When was the last time you took a good look at your spice rack, cabinet, or carousel? I bet it has been quite a while. Taking just 5 minutes now can save you many times that later on while you're cooking - no more stopping everything to search frantically for the asafoetida!
How to organize your spices in 5 minutes
1. Gather all of your spices in one place.
The first step in organizing anything is to get the full, real-life picture of what you have. Take out all your spices from wherever they have been hiding, and set them out on a big, clear surface like your kitchen island or dining room table.
2. Throw out anything that is old, expired, or just plain icky.
Spices can go bad too - they are food, after all! Chowhound.com recommends keeping whole spices for 3 years, and ground spices for 1 year. After that, spices can lose their flavor and make your food taste like you added sawdust instead of cinnamon.
3. Get real about what you use.
Do you really ever use that asafoetida? Or did you just buy it for one recipe, and hated it? Get rid of it! Please, don't fall into the trap of keeping stuff because "I spent good money on it." What is it adding to your life now? Nothing? Time to say goodbye. You can use that space for something you really love instead.
4. Put everything back where it belongs.
And by "where it belongs," I mean "where it makes the most sense for how you use it." For spices, they should be accessible from the stove since that's where you use them the most. But not too close - to keep them freshest longest, they should be away from light, heat, and air. That means airtight containers in a cupboard, a drawer, or even the fridge. Take a minute to think about how and where you use spices in your everyday life, and then store them in a way that makes sense for you.
You have organized your spices - nice job. Now get cooking!
Don't think you have time to get organized? Do you have 5 minutes? If you take it one small area at a time, and spend just 5 minutes on it, you can get organized!