How to Minimize Your Spice Cabinet

How to Minimize Your Spice Cabinet

Did you notice that the title of this post didn’t include the word “organize”?  There is a very good reason for this, and that is because I don’t want to help you to organize an endless amount of herbs and spices in your cabinet!  Rather, I would like to share the ease and freedom that comes from paring your spice inventory down to what you really need and use !  Let’s take a look at how to minimize your spice cabinet!

I love to buy and use herbs and spices to use in all of my cooking! 

However, the problem seems to be that after a year or two of neglecting my spice cabinet, it gets to be overloaded and disorganized!  

So much so, that I can’t find anything.

Time to minimize the kitchen stuff!

When my spice cabinet gets to this point, it doesn’t need to be organized

It needs to be gutted!

So, first things first, before we minimize the spice cabinet, let’s completely empty and clean this spice cabinet!

empty cabinet


How to Purge Your Kitchen Spice Cabinet

Take everything out and place it all on your counter.  Then, wipe out your empty spice cabinet thoroughly!  Doesn’t that feel great??

spices sitting on counter top

Oh my goodness, this is embarrassing!

excessive spices sitting on stove

Yes, even more!

What a hot mess of a cabinet!  There really isn’t a good way to organize this many spices, I simply have too many.

The solution to this disaster is to streamline my herbs and spices to what I use on a regular basis.

Like everyone else, over the years I have purchased spices for “one-time recipes”. 

You know what happens…the spice just sits there because you never make that recipe again! 

Or you make it once or twice, but the point remains that you will never use up the entire spice.

two bottles of celery salt

How to Simplify and Minimize Your Spice Cabinet

Then there’s the duplicates.

Ugh, I can’t believe I’m showing you this.  I know I’m not the only one, though.

When you don’t have order, you can’t expect to know what’s in there.  You’re almost guaranteed to buy duplicates!

Let’s get this cabinet under control!

But first things first.

I’m emptying out all of the expired bottles and putting the contents into my compost pile. 

Then I’ll wash up the bottles and try to find a use for them…a few will probably wind up in the recycle bin.

bowl of unused spices


empty spice bottles in sink of soapy water

The most important part of this project is to determine what spices and flavors I truly need to have on hand.  Everyone’s list is going to look a little different, but this is what I came up for my kitchen.

  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Chili powder
  • Salt/Pepper (Red pepper)
  • Bay leaf
  • Turmeric
  • Vanilla
  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Pickling spice
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Allspice
  • Cumin
  • Celery salt

That’s about 23 spices, which encompasses most of what I cook. 

All said and done, they fit very nicely in my cabinet, don’t you think? 

No special organizational “do-hickeys” and no alphabetizing!

Just minimize your spice cabinet and everything falls into place!

minimized spice cabinet


The Minimized Spice Cabinet

Actually, I hope to further reduce this spice list as I continue to add culinary herb and spices to my herb garden

There’s nothing better than fresh herbs to cook with!

But, here’s my commitment to myself…I will not purchase any “one-time” spices in the future.  They are too expensive and not worth it to me.

I love my minimalist spice cabinet!




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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Sarah Tevis

    Yes! Such a helpful post. I have soo many of those one time buys in my cabinet. I also love the idea of throwing the old spices in the compost pile. You’ve inspired me. Thank you!

    1. Kelly

      Hey Sarah, thanks for your comment! Love your website!

  2. Tabi J

    There is a spice rack on Amazon that I saw that I want to get in order to get my spices organized.

    1. Kelly

      Hi Tabi, that’s awesome! Thanks for stopping by!

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