How To Organise Your Herbs And Spices In A Spice Drawer
I LOVE using a spice drawer to organise all my herbs and spices! I find it makes it easy to access what I need when cooking and they don’t take as much space when you have a small kitchen, like I do.
However I had been storing my herbs and spices in a drawer in the kitchen for so many years, that I didn’t notice how grotty and disorganised the spice drawer had become. My storage containers were mismatched which limited what I could fit in the drawer. Some of the jar lids had started to rust. Some spices were kept in the original packaging because of lack of room.
Ok, it really was time to declutter and organise the spice drawer!
Step 1. Choose Your Storage Jars
I cook with spices a lot! So I knew I wanted the biggest size jars I could fit in the drawer I had. I also worked out, from looking at what I use regularly, that I needed to fit approximately 20 spice jars.
Here’s My List Of Spices (the ones I use regularly):
- Ground Cumin
- Cumin Seeds
- Fenugreek Seeds
- Ground Coriander
- Green Cardamon Pods
- Black Cardamon Pods
- Ground Cinnamon
- Cinnamon Bark
- Whole Cloves
- Bay Leaves
- Crushed Chilli
- Whole Peppercorns
- Turmeric powder
- Black Mustard Seeds
- Mixed Spice
In the end I went with these 500ml glass jars with a tin chalkboard style lid from Kmart Australia. I love the large size. Only $2 each! Woohoo!!
What I like about these storage jars?
- Each jar has its own chalkboard lid so no need to stick labels on them.
- They also came with a cute, easy-to-write with chalk pencil.
- The large 500mL size is really useful when, like me, you buy your spices in larger quantities.
- They fit in my spice drawer, with room space to open and close the drawer easily
To achieve a similar look with plain glass jars, you could buy a set of blank or printed chalk board labels. Then attach the label to the top of your spice container to write the name of the contents on.
But what is with the lids of these jars though?
OK, I know the lids come as two pieces, the silver tin part and the inner round chalk board part, as a takeoff of mason jar lids. However I found that annoying because I use my lids to measure out the amount of spice I am adding to my curries. Who has time to use a measuring spoon?
My quick solution was to glue the middle bit to the outside of the lid, which it sits on anyway with a clear PVA glue. I left the lids for a couple of days to make sure the glue was completely dry before putting the spices in them.
When Choosing Your Own Spice Storage Containers Consider:
- The height of your drawer.
- How many containers will you need to organise your spices. Obviously, the more spices you need to store,
- Whether you prefer glass or food grade plastic storage containers.
Step 2. Declutter Your Herbs And Spices
Organising your spice drawer is a good opportunity to declutter your spices.
- Empty The Space – Take everything out of the drawer… current jars or plastic containers, packets of spices etc. Then wipe down the space. Spices such as tumeric powder, seem to always leave a mess behind!
- Discard – Even though I use my herbs and spices regularly I still had a few spices that needed to be discarded. They were simply too old and had lost their flavour and aroma. Check best before dates or do the smell test (see below).
- Store – Take all your herbs and spices out of their existing containers or original plastic packaging and put into your new storage jars. One for each type of spice or herb.
SPICE TIP – The easiest way to check whether a spice or herb is too old, is the smell test. If it has very little or no smell, then it very likely has very little or no flavour left either.
Step 3. Label
Depending how often you use your spices and how many you have too, you may want to label your new spice jars as you go. It would be a pain to get to the end of this home organising project and have to work out what spice is what. For example, whether a particular jar contains nutmeg, cinnamon or mixed spice.
I used the cute chalk pencil, that came with my jars, to write the contents on top of the blackboard lids. See my list of herbs and spices I regularly use under Step 1.
Here Are Some Gorgeous Etsy Spice Jar Labels Already Done For You:
Choose between printed labels which get posted out to you or a digital download which comes as a PDF for you to print out yourself.
Now You Have An Organised Spice Drawer!
Put a new liner in your spice drawer if you need to and put back the contents, now in their new storage containers. A great idea is to keep the spices you use most regularly at the front of your drawer and those you use less often at the back. Or you could arrange them in alphabetical order for easy reference!
I love how the spice drawer turned out! It looks so much neater and just functions better too. No more spices in lots of different packets and storage containers. Everything is air tight! I can’t believe how much more I can fit in the drawer even with larger size jars.