once you’ve gone through your collection, tossed what you didn’t need, kept the ones you do, it’s time for the next step.
Step #3: Storing and organizing
I said before that I didn’t want to buy anything extra, that I was just going to use what the store already provided (like those glass jars I had kept because “what if?”). And I was just going to use the rack and lazy susan I already had. But they just did not work for me, my space, and my vision. I tried several ways to organize it to make it work. And the more I fiddled with it, the more frustrated I became. So I bit the bullet. And I bought some things to help.
I bought this spice rack and these 4oz spice jars. I did keep some of the jars from the stores; but I kept the same type to keep things more uniform. And I also have larger containers for my most used spices.
Now you might not have spent money on excess things and decided to use what you have. By all means! Remember it’s your space and peace of mind. You also might already have things you can use as shelves or containers. So take a quick look around, and see what you have.
After you’ve consolidated and found some things to help, let’s start arranging the space.
Step #4: Creating a functional spice cabinet
The key here is to define your functional space. I grouped my spices into categories. I tried different variations. But what made more sense to me was grouping into (1) most used, (2) sometimes used, (3) least used. This made sense to me because I cook a lot. And to have my most used spices and seasonings within quick reach just makes my time at the stove much easier.
So I made 3 levels to arrange everything. The bottom level had all my “most used” spices and seasonings. The middle level had most of my dried herbs and my “sometimes used” spices. The top level had all the “least used” seasonings or doubles that wouldn’t fit into the containers I bought. And everything went in.
Step #5: Don’t re-reorganize
I went through a bunch of iterations to get to a place I was happy with. And once it was done, I didn’t touch it for a few days. Why not? Because in order to really know if the space will work, you have to use it for a while. If things need to be fixed, keep note. But don’t change it, not just yet. My husband would say wait a few days (probably for his peace of mind so he wouldn’t have to keep looking for things…like his tupperware he uses for work). I think a day is good enough because you’ll know right away if something’s not working for you.
However, since I liked it right away (and because I was doing a lot of switching around anyway) and there was a big sense of relief and joy, I knew there wouldn’t be more reorganizing. I did change a few things. And I’ll probably still go through some spices to figure out where best they’d go. It’s not picture perfect, but the end result definitely works for me much better!
My functional spice cabinet space
And here it is:
I wish I had a before picture for you to see the difference. Just imagine more jars cluttered together that you couldn’t see any of your spices in the back. And a lazy susan completely filled so you couldn’t see anything in the middle. From that, to this!
It’s not perfect. But it definitely works for me and my needs. I will probably end up getting more of the spice jars. If laid on their side, they can actually fit on that top shelf. Currently those containers at the top are mostly new and unopened. But like I said, it’s far from perfect, but definitely more functional and less of a hassle to dig around.
Do you need to declutter a space?
Comment down below and let me know!! Tell me what’s stopping you. Or if you have decluttered, what are some things you learned in the process? What was the most difficult or challenging spaces or things to declutter? I’d love to hear about it all!
How it all started
Read my first post regarding why I started decluttering in Hassle-Free Declutter With Me
Here’s the playlist I’ve been watching for ideas toward a clutter free kitchen.
And stay tuned for other decluttering moments in my clutter free journey!