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How to Marie Kondo Your Spice Drawer: What to Keep and What to Toss

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The life-changing magic of seasoning right
marie kondo
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Marie Kondo, author of the bestselling book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” is helping people from all walks of life to reduce clutter and expand happiness. After the debut of her Netflix show in 2019, everyone and their mothers have been trying to keep spaces clean and eliminate excess in the hopes that it’ll improve their lives in all sorts of ways. A little organization can go a long way!

The Netflix show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” shows organizational overhauls of entire homes; but the tidiness guru’s method applies to areas large and small. You may want to reorder your kitchen to spark more joy while cooking, for example. Or you could make a more modest, but important, attempt to Marie Kondo an area of your home you might forget you need to keep clean: your spice drawer. You use your spices nearly every time you cook! Here’s how to keep them looking tidy and uncluttered, using Marie Kondo’s method.

Put spices away

Put spices away
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If your spices are on display in your kitchen or sitting on your counter (even if they’re in a spice rack!), put them away. “A counter is for preparing food, not for storing things,” Kondo writes in her 2014 book. “Shelves and cupboards are usually designed to store seasonings and spices, so put them away where they belong.” Find a designated drawer or cabinet for storing your spices.

Does it spark joy?

Does it spark joy?
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Marie Kondo’s main principle to live by is simple: Ask yourself whether a given item “sparks joy.” If it does, keep it. If it doesn’t, get rid of it. So if there are spices or spice blends in your cabinet that you don’t like, get rid of them. If you don’t enjoy the taste, it probably doesn’t spark joy. Any spice that you are legitimately never going to use is just clutter; Kondo would cut it.

Throw away anything expired

Throw away anything expired
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One of Marie Kondo’s principles is to get rid of any food or drink item that’s past its expiration date. You may not know this, but spices expire. You probably won’t get food poisoning from an expired spice, but the taste of a spice does dull over time. Most spices are considered fresh for about two to three years, depending on the type of spice. Anything you’ve had lying around for longer than that belongs in the trash.

Get rid of duplicates

Get rid of duplicates
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You’re not sure how, but for some reason you ended up with five containers of garlic powder. Will you use them all eventually? Maybe. Should you clutter up your drawer with five separate half-empty containers? Probably not. Marie Kondo advocates for minimalism and practical use of space. Consider transferring the spice to one larger container instead — or simply get rid of duplicate spices.

Neatly label in clear containers

Neatly label in clear containers
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Yes, spices come in free containers when you buy them, but you may want to consider pouring them into a new, neater set of receptacles. Clear containers enable you to easily see what spices you have available — which helps you know when you need to replace empties. Additionally, having some uniformity in the size and shape of your spice containers can help keep things looking orderly.

Give every spice a place

Give every spice a place
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Marie Kondo believes that everything should have a designated spot throughout your home, and the spice drawer is no different. If everything has a place, keeping things clean becomes effortless. It will also add ease to the task of finding the right spice when you need it.

Organize by which you use more often

Organize by which you use more often
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Marie Kondo believes that the things you want to use more often should be placed where you’re more likely to see them. That can mean leaving a blender on the counter if you’re trying to get in the habit of making smoothies or keeping your water filter in plain sight to drink more water. In terms of your spice drawer, it also works for practicality’s sake; the spices you use more often should be the ones you see as soon as you open the drawer. By contrast, put the spices you rarely use at the back. Don’t let that deter you from using them though — it’s good to stray from your usual dinner recipes every now and again. Spice things up with one of these 101 chicken recipes.

Keep things clean

Keep things clean
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A clean kitchen is a happy kitchen. Make sure all your spice containers have caps and are capped when you put them away. Clean up any spillage and ensure things look tidy. Now that you’ve Marie Kondo-ed your spice drawer, it’s time to go further and learn how to Marie Kondo your whole kitchen

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