Kitchen Tip: A Well Stocked Spice Cabinet

Kitchen Tips & Tricks | 25 comments

I’m going to show you something a little embarrassing here. I hope you understand. Sometimes, despite my best efforts, my kitchen starts to look like this. I really hate it. I can’t find what I need. I don’t know what I have and what I’m out of. And I can’t concentrate with the clutter and disarray.

kitchen organization

Don’t think it’s too bad? Let’s take a closer look. Oh wait. Are those child locks on the cabinets? They sure are. They’re a recent addition to our kitchen. And now every single cabinet in the whole house – and a few drawers too – has a child lock on it. Because Madeline thinks it’s fine and dandy to do things like dump whole bottles of curry powder all over the counter. Or use green food coloring as hand lotion. And no, I am not exaggerating. What’s that bottle of Excedrin doing in the mix?

kitchen cabinet organization

A few weekends ago I went in. I tackled the mess. I took everything out of the cabinet and put it on the counter. Tossed what was old or empty, consolidated what I could, and reorganized. I did an inventory of what’s in the cupboard so I can make a note when something runs out. And here is what it looks like now.

organized spice cabinet

Why did I bother? Because I like my kitchen to run like a well-oiled machine. I like everything to be neat and tidy so that the kitchen does some of the work for me. Holidays are quickly approaching and without an organized spice cabinet it’ll be difficult to get organized with Holiday baking. I made a spice cabinet inventory check-list to help me keep track of what I have and when I’m running low.

holiday spice cabinet

If you’d like the FREE PRINTABLE Spice Cabinet Inventory, you can download it HERE. It works great to have this taped inside the cabinet so it’s right there all the time. There are some items that should be in this check-list, but aren’t because they’re located in the pantry instead. The spice cabinet can only hold so much! (i.e. I have dried cherries here because the bag is small, but the dried cranberries and raisins are in the pantry because the bags are large).

free printable spice cabinet inventory

What are your essential HOLIDAY BAKING SPICES?

Mine would have to be:

  • Whole Cloves
  • Ground Cloves
  • Allspice
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Nutmeg
  • Ground Ginger
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice

If I didn’t have those, I wouldn’t be able to make things like Easy Pumpkin Custard, Muffins That Taste Like Donuts, Cardamom Citrus Coffee Cake, or Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls – all some of our favorite fall recipes!

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1

    Thanks for including the spice list. There is nothing more frustrating than realizing you are out of a needed spice in the middle of cooking/baking. Very handy post as we prepare for the holidays! Have a great day…


  • 2
    Estela @ Weekly Bite - November 09, 2010 @ 7:10 am

    I have the same problem with my spice cabinet. The expandable shelf helps :)

    Thanks for the spice list! I need to stock up on my holiday favorites :)


  • 3
    Nick (Macheesmo) - November 09, 2010 @ 7:16 am

    ohhh… The inventory chart is a fantastic idea!

    And don’t worry about disorganized. That’s how my looks I know!


  • 4
    Lori @ RecipeGirl - November 09, 2010 @ 7:42 am

    Thought you might get a kick out of how I have my spice cabinet organized. It saves a ton of room, and everything is quite easy to see and locate!


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — November 9th, 2010 @ 12:56 PM

      I would love to do that – I remember seeing this post. We will be moving next summer so I don’t want to go to the effort of setting that up here, but next time that would be awesome!

  • 5
    Aggie - November 09, 2010 @ 7:45 am

    LOL…”I went in”…I know that feeling! My spice cabinet has been stressing me out! I need to go in! You may have inspired me!


  • 6
    Holly - November 09, 2010 @ 8:42 am

    This is a task that I definitely need to tackle. My spice cabinet is so disorganized that extra spices are now sitting on the counter. It’s seriously stressing me out as I hate cluttered counters. Thanks for the inspiration.


  • 7
    the blissful baker - November 09, 2010 @ 8:47 am

    i don’t nearly have as many spices, but my cabinets definitely get pretty crazy too. time for some organization!


  • 8
    naomi - November 09, 2010 @ 9:03 am

    Great spread sheet for spice pantry inventory. The Excedrin – too funny!

    I would have to add cayenne and black pepper to your holiday bake list. I know kinda weird but I also make savory cookies that require these two.


  • 9
    Liz - November 09, 2010 @ 10:08 am

    I made a list of everything we had (and how many extras I had stashed away), printed it, put it in a protective sleeve, and tucked it in the inside of the cabinet door. It’s great!


  • 10
    SusieBee at eatlittleeatbig - November 09, 2010 @ 10:48 am

    Ooooh, can you come to my house and tidy my cupboard up? Great inventory list!


  • 11
    Kristi aka FiberFool - November 09, 2010 @ 11:06 am

    Thanks for the inventory sheet. I was just thinking yesterday that it was time to reorg the spice cupboard. You nailed in on holiday spices, though I’d add mace as well since my holidays are incomplete without pepperkakor :-)


  • 12
    SC - November 09, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

    Thanks for the pantry list, made a couple of changes but what a great idea to have hanging just inside the pantry door. Even went to the extreme of putting shelf numbers, might help out the hubby to find things.


  • 13
    Michelle (What's Cooking with Kids) - November 09, 2010 @ 12:48 pm

    I know that some people call people like us anal :-) But I agree with you – when things are organized, they run better. They go more smoothly and we can focus on what is important. It is surprisingly comforting to transform a mess into something neat!


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — November 9th, 2010 @ 12:58 PM

      Check out this comment: this comment – even more organized than me. It would be so easy to find stuff that way.

  • 14
    Kelsey - November 09, 2010 @ 2:52 pm

    We really need to do that. Our spice cabinet is so small we jam it all in.


  • 15
    Nancy-The Sensitive Pantry - November 09, 2010 @ 5:23 pm

    Katie – I have one small cabinet devoted to spices. I posted a list on the door some time ago but it’s now defunct. Since my husband is cooking more the spice cabinet doesn’t stay organized very long…so every now and again I take everything out and put it back the way I like it. Thus, the Excedrin bottle in my cabinet is empty.


  • 16
    Catey - November 09, 2010 @ 6:22 pm

    I totally had to laugh-I told my husband just last night that we needed locks on the spice cabinet! One onion bottle emptied. One garlic bottle emptied, and a (thankfully almost empty) canister of salt. Good times, these toddlers! :)
    And thanks for the list!


  • 17
    Sues - November 09, 2010 @ 8:01 pm

    My spice cabinets often look frightfully similar to yours… it gets scary and I sometimes get lost :) But this spice list is the best idea ever!! I totally need to print it out and start utilizing it :)


  • 18
    Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer - November 10, 2010 @ 7:05 pm

    Yes! Me too! Every time I open my spice cupboard they fall out onto the counter…same with my tea cupboard…


  • 19
    Sidney - November 11, 2010 @ 1:10 am

    What a lovely, well-timed post! Good for you, and thanks so much.


    • Sidney replied: — November 11th, 2010 @ 1:13 AM

      (I keep my rarely used spices,etc., in the freezer.)

      The garlic powder and Lawry’s are in the cupboard!

  • 20
    Mark - November 15, 2010 @ 2:58 pm

    Great post. The well stocked spice cabinet can revamp the life of your food.


  • 21
    marla {family fresh cooking} - November 17, 2010 @ 5:11 am

    This list is well thought out & awesome!


  • 22
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction - November 27, 2010 @ 9:25 pm

    I was scared for a moment… I thought you had taken a picture of MY spice cabinet! I have a bit of a spice problem, and I am constantly buying more and more spices. Right now I can’t get enough of cinnamon and cardamom.


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