The other night I was making tacos for dinner. I usually don't buy the packets of taco seasoning because I make my own that has less sodium and helps use up all those spices in the cupboard that I paid a whole lot for without spending an extra $1.50 on a packet of something I already have.
Unfortunately, I was a little short of cumin, the essential Mexican food spice, while I compiled the mix I found here.
Also, for a "quick" dinner, it took seemingly forever for me to locate all the spices on my rack. Sometimes I wondered if I even had the spice in question. I have a lot of spices. Three racks, actually. Here are two of them.
The next day, I decided to do something about it: I made a list of spices.
I opened Google documents from my laptop, which sat on the counter right below my spices, and I typed them all into a spreadsheet. I used Excel so that after I typed them all in, I could sort them into an alphabetized list. If there was a spice that came in two forms (i.e. ground cloves and whole cloves) I put the name of the spice first (i.e. cloves-ground) so they would be next to each other in the list.
I printed it out (I actually cut and pasted the list into a Word doc because if you print from Google docs you get all the lines, etc.) and taped it to the inside of the cabinet door. I probably could have gone a little further and made it very pretty with a cute graphic or something, but I'll save that for another day.
Also, I could have been a real nerd and alphabetized my spaces as they sat on my racks, but that was too much, too.
But now, before I go to the store, I can check my recipe against the list of spices I have so I know if I need to buy a new one, and perhaps more importantly, know if I DO NOT need to buy it. While making the list, I actually discovered that I had multiples of many spices, including 3 nutmegs--and I hate nutmeg! Oh, the irony!
P.S This was actually one of the organizing things I planned to do in January. At least I got around to it!