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As a single person living on my own, I never had a great spice storage solution, but I did have a system that worked well enough for me: In one easy-access cabinet, I had the spices I used all the time; in another, I kept the rest of the spices. Salt, pepper, chili flakes, and cinnamon were non-negotiable in the primary storage area. Sometimes, I would find myself using a ton of cumin or paprika and those bottles would migrate over. The other cabinet help things like nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom, mostly baking spices that I would reach for only on special occasions.
It wasn’t perfect, but it worked for me. And then I moved in with my partner, who had his own collection of spices and his own system for organizing them. The consolidation of our kitchens caused us to reassess our spices and our organization system — and to come up with the spice storage solution of my dreams: a spice drawer.
I know spice drawers aren’t anything new, but they are new to me and I was (and still am) astonished by how much joy mine sparks. And all I needed to create this superior spice system was this YouCopia drawer liner, which I bought for $17 on Amazon — oh, and a whole wall of IKEA cabinets.
When we moved in, our kitchen had a shortage of drawer space. We had just two narrow drawers in which to fit all of our utensils and kitchen tools. Even after donating or tossing a few boxes full of gear, we knew we were going to need more drawer space. And even though it’s a rental, we both decided it would be worth it to add an entire wall of SEKTION cabinets. The cabinets themselves cost around $700 for three narrow units, each with three drawers, and we did the installation ourselves.
Our new abundance of drawers meant that I could dedicate an entire drawer to spices. I just needed a way to keep them from rolling around. Enter the YouCopia drawer liner. The 10-foot roll perfectly fit my SEKTION kitchen drawer and comfortably holds 30 bottles of spices.
We do still have a back-up spice storage area for our overflow spices and containers that don’t quite fit in in the grooves. Still, having the spices right beneath our prep space and clearly visible makes me happy every time I reach for the red pepper flakes. Plus, since we don’t have to be so discriminating about which spices get the prime spot, I’m also more likely to try new spices and blends.
Your turn: How do you store your spices?