Now for the fun part. We’re going horizontal!
I want you to pick a drawer, one that is close to your stove or wherever you do the most seasoning. That’s going to be your spice drawer. If you absolutely don’t have a drawer available, use this time to arrange them neatly on one shelf. Using a “lazy susan” or a U-shaped spice rack can help keep them all visible. If a shelf is your only option, please still try to keep the spices to a minimum to avoid an avalanche each time you reach for the garlic salt.
If you're going to go along with the spice drawer, choose your drawer, grab a bag and put the drawer’s current contents into the bag. We’ll deal with those items tomorrow. For now, we just want this drawer clean and empty. Once you’ve wiped it down, it’s time to put your spices in there, label up. No more wondering if you have something. No more knocking over 4 spices to get to the one behind them. With them in a drawer, it’s easy to see what you have. You can put them in there alphabetically, by color or whatever suits your fancy.
In the future, as you replace jars, I would recommend buying square ones so they don’t roll around. Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Safeway all have a great selection of organic spices in square jars. You can also begin to reuse your empty square jars. Some stores offer bulk spices, so you can take the empty jars with you and refill them. If you refill them with a different spice, just label them with a Sharpie, chalk marker or a cute sticker. I personally bought a bunch of Trader Joe's inexpensive spices, and as they emptied, I removed the labels and refilled them from a store that offered bulk spices. I use a chalk marker to label them.
If you're on a kick cooking a certain type of food, maybe you'll have a few "rotating" jars. Empty ones that can you You can also refill from the tiny Spicely packs so that there isn't much waste as you move on from Indian cooking to Morroccan.
All done? Time to sit back and enjoy your new spice drawer!
Tomorrow we will sort through the bag of stuff from that drawer.