50 spice tins and counting - How to organize your spices
March 1st, 2010

Do you also have a nagging to-do list in the back of your head? Filled with little projects that you want to approach at some point, but chances are slim you’ll ever get to tackle them? I do. I have. Back in 2008 Melissa had planted a seed in my brain when she composed the spice rack of her dreams and ever since I had found way too many excuses to dodge the effort. The fine art of procrastination. But now I can finally tick this one off!

Last week I finally ordered a huge box of spice tins (these are the ones I ordered) and spend even more time in front of the computer to compose cute labels. They not only show the spice name, they also feature a simple color code (red = general spice, pink = primarily used for baking & sweet things, green = herbs and such, blue = spice mixes), that makes it even easier to identify the spice you’re looking for.

Then I spent one complete evening to go though my huge pantry spice boxes and found many items, that shouldn’t have been there. Mastic that should have been used by 2007, a Moroccan tajine blend that had completely lost any aroma and so on. I made myself comfortable in front of the TV, all spices gathered within reach and watched the winter Olympics while transferring the powders, seeds and herbs to their new containers (freestyle skiing has never smelled better, believe me!). The next morning I moved them to my separate kitchen counter and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome of my little project.

Yet I haven’t banished other spice tins from my kitchen… as long as the new spice (mix) hasn’t gotten a “thumbs up”, I keep it in is original container. Due diligence (and taste) will show whether it becomes a honorable & constant member of my spice cabinet.

And as a little reminder, to ensure you don’t forget about the spices’ “best before date”, simply put a small sticker underneath each tin, noting the date with a pencil (and erase it when refilling the tin). It is so much fun to have all your spices at display – definitely makes you use them much more often!

Note: Because you asked for it, here you can download my labels – without spice names. You can either add the desired spice name by hand (once printed) or add them in Photoshop (before printing).
Download PDF DIN A4 (150 dpi)
Download PDF US letter (150 dpi)

Now tell me:

How do you store your spices?
(me: see above)

Spices you can’t live without right now…
(me: garam masala, cumin seeds, cinnamon)

Spices you try hard to avoid…
(me: cloves)

Most recent spice discovery/addiction…
(me: my own blend for french fries)

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