Spice Cupboard Inspiration

Alys, who is a dear blogging friend at Gardening Nirvana, is good at organizing stuff – in fact that is her job, organizing people. So when she asked in a recent post about where we need help with organizational matters, I immediately thought of my spice cupboard… and the large tupperware container of herbs in another cupboard taking up much needed space in my small kitchen.

My spice cupboard is one of those shallow ones above the stove. Not ideal in terms of “keep your herbs and spices cool and dry”, but what else can I put in there?! Here it is after being emptied…


(The panel at the bottom is missing due to the dormouse… a long story you can read about here.)

Alys is such a treasure – she immediately put her thinking cap on and produced a great post all about organizing herbs and spices. I was inspired!

So, step one is “gather and review”… what chaos!


The “consolidate” and “purge” steps came next: I had to be rigorous and throw out things I really never use or that are way too old. But I also discovered some curry spices I had forgotten about, and some fresh cardamon… mmm, that smells so good. My favourite! Do you have a favourite spice?

(The cardamon inspired a cake last weekend and I shall share the recipe with you very soon.)

As I already had quite a few metal jars which are stackable I decided to invest in some new ones to match. A good decision I think… Here is what it now looks like, after a couple of hours of cleaning old jars, re-labelling and organizing:


Ahhh, that’s better.

Thanks Alys!


For all you gardeners out there, Alys also did a very useful post on how to organize your gardening tools.

If you have any organizing challenges Alys would love to help, so go and visit her at “Gardening Nirvana“. 😀

23 thoughts on “Spice Cupboard Inspiration

  1. Cathy, my spices and herbs are currently in an old tupperware long box, this looks very organised and the metal containers much better at keeping herbs fresh. I’ve just followed the link on how to organise gardening tools, very helpful too.

  2. Cathy, you are a delight! Congratulations for diving in and bringing beautiful order and functionality to your herbs and spices. I love the little tins you’ve used. I remember when all herbs and spices were sold in tins. I wonder why that stopped, at least here? They’re mostly glass or plastic containers these days, and some even come in cello wrapper. Once open, what a mess.

    Thanks for the ping backs. You put a great big smile on my face. xox

    • I always think it is odd selling herbs in glass or plastic, as they are supposed to be kept cool, dry and “dark”! Thank you again for motivating me to get it done. I do feel better now and whenever I open those cuopboard doors I shall think of you! 🙂

      • That is so sweet.

        I never thought about the fact that herbs should be in a dark environment. That I didn’t know. They always came in tins in my mother’s day, but perhaps that is now too expensive. I’ll have to research the subject, as now you’ve got me curious.

  3. Spices are difficult to organise and you’ve done a great job. Look forward to the caradmon cake, I have discovered I have rather a lot of cardamons due to the fact that they are impossible to buy here so I tend to buy some every time I go back to the UK. A cake flavoured with some sounds a great idea. BTW I made a cake with fresh strawberries roughly based on your cupcake recipe but the fruit all sank to the bottom, any ideas how to stop that; I thought afterwards about drying to dry them slightly first, either in a very low oven or I have a dehumidifyer.

    • I visit a spice stand at local markets. The owner comes from the region and shops around for the best supplies. He even dries and grinds some of them himself and the cardamon he finds is first-class. I usually buy it already ground, but in small sealed bags so it stays fresh. As to your strawberry cake, I know the problem with fresh fruit and berries in cakes. Sometimes coating them with a little flour from your recipe helps, and they should be completely dry, but I don’t think I would dry them in the oven first. I find another good solution is using frozen fruit. It always works when I make blueberry cakes. 🙂

  4. Delighted to see a lovely tin of Colman’s on the shelf. I’m sure the new system will inspire lots of lovely spice laden recipes.
    I have a spice cupboard which holds small containers, but as we have to buy so many of our spices in bulk (preferably whole for grinding) I have a serious storage problem. 1kg of star anise or coriander requires a big jar!

    • I wouldn’t be without my Colman’s! (It has to be imported though, along with teabags and Marmite!)
      I once visited a wonderful herb and spice shop somewhere in the south of France, and everything was in large enamelled tins on high shelves, like an old-fashioned chemist’s… can’t remember where it was now. Those tins would be ideal, but you’d need a spice pantry as opposed to a cupboard! 😉

  5. What a transformation, Cathy! You will smile every time you reach for a spice from now on! We love to use curry. Cinnamon will always be one of my favorites, too. I must visit Alys to see how she organizes her garden tools. Wishing you happy days in the kitchen and garden! ♡

  6. I will have to check out her blog…I have a whole cabinet and with all the space it was unorganized…this winter I purged and organized like spices….I love so many dried spices but especially oregano.

    • I also like oregano Donna, and use the wild oregano (marjoram) a lot. It’s good to get organized and I am glad I have got this job done!

  7. Oh all looking nice and neat Cathy. My herbs are all in a cupboard near the oven too. Disaster today though – stewed apples and I reached for the cinnamon jar. It was empty!

  8. Pingback: Gooey Chocolate and Cardamon Cake | Words and Herbs

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