Cherry Hills Village | Englewood, CO
I’m a sucker for spice drawers with consistent jars and labels. I mean, doesn't this drawer just scream grab a glass of wine, turn on some tunes, call some friends, and cook something fabulous?! If so, here are easy steps you can take to create your own beautiful spice drawer. AND, you can do it all for about 100 bucks or less!
Before You Start
It's possible that your herb and spice jars don't currently live in a drawer. If that's the case, and if you have space to move them to a drawer, determine which drawer they will live in.
For this particular client, they had a cabinet where they stored cooking oils, herbs and spices. As you can see below on the left, it was pretty tough to find what they needed. So the first thing I did was lean out this cabinet.
The herbs and spices were moved to a drawer, which I will show you here in a minute, and the oils and vinegars that weren't used regularly were moved to the pantry (shown below). The cooking oils, sprays, and salt and pepper shakers (things they used often) stayed in the cabinet.
Now that the cooking oil cabinet was in tip top shape, and the extra oils and vinegars were relocated to the pantry, time to work on organizing the spice drawer!
Five Steps to Organizing Your Spice Drawer
Step 1: Assess Your Herbs and Spices
Are any of your herb and spice jars empty or expired that need to be replaced? If yes, toss the expired and make a replacement list. Shop accordingly.
Also, how many herbs and spices do you have? You'll need a quantity count for ordering jars in a future step. Be sure to exclude duplicates from your count.
Step 2: Choose Your Drawer, Clean, and Measure
Make sure the drawer you choose is big enough for all your herbs and spices. You can easily test this by laying all of your spices in the drawer side by side in rows. Keep in mind that you will likely gain space when you implement new spice jars because they will be consistent in size and likely smaller than some of your existing jars. Be sure to clean the drawer, and most importantly, MEASURE the drawer. You will need to know your drawer's width, depth and height for the next step.
Step 3: Purchase Your supplies
Be sure to buy products that fit your drawer. The goal is to maximize the space as much as possible (edge to edge), so you want to find a good fit. Here's what you need:
Drawer Liner: this will keep everything from sliding around when you open and close the drawer. Beaded grip liners tend to work the best and are easy to trim. Here are a couple good options from Amazon and The Container Store.
Spice Jar Tray: this keeps your jars in place and also tilts them slightly upright which makes it easier to read the labels. Plus it looks awesome! This is one of my favorite products, but there are many out there. Be sure to buy one that fits your drawer size.
Spice Jars: most come in full sets with jars, lids, labels, and a funnel for transferring all your herbs and spices. There are many jar shapes and sizes available, but I usually opt for a 4"h x 2"w square jar, as they work on most trays that will still allow for the drawer to open and close. And bonus, square jars don't roll (I prefer rounded jars for non-drawer systems).
Pre-Printed Labels: as mentioned above, many spice jar sets come with pre-printed labels, but there are some fun options out there if you're going for a specific look, such as these Lovable Labels. Be sure to check your jar measurements, and order something that's water proof since things tend to get messy when cooking! You want to be able to wipe them down if needed.
Step 4: Prepare Your Herbs and Spices
Once you have your supplies...
Cut your liner to fit your drawer and place it in the drawer
Lay the tray in the drawer to fit the space as much as possible (if expandable)
Apply your labels onto the new jars
Transfer your herbs and spices from the old jars to the new jars
Step 5: Finito!
The last and most gratifying step is to place all your beautiful new herb and spice jars in the drawer! I like to place them alphabetically from left to right so that it's easy to find what you're looking for. This also gives each jar a designated spot, making it easy to put herbs and spices away when you're done cooking. Your drawer will look so good, I promise you'll catch yourself opening the drawer just to stare at it ;)
You will likely have herbs and spices leftover from transferring from the old jars to the new jars, as well as extra labels and jars. Keep your extra supplies together tucked away in the pantry or wherever you keep back stock so that you can add jars and/or refill jars when they run low. This won't happen often (unless you're a Cardamom fiend), but good to have them handy for when you need them!
Good luck! And if you'd rather have someone else do the spicy work for you, just holler.