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Old 10-21-2020, 04:26 PM   #1
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Type A spice storage??

Last night I started cooking dinner and discovered that "someone" had helpfully rearranged the spices in the spice rack so they are sorted alphabetically. I couldn't find ANYTHING! At my house most spices are stored in jars in a space rack mounted on the inside cabinet door near the stove.

Most commonly used spices are at eye level and and the rest are higher up on the door. Random-ish but fast and practical.

After I learned of the "new improved" order I spent waaaay to much time trying to locate red pepper flakes. Under R for red, P for pepper, F for flakes? NOOoooooo they were under H for hot pepper flakes. Grrrrr.


So - how do you do it at your house? Alpha sort, sort by type, sort by color sort by recent/common use or something else?

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Old 10-21-2020, 05:06 PM   #2
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Have always done the ABC method. Works so much better for me. I'm 71 and this has always been a great plan I'm a VERY organized person and doing this just makes sense to me.
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Old 10-21-2020, 05:44 PM   #3
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I keep my herbs and spices in a corner cabinet with a three tier lazy Susan.

The lower shelf is all my individual H&S. They are arranged in alphabetic order. ALL my pepper products, paprikas (hot, sweet, cayenne, half sharp and smoked), crushed red pepper, white pepper etc. are "Ps".

The upper shelf contains the H&S blends such as taco, curry, etc.

Squeezed into the corners are the odds and ends; powdered mustard, Sazon, and such.

The top shelf contains oils, vinegars, baking extracts, baking powder, etc.

The I have another lazy susan in another cabinet with "other stuff". Bread crumbs, Wondra, Tabasco, Worcestershire, Liquid Smoke, baking soda, etc.

Finally, on the top shelf in my basement pantry, I have all the stuff I rarely or never use and stuff I've been gifted.
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Old 10-21-2020, 06:21 PM   #4
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When I first moved in and set up my kitchen in '84, I already had far more jars of spices than I could store above in a cupboard, on a turntable, like my Mother always did, who had trouble finding even that small number! So I put them in a drawer, with the tops labeled. This wasn't totally filled, back then, but eventually, I had the one below it filled, but that was more with large jars. Mine would get the "most used" toward the front, and I soon realized that if I highlighted them, it would be easier to spot what I wanted, so the orange is for the sweet spices, green for herbs, and yellow for savory spices; though some things like five spice could be thought of as sweet, I put them in savory.
One of the spice drawers by pepperhead212, on Flickr

And that was way before I started getting all those spices for Indian food! Of course, many of the spices I had before, but some are not really used in other cuisines. So instead of having those specialty spices separately, but have to get the cumin, mustard seed, and many others out of the main drawer, I made a box, with small jars of the most used spices in, with it labeled on the end of the box, as well as all of the jar lids as well. When making one of the dishes with numerous spices, I line up the cups on a plate, and use this box to get all of the spices from. I also have three other boxes - one with less used spices, one with larger jars, to refill from, or use when making masalas and podis, then another box with the masalas and podis in it. Here's a photo of the two most used:
Two of the boxes of the Indian spices. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Down in the basement I have a tub, with ziploc bags of foodsaver bags, of the different spices from upstairs, to refill from. I have a notebook with all of the bags listed, and what bags are in them, with how much, so that I don't ever run out of essential items.

A couple refill spices are in the freezer, in Foodsaver bags - Saffron and cinnamon.
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Old 10-21-2020, 06:44 PM   #5
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I keep the majority oof my spices in a pull out drawer that is located right next to the stove. Once Im looking down on them, the jars are labeled on the top of the lids ( in addition to the sides). I have some of the more common spices in the cupboard eye level right next to the stove ( Garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme).

The majority of the spices in the drawer are Indian based spices ( since there are so many). I even have an ' over flow' box of some of the more unique, less used Indian spices that is in the basement and I get it when I make certain dishes.

I also have spices I use almost exclusively for pickling. They are on the top shelf in the same cupboard as the frequently used ones. They come out in the summer ( one the cukes are ready for pickling) and stay on the counter next to where I do my pickling until Im done pickling, then back on the top shelf they go.

As far as order of the jars, its usually the most frequently used toward the front, and most visible. The less frequent once in the back somewhere. Still easily visible, but have to pull the drawer out completely to see them.

Most are in spice jars I got from Penzy's, but a few have very specific jars, so I know what they are just by the size and shape of their they are in.

Some of the Indian spices or more frequently used spices I use, I buy in bulk. They come in bags. But I create a labeled jar for them and put them in their desired location, and will refill when necessary. The bulk bags I keep in the bulk box in the basement. No need to use up cabinet space.

And yes, if someone rearranged my spice bottles , I'd definitely notice immediately, and my OCD would kick in until they found their way back home

I do dry some of my fresh herbs from the garden in the basement, so I have bunch hanging from the ceiling down there which ultimately make their way into a jar .
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Old 10-21-2020, 07:02 PM   #6
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I use alphabetic order because I'm definitely CDO. That's the same as OCD but with the letters in alphabetic order AS THEY SHOULD BE!
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Old 10-21-2020, 07:06 PM   #7
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Most used are on the counter, in no particular order. The rest are alphabetical by spice type, then blends, then the least used farther away. I use a 5 foot long bottom shelf for this with a lazy susan on the end for liquid add ins (soy sauce, finishing oils).
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Old 10-21-2020, 07:12 PM   #8
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My spice cupboard is a total and confounding mess..It's like you stood about six feet away and threw everything in the cupboard...becasue, that is basically what I do. :p.I have a good idea where everything is, but most times I have to take out about 10 bottles, packets, jars, before I find what I am looking for..It's a great system and I wouldn't change it for the world
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Old 10-21-2020, 07:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I use alphabetic order because I'm definitely CDO. That's the same as OCD but with the letters in alphabetic order AS THEY SHOULD BE!
Speaking of OCD, there was and issue a few years back when they decorated thee Holland Tunnel entrance For Christmas. People with OCD complained that the triangular shaped tree wasn't directly over the "A", so they actually changed it.
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Old 10-21-2020, 07:30 PM   #10
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BAHAHA!

I'm not as OCD as I use to be ...

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This is inside of my pantry in the kitchen (I have a pantry out in the finished garage too )
Everything is in alphabetical order, with the first letter of each spice running the show, as in Red Pepper Flakes are in the R spaces, etc.
What I mean by use to be OCD is I use to HAVE to have everything in the same type of jar with the same colored lid to them ALL!!! But I ran out of that case of spice jar
OH! They all use to be labeled with a Label Maker, all with their label stuck on to the jars at the same height so that I can see it through the spice rack rungs OCD! OCD! OCD!!!
I've become less rigid in my old age though

edit: I forgot to add that DH is not allowed in here!
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Old 10-21-2020, 07:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaneohegirlinaz View Post
BAHAHA!

I'm not as OCD as I use to be ...

Attachment 43625

...

I would be making menu choices that avoided using the spices on the bottom of the rack.
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Old 10-21-2020, 07:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I would be making menu choices that avoided using the spices on the bottom of the rack.
The bottom two shelves are baking stuff, like food coloring, sanding sugar, extracts, sprinkles, etc.
It's about 6 inches or so off the floor of the pantry, so that the iRobot Roomba can get that clean
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Old 10-21-2020, 09:35 PM   #13
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I just moved and had to get new spice storage, since I had no place too hang my old wall racks. I bought 5 racks to hang inside my small pantry door, but the door wouldn't close. Plan B put 4 racks in the corner of the counter. That's 96 bottles, all matching, with matching labels, stacked alphabetically. Leftover jars are hidden on the inside of the pantry door. That includes flavorings, etc.

I have one more rack, looking for a home.

Just a little OCD.
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Old 10-22-2020, 12:59 AM   #14
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Organized? Now there's a thought.

I have two two tier lazy Susans for my most used herbs and spices. Yes, there are a few that don't get used often there. They are in no particular order, except the taller jars are on top, so they fit. I also have two long, narrow baskets for bags of spices that are seldom used or are for refilling jars. I also use the top shelf in that cupboard for bags and large jars for refilling. There is another lazy Susan in another cupboard with all my "cookie spices", e.g., cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, dry ginger, vanilla, etc. There are separate containers for whole spices and ground spices. A bag of cinnamon is on that Susan too. There is another lazy Susan in that cupboard with bottled stuff: small bottle of cider vinegar, Worcestershire, fish sauce, balsamic vinegar, sesame oil, etc. (EVOO is front and centre, between the two Susans). Those two cupboards are on either side of my stove and easy to reach while cooking. But, really, they are only sorted by those categories. Other than that, they are randomly place on the Susans, but the most used ones are on the outside.
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Old 10-22-2020, 08:08 AM   #15
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Everything is alphabetized now, though the magnetic ones on the refrigerator are broken into 4 groups. One group is in small bottles with seldom used spices or used in small quantities like saffron, cloves, whole nutmeg, etc. The big group is larger jars with mostly individual spices we use often. Third group is individual chile powders, ground porcini powder, etc. Fourth group is spice mixes we make up like beef stew seasoning mix, Creole spice mix, etc. We have 4 plastic boxes that hold other sources that I recently alphabetized because I was tired of looking through all 4 boxes and inevitably finding what I wanted in the third of fourth box I looked through.

We've also got some large restaurant quantity plastic jars of things we use a lot that we use to refill the jars on the refrigerator, but those aren't alphabetized because they are all on 1 shelf and only about a dozen.
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Old 10-22-2020, 08:30 AM   #16
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I was prodded by DD to organize so a few weeks ago I bought a tiered expandable storage bleacher-style type thingy which was on sale on Amazon. It fits perfectly in the cabinet but it does take up some space rather than jamming everything in and lying some on top of each other.

On the left side are spice mixtures; on the right plain spices. The ones used most frequently are in the front with those used rarely in the back. I also have some enormous ones like garlic and parsley which obviously don't fit; I bought small ones of those and will refill as needed.
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Old 10-22-2020, 09:32 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocklobster View Post
My spice cupboard is a total and confounding mess..It's like you stood about six feet away and threw everything in the cupboard...becasue, that is basically what I do. :p.I have a good idea where everything is, but most times I have to take out about 10 bottles, packets, jars, before I find what I am looking for..It's a great system and I wouldn't change it for the world
Ditto!!
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Old 10-22-2020, 09:34 AM   #18
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Now that we're organized, I can't imagine just cramming spices in there. This way I see what I have and things get used more often.

Also -spices don't last forever. You want to use them generously while they are fresh!!!
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Old 10-23-2020, 11:06 AM   #19
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Interesting responses. Here's what I've learned:

1. You are ALL more organized than I am.
2. No one has enough spice storage space and in a handy location
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Old 11-21-2020, 10:51 PM   #20
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I do mine alphabetically. If the name is part of the spice (e.g. Red Pepper Flakes in your example), it would go under 'R'. If the name is not part of it (e.g. Crushed mint) it goes under 'M'. And then I store some on top of my spice rack because I ran out of room.

But after a few times you remember that Red Pepper Flakes is 'R', etc., no?

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