Raise your hand if you're guilty of shoving your groceries into the pantry without even a second thought. Raises hand. Ever since the chief culinary advisor at Serious Eats, J. Kenji López-Alt, told us how to create fridge porn, we here at Hunker have been dying to organize the rest of our kitchen accordingly. Starting with an oft-used, notoriously disordered space — the spice cabinet. Because paprika everywhere is not a good look, we consulted an expert on the subject: Los Angeles-based professional organizer Justin Klosky.
The founder of the lifestyle company O.C.D. Experience mastered the skill of organizing through his own obsessive-compulsive disorder and has since penned the book Organize & Create Discipline: An A-Z Guide to an Organized Existence. The professional organizer's clientele includes celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sharon and Jack Osbourne, among others, which is to say he knows a thing or two about getting — and staying — organized. Ahead, Klosky shares his expert tips on how to organize a spice cabinet in eight simple steps.
Step 1: Declutter
First things first: "Get rid of old and unused spices," says Klosky. As a general rule, ground spices are good for about two to three years and dried herbs for one to three years.
Step 2: Create a System That Works for You
Think about how you work in your kitchen and then create a system to complement it, advises the professional organizer. Whether that means putting your most used spices up front and least used in the back or arranging them alphabetically, whatever works.
Step 3: Purge Duplicates
Don't waste precious space storing duplicates. "If you have two of the same spice, combine them into one container," Klosky says.
Step 4: Ditch the Store-Bought Containers
Consider replacing your spice containers to make them uniform. "Switch from the container the spice came in to ones that can be more easily stacked and stored," offers the pro. "Before picking out new containers, make sure you measure the space accordingly," Klosky adds.
Step 5: Label Your Spices
"Clearly label the lids and container of your spices for easy recognition," instructs Klosky. Get creative like Lisa of Farmhouse on Boone and create hand-lettered spice jars.
Step 6: Make a List
Ensure that you always have oft-used spices on hand by keeping a list. "Make a list of the spices that you always want to have to easily identify when something needs to be replaced," the pro suggests. "You can even use Amazon lists to make reordering a breeze."
Step 7: Keep Your Cabinet Tidy
"Always put the spices you're using back into their specific designated space," advises Klosky. This is an essential step in maintaining organization and skipping this step is how most people fall back into old habits.
Step 8: Swap Your Cabinet for a Drawer
Not a fan of a cabinet or only have limited space? "Consider eliminating the cabinet altogether and use a pull out drawer so it's very simple to see, access, and replace all of your spices," offers Klosky. A lazy Susan could also be an option if you don't have space in a drawer.