When I was growing up, my mom had all the spices stored in alphabetical order. I have a fond memory of learning how to alphabetize by putting them back in the cabinet.

I tried to do that as a married woman, but my husband liked to have all the frequently used spices in the front. I compromised on this; allspice next to the white pepper is not the situation that led to our ultimate demise.

When you have to pack, you start to think about the stuff you have. Yesterday, I started to box up the non-perishables worth taking.

Let me share my guidelines:

If the spice tastes like nothing, we hope it would not enhance your entrée. Throw it out.

If the spice is packaged in a non-plastic container, such as an ivory canister with a carved logo of Queen Victoria sans the trademark sign, it probably was manufactured too long ago. Throw it out.

If you have anything else that you’ve been keeping and rearranging that’s not working for you, throw it out.

Make room for a fresh start.

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