This week’s guest participating in the ‘How I Organize’ series is the lovely Shauna of Satori Design for Living who takes a holistic approach to design and organization in helping others beautifully transform their homes. She gives us a peek inside her kitchen and shares with us how she organizes her spices:
I have always loved using spices in cooking, but it usually meant searching through a basket of miss-matched packages, jars and tins to find the one I was looking for. Quite often I’d end up buying multiples of the same spice because it was buried at the bottom of a disorganized mess. I also never kept track of how long I had a particular spice and knew that in order to get the most flavor, whole spices should only be kept for three years and ground spices for just a year. (When a spice is ground, it releases the oils responsible for its flavor and aroma. As the oils dissipate, the spice becomes less pungent.)
To start with, I took stock of all the spices I had and weeded out the ones I never really use. I then bought small jars from the Dollar Store to transfer the spices into. It’s always much better to keep items the same to prevent an area from looking cluttered. I used small jars for most of the spices and larger ones for spices we use in greater quantities. I then found labels from the Martha Stewart line at Staples, printed the spice names using the computer and affixed them to the jars. Next, I applied a clear protective film over the labels to keep them looking new. On the bottom of the jar I affixed a small label and wrote the month and year the spice was put into the jar.
Currently I keep the spices on simple white trays on a shelf in my pantry closest to the stove. I store them alphabetically, with spices used more often at the front. This new system looks visually appealing and makes finding spices a breeze. I like the fact that I’m doing something good for the environment by purchasing small packets of spices (that can be recycled) to refill the jars. I also feel confident that dishes will be flavorful because of the freshness of the spices I use.