Here is how I organized my baking and spice cabinet so it is better organized and more efficient.
I call it that because it also holds other baking items besides spices.
You know, things like sprinkles, chocolate chips, nuts, flavored vinegars and vanilla, etc. Plus, I also keep rarely used odds and ends in here, too.
But it was difficult to find things quickly because it really wasn’t organized very well, so just before my holiday baking, I re-organized the cabinet.
This is the (embarrassing) before of my baking and spice cabinet:
First, I took everything out of the cabinet.
I spread everything out and took a good look at everything. Now, I will be honest, I really didn’t find much that I NEVER use, so my goal was to make it more organized, not necessarily get rid of a lot of the items in there. For example, I am from Ohio, and every Christmas I make Buckeyes candy. Each batch only uses 1/4 cup of paraffin wax. So, my blocks of wax last FOREVER and never spoil, BUT I only use it once a year.
I knew that as a general rule, whole spices will stay fresh for about 4 years, ground spices for about 2 to 3 years and dried herbs for 1 to 3 years.
So, anything really, really old I tossed, and then got the fun of purchasing new jars. Because, really, how often in your life have you bought a new jar of ground mustard? See…
I then grouped items by how often I used them and how tall they were and rearranged the shelves so they would fit.
All of those odds and ends (cans of Sterno, Boy Scout mess kits, Tupperware lunchboxes that don’t get used often) were short, so I reconfigured my shelves to make that top space much smaller.
I do have quite a few bottles (Karo syrup, flavored vinegars, molasses, etc.) so I made sure one shelf was tall enough to hold them all.
For all the little items, I used clear shoe box-sized containers.
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I also had lots of small things that were constantly getting lost in the shuffle. Things like bottles of sprinkles, 2 tiny boxes of food coloring, gravy and taco packets, a bag of bay leaves, 2 nutmeg nuts and cumbersome bags of powdered sugar, partially-used baking chips and different kinds of nuts. See what I mean?
So I bought several clear shoe box-sized plastic containers (like this) and put all those small items in them. (Basically the “sweets” in one container and the “savories” in the other.) This kept them all contained and it was much easier to look through a single box than a whole shelf.
Organize your spices – it WILL make baking more efficient and saves time, too.
I bought an inexpensive spice shelf (here is the one I have) and put that on the bottom shelf for all of my spices. Note: this shelf can either have one shelf stacked on top of the other, or for a wider cabinet like mine, they can sit side by side. And, yes, because I am a librarian and I NEED to be organized, I put all of the spices back on the shelves in alphabetical order. I know – it sounds nit-picky, but really, it does make it easier to find them, because you already have a rough idea of which side of the cabinet you need to look for, say, the cinnamon (left side) or thyme (right side) so it makes your baking prep much more efficient and saves time, too.
It also makes clean-up easier, as well. So you can put those spices back right in the same place – easy-peasy.
Okay, so here is the after of my baking and spice cabinet:
Much, much easier to see everything at a glance and know just where to look for a particular item.
Because items are in the cabinet in a logical manner, it really does save time and makes gathering your baking items much more efficient. Putting things away is just as easy.
I hope this helps you in gaining some control over your spice/baking cabinet as well. Let me know how you do.
Happy baking (and organizing)! 🙂
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