Friday, January 29, 2010


Whipping a small portion of my life into shape is just about one of the most satisfying things I can think of. Even if all else is chaos, at least I can look at one tiny bit of it that I've managed to control.

This week, I took control of my spices. I whipped 'em right into shape.

I wish I had a "before" picture, but I can sum it up pretty well, I think. One drawer full of big and small McCormick-type bottles and a few packets. One cupboard with a completely overflowing wire basket full of little plastic tubs from the bulk food store. And the other odds and ends stuck in front of my flour and sugar canisters in another cupboard, where I had to whisk them from side to side depending on which canister I needed. I had every size and shape of spice bottle/bag/tub you can think of, and every time I cooked something, I spent 2-3 minutes rummaging through everything in search of whatever I needed.

So I took my problem to a "foodie" forum, and someone suggested Alton Brown's system. I haven't watched his show in ages, but basically he puts everything in little tins and then sticks them to strips of velcro inside his cupboard doors.

And voila!

The bottom cupboard door (first picture) has all my culinary spices. The top cupboard door (second picture) has my baking spices and various spice mixtures. Since I had a little extra room, I went ahead and velcro'ed my extract bottles and my toothpick box, too. Since the flours, sugar, brown sugar, etc are in that cupboard, it's nice to have all the baking stuff together.

I had one or two bottles that had more spice than would fit in the tins, but I just put those back into my original spice drawer, along with things like the popcorn salt and the Mrs. Dash and that kind of thing. So everything has a place, and order has been restored. Now to tackle the bathroom...