Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How to Organise Herbs and Spices- Vegan MoFo Day 3

Ok so technically it's not food, but it's vegan food related.

We have a large amount of spices, we had over 40, is that a vegan thing or just a food obsessed thing? We have a couple less now though because I did a clean out of our pantry and threw the expired ones out.

But our old way of keeping of spices was super disorganised. We had spices in a spinning spice rack, some in jars on our shelves and lots of little open packets in a messy big plastic container which was covered in a mixture of spices that had overflowed into the bottom of the container. Whenever we needed to find one we would either spend a while trying to find it or sometimes end up buying two of the same spice.

I then spent a crazy amount of time online researching other ways to keep spices. I come across this magnetic wall style idea which would be great if we owned our own home or this using a printers tray if I could be bothered getting the right size printers tray and containers. Then we also talked to a few people about how they keep their spices. It's amazing I have friends really when I bore them with such tedious conversations! Anyway, it was eventually my friend's Becs comment about seeing a kikki-k recipe box used for spices that got me onto this idea. I kept the same big plastic container I was using and purchased a-z index cards from office works which I had to cut down a little to fit perfectly. I could have made my own but I'm lazy. I then put all of the loose spices into mini ziplock bags and used a CD marker to write down what each herb was and when it expired on each bag.

And then to continue with my organisation I wrote an alphabetical list of the herbs on top of the container and spinning spice rack so I didn't have to sift through to see where each one was.

The one exception is the smoked paprika because of the picture on the tin.

I then copied Scott and Katrina's idea to organise the rest of my pantry, by writing a list of what is in each cupboard and putting it inside the cupboard door so we no longer need to sift through everything to know where everything is kept.

It's been like this now for a couple of weeks and makes so much easier. The rest of our place is quite messy but as long as we can cook easily I'm happy.

Btw, what do you think of the polaroid look? I was experimenting with this effect from cool tricks n tips but it wasn't quite getting it right and then I noticed that Blog of a Vegematarian had a better polaroid effect on her photos, she told me that she uses Polaroid Project, it adds a cool polaroid camera icon onto your desktop and you simply drag and drop photos, it even takes a little while for the photo to come up and makes the noise like a real polaroid.


  1. I like the organisational ideas you went with. I have some sachets too and they fall through our wall-mounted spice racks, so I might do the box & note cards idea.

    And I think it is such a good idea to have a list of what's in your pantry, I am always doubling up on ingredients, I have to do this.

    And I like the polaroid look!

  2. I love the idea of the spices in the snap lock bags! May have to pinch it...

  3. After spending 30 minutes searching the pantry for paprika, I am now going to have to steal your ideas.

    And I love the polaroid look.

  4. That's lovely! And I guess they will keep better when not so exposed to the light.

  5. Mandee, I really wouldn't have thought of the pantry idea if I wasn't staying with friend and noticed they did it.

    Tanh, if you do I hope it works as well as it does for me.

    Nametaken, I used to do the same thing, sometimes I would just give up and go without or bye the same one.

    Falovi, we keep the container in the pantry away from light for the very reason.

  6. thanks K for the post notion. i've added my system on my blog (locrianrRhapsody) for today. btw, i love the polaroid thing, it's a lot of fun. i must use it sometime soon. :)

  7. I LOVE this idea. It might just be a life changer. I will remember this for when I move!


  8. Love your work K! Organising makes me so happy - especially my pantry (my particular obsession with pantry organisation began when I was sixteen and cleaned 6 garbage bags of expired food out of my mum's pantry, including some stuff that was older than my sister). And I also keep my smoked paprika in its adorable tin - it brings a little bit of joy every time I see it :)

  9. Dn, I love the drawer idea too, such a pity that the drawers in my place are horrible, tiny and not very strong.

    Laura Jill, glad I could help. I hope it helps you keep making those yummy looking dishes on your blog.

    Miss T, it's weird normally I'm disorganised and messy but kitchen organising makes me happy too so I so totally get it.

  10. I have mine in plastic containers, but I have two - one for vaguely western and European herbs and spices (parsely, mustard, pepper, sage), and one for Asian and other spices (jujubes, palm sugar, wasabi powder). I just get the hole box down when I'm cooking.

    That said, I do have mustard seeds and peppercorns all over the bottom of the boxes.

    Your idea looks really cute :)

  11. Love this! My herbs have gotten out of control. Do the flavors not mix through the bags?
    And the pantry list is brilliant! I also buy double ingredients because I can't always see what's in there.

  12. Dawn, no as long as I keep the ziplocks sealed they are fine. I have to admit I have gotten slack with the pantry though, need to do it again.