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Date: 20 January 2014. Spices.

In the continuing Becoming Clutter-Free series on clearing out your dirt dwelling and preparing for life afloat, this week we begin to concentrate on spices and condiments. Examine your collection and anything dusty you can safely assume is landfill material. Get rid of it. Now, as we start the year begin keeping track of what it takes to make the meals you love.

The reason you begin this list now (on a 3x5 card or a piece of paper taped to the inside of your cupboard) is because there are certain spices you might use just once or twice a year.  A list will help ensure you miss nothing critical. For instance, spices like nutmeg  I only use in my pumpkin pie or at Christmas in the eggnog. Just because something is not an every day item doesn't mean I want to forego having it aboard Seaweed.

Of course like me you will probably find a separate storage spot for the seldom used spices -- a place not quite so handy as those you use regularly.  I know I wanted my spices:

  • Accessible

  • Put away

  • Convenient to the stove

  • Away from the hull where heat or humidity could do bad things to the seasonings I prefer.

In that regard I kept my eyes open at the thrift stores for quite some time, looking for just the right thing! Paying retail was not an option. As a budget cruiser the thought of dropping $20 for a spice rack was abhorrent.

There are a lot more uses for my available cash than money reserves allow so I keep a running list of wishes. See the 3x5 Cards article on shopping lists for the wanted (but not enough to pay retail) items aboard Seaweed. Lists help keep me organized.

What I eventually found was a Tupperware plastic cake container without a lid. Turning it on end, I cut out the middle and then screwed the two ends to the inside of my locker under the sink.  Two spice shelves were created for 69 cents plus some stainless screws in a space that otherwise would have been empty.

The top one has my most used spices, along with eye-glasses. Everywhere I sit and need to see I try to have a pair of dollar store specs! You'll note the line of clothes pins under there too no doubt. Those are ancient (from our 40'er) and probably twenty or more years old. They are decent quality though and I use them to pin up sun shades over the windows.

Having items convenient to access means it's easy to put them away when I'm done.
And yes, as a matter of fact, I am obsessive about stowing things properly.

The lower shelf has those items less frequently accessed. There are more spices and condiments tucked into the locker under my sink. Still when you're planning on where to put items like spices, it pays to not narrow your choices to specific spice racks. Pick what works for your situation.

As  matter of fact, you the reader could help me in that regard. I grow sprouts in spice containers and am seeking a way to stow them on edge. I prefer them sideways so more air will circulate. What I've not yet determined is how or where to put my spice jars! On a 23' boat priority is given to where something can be stored and at present my sprouts are still without a permanent storage spot. Please let me know how you've solved the sprout dilemma onboard your boat or in your home.

Thanks and don't forget to keep up with the clutter free life. Don't let Stuff creep back into your home!

I'd love to hear of your progress.
And, are you interested in the this series continuing?


Categories: Becoming Clutter-Free, Galley, Money, Organizing

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