Ok, I feel like I shouldn’t even have to mention this because it’s just so obvious but you’d be surprised how many houses I have gone in where there are two or three shelves of spices and you wouldn’t have a clue where to start looking for the basil.
I think the reason a lot of people don’t have this small thing organized is the same reason I didn’t have mine organized; I didn’t want to spend the money on a spice rack, and I collected spices one by one so the disorganization snuck up on me.
This disorganization first of creates a lot of wasted space. Second of all there are likely a lot of repeats because you couldn’t find a spice that you thought you had so you bought another, which just adds to the wasted space problem.
A while ago I went on a search for the perfect spice rack. I wanted something that was low lying because I hate having heaps of things on my counter, and I don’t like the look of counter spice racks. I found something that had no spices (I’m a spice snob and you often pay $20 extra for a rack that has spices and they’re usually really bad quality anyway), stickers for labeling, and it spun and best of all fit perfectly in my cupboard. So that brings me to the organization of the whole thing:
1) Take all your spices out of their hiding places and take stock of what you have
2) Combine all the doubles (this will help you determine what you need for storage or how big of a spice rack you’ll need. I was surprised at how many spices I really had!)
3) Get yourself a spice rack or containers to fit your spice bottles in
4) If you got a spice rack pore all the spices into the jars and go label crazy
5) If you’re just putting them in a container make labels for the top of each bottle (so you can do a quick scan for what you are looking for instead of having to pull each bottle out to see what it is)
6) If you have extra spices (doubles) after all this, create a little shoe box and store it (I would suggest somewhere that isn’t prime cupboard space). There’s no point in keeping your doubles up with the rest of your spices, again a space waster.
7) Keep up the system! Just like everything else if you don’t keep it up you’ll go back to the original problem.