Although I wanted to take absolutely everything out of the cabinet and start over, I only had a couple hours and needed to focus on the task at hand: the spices. Do you see them way up there on the top shelf? That was obviously a problem--no wonder he couldn't see what he had! I took down all the containers and counted them--there were over a hundred spice jars, not including things like extracts and flavorings! Here's a pic of them all spread out (some are even stacked on top of each other):As I started sorting them, I noticed quite a few duplicates. It was rather humorous to me at times. I've never even used allspice, and I think he had three containers of it! Whenever I could, I combined like spices to eliminate extra packaging. I set up a spice shelf near his cooking area and placed what I guessed were his most used spices on the shelf for easy access. After combining spices, if he still had more than two containers of the same spice, I set those jars aside so they wouldn't go back in the cabinet.
Next I grouped things together. He had a lot of flavorings as well as many spice blends for grilling, etc., so a friend and I labeled shoeboxes to contain those groupings accordingly:
I had a lot of fun working on this project, and have plans for dealing with those stacks of dishes in the next month or so. Our friend was quite pleased with the changes, and I hope it's helped him be able to find and use what he needs!
If you're wondering what I did with the remaining spices, I asked my friend if we could have a potluck centered around his "pantry excess." When cleaning out his pantry earlier, I'd come across quite a few staples and mixes that he said he would never use. About eight of us gathered for a very random dinner--each person was given a couple ingredients from the friend's pantry and asked to make a dish containing those items. It was a delicious meal, and a fun way to clear out our friend's shelves and have fellowship at the same time!
Note to real life friends: If you know/recognize the makeover recipient--please don't disclose his name in the comments. Thanks!