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How to Select a Spice Rack
Spices are commonplace in most kitchens to aid in the flavoring of food. They come in small containers that take up counter space and can be difficult to sort through. A spice rack helps organize different spices, making the kitchen more manageable and aesthetically pleasing. Joe Provey, author of "1001 Ideas for Kitchen Organization," says choosing the correct spice rack for your kitchen can seem daunting. But with a bit of planning, selecting a spice rack is simple enough
How to Save Space in Kitchen Cabinets
If finding the right-size storage container sets off an avalanche of cascading utensils or removing a dinner plate requires you to lift and and remove the dessert plates first, you know the frustration of kitchen cabinets that simply are not serving their need. Cramming those storage containers into the cabinets, bracing them with your hand and slamming the door shut really isn't an effect way of organizing your cabinets and maximizing space. Here are ways to do it better
Evaluate your current storage practice and use of space. Open the cabinets and take a good look. Do you see piles of items covering the bottom of the shelf with a good 4 to 6 inches or more of empty space above them? Is your dinnerware stacked making it impossible to remove a dinner plate without removing other items first? Have you resorted to using paper plates because you can't deal with the hassle of sorting through dishes to get the one you want? It's time to set priorities, organize and maximize space.
Focus on your everyday items. If these are not easily accessible, you are wasting time and energy on a daily basis just to complete routine tasks. Consider other options for organizing or creating space. Hang cups from hooks above dinnerware to optimize space usage. Purchase, or make, racks for inside the cabinet to store dinner plates, dessert plates, bowls, and mugs so that each is accessible without removing the other first. Plastic-coated wire racks come in a variety of sizes to fit nearly any cupboard space.
Consider purchasing a rack that will allow you to store your dinnerware vertically. Not only will this save space, it will make putting dishes away a breeze, and they will always be at your fingertips.
Purchase stacking storage containers. This way, the space required is only as large as your largest container. Install a storage unit for their covers on the backs of cupboard doors and keep all covers in the same place.
Store spices in a spice rack that is mounted to the wall. Include the spices you use most often in the rack and store other infrequently used spices in a plastic storage container. Organizing several storage containers with spices and baking supplies and stacking them in the cupboard will make cooking easier and save space, too. Label the containers for holiday baking, seasonings for meats and stews, Mexican food or any other collections of spices you may have. This makes retrieval quick and easy while storing spices in a space-saving area.
Hang pots and pans from a rack suspended from the ceiling, if possible, or from a wall rack near the stove. Place commonly used cooking utensils in a large jar, such as a mason jar, within easy reach of the stove.
Spice Storage Ideas
When spice bottles threaten to take over your kitchen drawers or cabinets, an elegant spice storage solution can reduce clutter and complement the design of the room. Look for storage options that use the colors and textures of the spices to enhance the atmosphere of the room and usability of the storage system
For an unexpected spice storage system, use test tubes and a test tube holder. In each tube, put one type of spice and close the top with a cork stopper; write the name of the spice on the top of the cork or label the side of the tube. Place the completed assembly on the counter where it can double as a piece of decor. You can buy a set of tubes that are designed to hold spices at kitchen supply stores, or make your own using a set from a thrift store; clean and dry each test tube thoroughly before filling with spices.
Tins and Shelves
For an enclosed spice storage system that enables easy access to each spice, use tins and shelves. Look for small tins that are approximately 3 or 4 inches across; find tins with twist-on lids so that the spices will be secure in case of a fall. Label each tin on the outside, and place the group on a small shelving unit. You might also use a section of an old card catalog and place one tin in each section, or build a small wooden grid with a space for each tin.
When you are lacking counter space, use the wall for spice storage. Look for a rack that holds small glass cylinders with clear, removable lids. Store the containers with the top of the lid facing out so that the colors and textures of the spices show through. This type of storage is particularly effective in a small space, and the spice rack will double as a piece of art. Use sturdy screws to mount the rack, and and look for a rack that is designed to hold the containers securely in place. For a similar system, you can install heavy-duty magnetic strips on the wall and use them to hold metal containers with clear lids.
If you have limited counter space, use the area under the cabinets to storage spices. Install a simple shelf under the front edge of the cabinet using lightweight wood or metal. Find small containers that will fit in the space, and store them in a single row on the shelf. The spices will be easy to reach when cooking and will add depth and texture to the space.