I am learning to cook and have bought several spices and have a small kitchen. I need to know the best way to organize them without them looking cluttered. I need help organizing my entire kitchen, too. Ways of making items easily accessible.
Currently I have them alphabetized in 2 rows one behind the other. I have to be careful not to knock other spices over when garbing spices from behind them.
By Nate from Louisville, KY
One trick is to have things readily available in the areas you will use them. For example: spices near the stove (many people put spices on top of the back part of the stove or hang a spice rack on the wall above/behind the stove), small bowls are used infrequently so put them in a cabinet further away from things, same with plates, canned goods (that need cooking) in a lower cabinet close to the stove, canned goods (ready to eat) in a cabinet further away. We have a small kitchen and acquired a Hoosier/pie chest that we put in the hall outside the kitchen; we keep the canned goods in it. (03/15/2010)
I have two methods that work for me. I put them in a shallow drawer that is handy in the kitchen. They are lined up with labels facing me as the drawer is opened. You can keep them in place by wedging something that you don't use very often behind them.
Another idea is to get a turntable carousel for spices at a kitchen accessory store. These are really handy on the counter top and don't take much space. Hope this helps. (Cook for Years) (03/16/2010)
Just remember that small appliances, seldom used items, extra supplies, etc. don't necessarily have to be stored in the kitchen. Any closet, like a coat closet can be used. Anything can be stored under you bed, also. (03/16/2010)
If you have cabinet space near your stove or food-prep area, you can install a spice unit that folds out and down (like miniature pull-down stairs), very handy. If you don't have cabinet space to spare, there's an under-cabinet unit for spices you can affix to one of your upper cabinets. Of course, these will hold only spices in containers that fit the unit, but it's neat, handy, and keeps your counter-space clear. (03/16/2010)
I put my spices/herbs in plastic baskets about 12" X 2" . They are like desk/drawer organizers that you can get at any drugstore for under fifty cents each. You can fit 4-5 jars to a basket. I usually put herbs that go together like cumin powder, chili powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper together in a basket. Then I label the front of the basket. When I am cooking something that needs a Mexican flavor I can simply pull out that basket. No muss, no fuss, and no knocked over jars. Hope this helps.
My house was built in the 60's; back then people didn't have all the appliances and kitchen equipment so I have had to improvise and organize. If you are fortunate enough to have a handy man around, he could make a rack for you. Mine is above the sink and faucet. I also have turntables in the cabinet near the stove. Baking supplies are on the other side of the room where the eating nook once was. I put our large fridge over there (the space designed for one is way too small for modern ones so that space now is another lower cabinet and shelves above) and added upper and lower cabinets. I still have to store stuff elsewhere sometimes.
I am trying to break a long-standing habit of buying a lot of everything. It was how I shopped when I had a large family at home, but I am trying to break the habit now. I also use the ends of cabinets to store utensils, colander, etc. I store cutting boards and plastic cutting sheets between the micro and oven. I also hang potatoes and onions in one of those hanging baskets. (03/16/2010)
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