a change of seasonings

When we did our kitchen remodel we had a spice rack built. We bought a bunch of empty spice jars and started buying spices in bulk from the good folks at Penzey’s. Having the spice rack has worked out really well, and I love it.

Managing the bulk spices has been more of a challenge. I initially bought a pair of metal dividers and put the bags of spices on those. But that ended up being something of a mess. I had trouble finding what I needed, even though I was labeling the ends of the bags with a sharpie.

I eventually gave up on the dividers and put them in the garage, planning to give them to Hope Services, a non-profit like Goodwill that picks up used items.

I put everything directly on the shelf, trying to keep the bags somewhat organized, with not the greatest of results. It probably wasn’t worse, but it certainly wasn’t any better.

It’s a good thing that I didn’t give those dividers to Hope. I was looking at the jumble one day and I had a thought. What if I labeled the spices more clearly with file folder labels, alphabetized them, and didn’t try to cram everything in there, but put the less frequently used spices up on the next shelf?

That’s what I did a week ago Sunday. I like the result. I think this is going to work.

getting organized

Terry and I use a lot of spices in our cooking. We love our spices, so when we did our kitchen remodel one of the items on the top of the list was a built-in spice rack. It came out exactly the way we wanted, and it gets lots of regular use, as you can imagine.

Yet for all those spices in our built-in rack, we still have a lot of overflow in the kitchen cabinet. A lot of that is small jars, thanks in large part to the samples we get with virtually every order from Penzeys Spices. The lack of organization has been mildly annoying ever since our kitchen remodel, and last weekend I decided to do something about it.

I thought I would just get a lazy Susan, but Terry told me that there was a spice rack that had pull-out drawers which looked like it would organize things very nicely. We looked it up on the Bed Bath & Beyond Web site and it was right there: the Spice Stack. I went over to our local BBY (as we call it) and they had them in stock. In comparing it with the other spice racks in the store, it looked to me like the right item for the job. I brought it home and in no time I had made order out of chaos.

I love it when a simple solution provides so much benefit.