Do you ever find that you buy an entire bottle of a spice for one recipe and then never use it again? Then you learn your lesson and end up buying your spices in those tiny baggies? Years later you have cabinets full of spices you rarely use, that are out of date, void of flavor and cluttering your spice rack and pantry? That’s me. This is what I did about it and here are my tips to help you clean up, clean out and minimize your spice rack.
1. Clean Up
- Start by taking everything off your spice rack and any spices hiding in your pantry.
- In my case I had a spice rack, a spice shelf and spice cabinet!
- Wipe down and clean out the slots, stand, shelves and bottles.
- If you have any empty bottles with spice residue you are storing, go ahead and rinse those out. Put the bottles in a bowl of soapy water to soak for about an hour.
2. Clean Out
- Check to see how old your spices are. Different spices have different shelf life. They don’t necessarily “go bad” they just loose their flavor strength over time. Check out this shelf life list from McCormick Brand’s website to see if it’s time to keep it or go ahead and throw it away.
- If you have refill size containers or more than one bottle of a spice, combine them in one bottle.
- Stores like Costco sell some everyday spices in bulk at a super discount. These are great for spending less money on the spice you use everyday and allow you to refill your containers again and again when they get low.
- I went through my spices and got back to the basics.
- Spices were owning a large portion of my cabinet storage real estate.
- I’ve been cooking long enough now that I know what spices I use on a regular basis.
- If I looked at the spice and couldn’t remember the last time that I used it- I ditched it and moved on.
- When I was done, I was down to the basics in my kitchen.
- I kept all the spices I am comfortable with and regularly use!
- I took the fancy bottles that I cleaned up and sold them at my local consignment store.
Kim Anderson is the organized chaos loving author behind the Thrifty Little Mom Blog. She helps other people who thrive in organized chaos to stress less, remember more and feel in control of their time, money, and home. Kim is the author of: Live, Save, Spend, Repeat: The Life You Want with the Money You Have. She’s been featured on Time.com, Money.com, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Day, and more!