Mrs. Sell's Blog of Household Management

Storage for spices

I’ve talked before about my jars for storing spices, and I want to do an update showing my new set-up!

Libbey Vibe Spice Jars:

spice drawer savory

My favorite solution for small jars of spices. These can be stored stacked in a cabinet, with labels on the side, or in one layer in a drawer, with labels on the top. I’ve got so many (and my drawers are freakishly short), that now I have two drawers! The above one is for savory spices, and the below one is for sweet.

spice drawer sweet

(Yes, I know that ‘sweet’ and ‘savory’ are relative; I organized mine based on how often I use them for each application. As you can see, I was planning on making pumpkin pie when I arranged the front row.)

Then, we have the ‘shelf-of-things-that-just-don’t-quite-work-in-the-little-spice-jars-for-one-reason-or-another’:

spice cabinet

Here we have the salt and pepper grinders, extracts and food colorings, extras of things that go in the jars, and things I haven’t gotten around to putting in jars yet. I really like the little bamboo step-shelf I got for them; it fits in my freakishly short cabinet perfectly. My only caution is be careful how you take it out of the box; I had to glue mine after I pulled a fragile bamboo piece right off trying to get it out.

And last but not least (at least by volume):

large spice jars

I’ve become seriously dependent on canning jars (that’s a topic for another post), and here is one iteration: most of these are spices that I picked up in fairly large bags at my ethnic grocery in California. I originally had them in larger sizes of the Libbey Vibe jars, but the shape of those jars wasn’t efficient enough for the cabinet space I had. Canning jars come in lots of shapes and sizes, stack well, and you can squeeze a lot into a tiny space. Right now these actually live in a canning jar box on a shelf near by cookbooks because I don’t use them as often. These can also be labeled on the top or on the side, depending on how you store them. (If you look in the top of the first picture, you can see two baby canning jars in the savory spice drawer with the labels on the top.)

My rule of thumb for organizing is that if it’s working right, you should be able to forget about it completely, and these jars work perfectly for that. When I’m cooking, I don’t have to waste any time thinking, ‘Where are my spices?’ or ‘How do I get the lid open?’ I just grab and go.

Now I need to create a similar set-up for my bathroom cleaning supplies…

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2 thoughts on “Storage for spices

  1. bacharis on said:

    I don’t know enough about spices – are they all compatible as far as storing in glass containers, storing in the dark, storing at the same temp?

  2. You’re just supposed to keep them in a cool, dry place away from light. So as long as they’re in a closed cabinet or drawer, I figure glass is fine. Plus, I feel like glass cleans better; I’m always worried that plastic is absorbing/leaching from/into the food.

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