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DIY A Spice Drawer The Easy And Affordable Way

Bulk Spices

Photo by Vanessa Greaves

If you buy dried herbs and spices from bulk bins, you know your collection of little goodie bags can turn into a cluttered mess pretty quickly. Here’s a simple, low-cost way to organize your stash for good.

You’ll Need
Empty kitchen drawer
Spice jars
Multi-purpose removable labels
Drawer insert (optional)

  1. Count your herbs and spices to get an idea of how many jars you need.
  2. Measure the inside dimensions of your drawer: length, width, and height.
  3. Shop a kitchen store online or in person to see how many of what size jars you can fit into the drawer. Pro tip: If you can shop in person, make a paper template of your drawer and bring it to the store with you. Line up the jars right on your template. Remember to measure the height.
  4. Label the jars. I used removable labels because they’re super-cheap and I can write what I want on them. You can also spring for printed labels. Put the label on the top or side depending on whether your jars stand up or lie down.
  5. Arrange at will. I alphabetize. You’ll find a system that works best for you.
  6. Optional. Drawer inserts. They keep the jars from moving around when you open and close the drawer, and they can help carve out extra space for scissors, twine, and spices you can’t buy in bulk. (Don’t limit yourself to shopping what’s in the kitchen section; the inserts I found were actually made for holding socks.)

Dried Thyme

Photo by Vanessa Greaves

You May Ask Yourself...

Why store herbs in a kitchen drawer? Dried herbs and spices keep their flavor longer when you store them away from heat, moisture, and direct sunlight. If you do store spices in a cupboard, make sure it’s well away from the stove.

Can I just use a ready-made spice drawer organizer? Sure, if you’ve got the space. But after measuring and calculating, I found that my kitchen drawer was too small for most organizers and, more importantly, I could accommodate many more jars by simply standing them up straight. More spice for me!

Organized Spice Drawer

Photo by Vanessa Greaves

Now that my herbs and spices are better organized, it's easier to know what I have on hand for some of my favorite recipes:

Roasted Curry-Spiced Sweet Potatoes and Cauliflower
Crispy Roasted Chicken
Corn and Cheddar Chowder
Bohemian Roast Pork
Chef John's Braised Red Cabbage
Lola's Chicken Adobo

Cheers for good times in the kitchen!

About Vanessa Greaves

Good food, friends, and fun are always on the menu. Find me as foodelicious on Allrecipes and vanny.gee on Instagram (but only if you don't mind cat pics and cocktails).