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A lot of people put some spice racks up in their kitchens and they think that’s the end of it.

But as anyone with cluttered shelves or messy pantries can tell you, there’s a bit more to it than just making sure your spices are on the shelf safely. If your spice rack has been getting out of control lately, or if you are having a hard time finding just the right spice you need, here’s a few tips to keep the spice flowing:

 

Decide on a container size: In most cases of disorganized spice racks, part of the culprit is due to too many containers of different sizes allowing things to get lost or misplaced. Depending on where you get your spices from and how often you use them, you should consider unifying your container sizes. Either keep your spices in the plastic shakers they came in or transfer everything into similarly-sized spice jars to make sure nothing gets left behind.

 

Label everything: Even if it already has a label, try to label it again. If your spice rack makes it easier to view your spices from the top, write the names clearly and plainly on the top of each jar to help you find them easier. Otherwise, get in the habit of putting everything away with the label-side facing you; this will make everything easier to get to and help you remember where they all go when you’re done with them. Speaking of which…

 

Get ordered: A good way to prevent things from getting too out of hand is to determine a place for everything. When you have a second, take all your spices back down and re-order them by how often you use them, what size they are, and (if you’re really feeling adventurous) what type they are. Once this has been established, start putting them back on your spice rack in order of importance and remember to keep them in that order going forward.

 

Keep it spices-only: A lot of people tend to use their spice racks for non-spice things like hot sauces (which don’t actually have to be refrigerated) or garlic cloves. While this can provide convenience, it can be a long-term hassle to clean up and might make things more complicated than it has to be. Try to pare down your spice rack to just be spices to avoid extra clean-up projects later.

 

Throw out what you don’t need: Finally, we all have a tendency to hoard in the kitchen, and space-cramped places like the spice rack can be affected by this just like anything else. When spices start getting low, or if you find yourself not cooking as often with one over the others, don’t be scared to toss it out. It’ll free up space and make things way easier on you going forward.

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