Organizing Your Spices for Moving

Updated: Apr 28, 2019

Moving can be overwhelming, daunting, frightening. Imagine the spice drawer or cabinet filled with ancient leaves and ground powders. Many of these small jars may have been collected from adventures overseas, passed down from relatives or purchased routinely for favorite recipes. Looking at the label of a jar can evoke many memories. Perhaps there is a special memory of the place the spice was purchased. Maybe it is an image of a loved one’s hands wrapped around, shaking the fragrance into a beloved apple pie recipe. These memories may seem benign to some but to others it is another indication of times gone by. I can share so many stories about a move where recipes or notes have been found in the spice cabinet, lovingly written by a hand long since passed. In this article, we will share some hints and tips for sorting through the myriad of spice containers and how to best prepare them for the move.



Sort and Organize

The first step in organizing your spice collection for a move is to discard any outdated or rancid spice containers. If a jar or bottle is particularly pretty or sentimental, clean it out and retain it. You may want to wear a pair of household gloves if your spice collection is rather large and old. Some bottles may be covered with a sticky residue or have a particularly strong smell. Leftover residue can be bothersome and difficult to wash off sometimes.


Group by Brand or Type

When you first begin the sorting process of a large collection of spices, take a moment to look objectively at the whole group. Ask yourself if you want to sort by brand or type. I find it easier to sort by type. Begin by grouping like items together, here are some examples but your process can be personalized to your collection.

· All of the liquid flavorings such as vanilla or mint

· Flavored salts or salts of varying size i.e. coarse, pickling, kosher, fluer du sel

· Pepper i.e. peppercorns, black pepper, white pepper

· Italian style seasonings i.e. basil, oregano, marjoram, bay leaves


Pack up the spices

Gather a few small boxes based on the size of your collection. You will also need paper for wrapping. Tape and a permanent marker. Plastic bottles can be neatly and efficiently packed without further preparation or paper wrap. Glass bottles must be individually wrapped. Use a piece of wrapping paper approximately 4 times the size of the container to be wrapped. Bottles containing liquid that may spill are best prewrapped in a ziplock style bag or wrapped in plastic. You don’t want that bottle of vanilla extract spilling all over the spice box. If the spice containers are smaller, you can make a double layer in the packing box. After the first layer is securely wrapped and tightly packed, lay a folded double piece of wrapping paper down. Begin to wrap and place your spices on the second layer. Seal up the box with packing tape. Clearly label the box fragile if there are glass jars inside.


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