Conquering the Spice Drawer

Or how a $10 jar of cayenne pepper turned into a $200 spice drawer revamp.

When we moved to the new house, it seemed obviously that the spices were going in a drawer. We had kept them on a shelf in the way that had been passed down by our ancestors. The trick is… The new house has a ton of cabinets, and a relatively small number of shelves. The shelf that was the obvious candidate was taken down, because we were updating appliances.

This brings us to the drawer. I had initially just dumped everything in there. Covid resulted in a lot of additions. Indian spices. Greek Spices. No salt spices. I had to get a handle on it.

I had three sizes sorted alphabetically. Organized. Kinda.

I was at a graduation party the other day. The host had a cool spice drawer organizing insert. I started looking around at a way to take my spice drawer to the next level.

I have about thirty 4 ounce (regular store bought size) or smaller. I have another fifteen Costco sized or larger. I just got a jar of cayenne pepper that is ridiculous. A lifetime supply. It’s so big that I should probably just call this story. I over bought cayenne pepper and now need to over-buy spice drawer organization.

Current System – Three Sizes Sorted Alphabetically

It’s not awesome. Those tiny MCormicks might as well be in the trash.

Next System – Two sizes , alphabetically then Vertical

This is not nearly as bad as I thought. I did run into an early problem. Simply Organic Curry Powder and Garam Masala are about the same width as regular spices, but taller and two of them were breaking up my beautiful, orderly columns right at the start of the alpha sort. I pulled them out. Stored them separate which made the columns work. So now I am standing over here getting ready to do it again including the overly large “regular” jars.

Oh Me of Little Faith

Of course, Simply Organic Curry Powder and Garam Masala fit. You just have to believe it will fit. Have confidence in your systems.

When was the last time you went through your spice drawer?

Take a look. Throw out anything older than four years. We have moved a couple times in the past 10 years. The first time we moved it was Purge City. We didn’t move any food stuff. Look again. Update the ground pepper in your pepper shaker. Or upgrade to a pepper mill. Did you get a spice rack as a wedding gift? How long ago was that? Inherit a spice collection from somebody? Forget about fresh.

Every time I go through the pantry, or the fridge, or the spice drawer, I am surprised by something that has been around too long. The USDA has a for more information. There is also a USDA app called Foodkeeper. Just in case, you want to do a deep dive.

What is next

I am going to bide my time. Amazon has several beautiful things I might try. My main concern is beautiful systems don’t have crazy tons of spices. I don’t want to throw things out for the sake of a system.

Every time you see a lovely staged photo, there is a pile of shit that didn’t fit in the picture stuffed some where. Don’t make yourself crazy.

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