Tidy the Store Cupboard Challenge Day 3: Herbs, spices, oils & sauces

Tidy the Store Cupboard Challenge Oct 2019 TidyTheSC Day 3

For Day Three of our new Tidy the Store Cupboard Challenge we’re looking at an area of most kitchens that’s often either underfilled or overloaded and messy. Our collections of herbs, spices, oils and sauces can be amazing for taking basic ingredients and making them far more tasty and interesting – but they tend to need a little help on the organisation front.

Before we get started with the decluttering, have a good think about the things you’re most likely to tend to cook or prepare. In particular thing about what you like to make and eat in the wintery months as we’re about to come up to the colder weather. It could be anything from curry to casserole to Christmas cake.

What do you need to season, spice and sauce your favourite dishes? If it’s missing from your spice rack or cupboard then remember to add it to your shopping list so it’s there for when you need it.

Now, on to the declutter! Here’s the running order:

  • If you haven’t already cleaned your spice rack, counter top or seasoning shelf then move everything off it and give it a wipe.
  • Don’t forget to wipe salt and pepper pots, oil drizzlers, garlic keepers, jars of honey, ketchup bottles and so on.
  • You might also need to check jam pots, mustard and other sauces, salad dressings and mayonnaise etc in the fridge, or frozen herbs etc in the freezer.
  • Now check through the use-by dates on your herbs, spices, curry pastes, stock cubes or granules, cornflour or gravy granules, fresh ingredients such as root ginger,  spreads such as peanut butter or jam, and any oils, vinegars, soy sauce, fish sauce, chilli sauce, and so on.
  • If you use refillable jars like I do, hopefully you’ll be able to remember when you bought the refills. If not, you might have to do a sniff test. This works particularly well if any oils have gone rancid…
  • Throw away things that have definitely gone off.
  • Get organising! Start with the things you use most often – put them in the most convenient, easy to reach spot.
  • Take the rest of your less-used herbs, spices and other seasonings and group them together in a way that works best for you. For example, all herbs together, all spices together, stocks and gravies, and so on. Or split it into everyday meals, curries, and baking. Whatever you prefer.
  • Add dividers, small shelves, jars or boxes if you like, or add some to your shopping list.
  • Do you need to replace any seasonings, or add some new ones? Put those on the list too.

If you don’t have time to do a mini-declutter every day then don’t worry too much. You’ll be able to catch up at the weekend.

We’ll be back tomorrow sorting out a different shelf, so see you then.

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