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5 Ways To Organize Spices

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Front Page Photo: Flickr, enigmachck1.

Many freestanding spice racks are available, but unless you have unlimited counter space, try one of these space-saving options. Regardless of what method you choosing, alphabetizing spices is the best way to find what you are looking for.

1. Wall. Hang a spice rack on the wall.

2. Drawer. For a fairly deep drawer near the stove, use a drawer insert that holds spices with the labels facing up. Or stand spices up, labeling the jar tops with a label maker.

3. Cabinet. Mount a spice cabinet on a cabinet door. Check dimensions so that the spice shelves clear the cabinet shelves, allowing the door to close.

4. Indian spice box. Made of stainless steel (usually measuring seven to nine inches), an Indian spice box contains seven round compartments along with a measure. A proper spice box has a tight fitting inner lid between the lid and the compartments so that the spices don't mix. Fill the compartments with your favorites, and avoid having to open multiple spice canisters while cooking. You can display the spice box on the counter if space permits, or just bring it out when cooking. Spice boxes are available in any Indian market or online (search for "masala daani").

5. Mason jars. Buying in bulk is a great was to save money on spices you cycle through quickly. If you store opened bags of bulk spices together, stronger spices will affect milder ones, so it's best to contain them separately. Small Mason or canning jars work well. They make efficient use of cabinet space and can be stacked. Transfer spices from the bags they came in to airtight pint-size (or larger) jars with twist-off lids. Label the side of the jar and stack in the cabinet or on a shelf with labels facing forward.

Find more cleaning and organizing tips in What's A Disorganized Person To Do?