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How do you all store your spices and dried herbs? I just stocked up on my bulk spices (a month late, might I add--I was supposed to get around to this before Halloween). I swore up and down that this was the season I would get organized, and here I am, looking at a cabinet full of re-used plastic and glass bottles and jars, Rubbermaid containers, plastic bags--both twist-tied and zippered shut, tins, canning jars and ceramic pots. Is there a better way? I'm going to Ikea on Tuesday--wonder if I can find something there.

asked by betteirene over 6 years ago
13 answers 1080 views
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Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 6 years ago

Amanda posted this about a year ago and there are a bunch of great ideas:

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added over 6 years ago

I have amazing cabinets and countertops in my kitchen (actually my son and daughter-in-law's house, but I'm Queen of the kitchen), but only two (!) drawers. Back then, I showed Amanda's drawers to Jamie, and I took her on the tour of Amanda's kitchen. "In our dreams," was her exact quote.

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added over 6 years ago

In my previous house, I was soooo lucky to have an awesome back room off the kitchen with miles built-in shelving. About ten years ago I'd invested in a bunch of little hinge-lid glass jars from Pier 1 and I finally had room to spread out. It was like something out of a magazine. But they're now temporarily packed in boxes.. sigh..

Short answer: glass jars. :) Or at least matching containers some kind. I feel incredibly disorganized if my spice containers don't all match. Plus the fact that it's more difficult to condense them all into one space (if you need to) if you're working with all different shape and size containers. Tins might be easier to store when not in use; I love my little jars, but sometimes I don't like that I chose a nonstackable container.

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added over 6 years ago

Ikea has some round metal tins; magnet on the bottom with a clear plastic lid. They are the best price I've seen for tins. They come in a 3 pack.

My dad and I built a custom cabinet 2 summers ago for spices, but it hasn't worked the way I wanted. It has plywood sheets that slide out that I was planning to have velcro or magnetic strips to hold some tins. One of these weekends I need to reevaluate the concept and get it working.

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added over 6 years ago

The re-used bottles and jars are an ADVANTAGE! Embrace the lack of uniformity!

I store the stuff I'm using in the pantry in a really motley assortment of jars. I think it's an advantage since I don't have to read labels to grab what I want, I generally recognize the jar/lid. Bulk stuff I store in the freezer and find that helps to keep stuff fresh.

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added over 6 years ago

I have one drawer and one shelf in one of my cabinets where I store spices. I bought the little plastic jars Amanda used (she uses something different now). I keep 80% of them in the drawer, in alphabetical order. It's been a good solution for me.

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added over 6 years ago

Penzeys sells empty jars. It would be too costly for me to switch to a completely uniform containers at this point, but I did buy about 10 empties at Penzeys which I have started using for spices that come in baggies. I use a Sharpie to write on the lid even for pre-bottled spices as I am always looking down at the lids. I have a black sharpie for silver and light colored lids and a silver one for black lids. I have one of these narrow pullout cabinets next to the oven, but it is over-filled and I've spilled over into another cabinet. Chaos seems to return, but I try to keep them in groupings based on flavor profile or use: peppers, salts, baking, savory, Indian, Mexican, Chinese, etc.

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added over 6 years ago

I have a lazy-susan inside a cabinet and I have it stacked with 4 columns of round plastic containers, 4 high. I labeled each container. Really saves space in my tiny kitchen.

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added over 6 years ago

I like the metal tins with clear plastic lids at http://www.specialtybottle...

The same company has glass jars suitable for spices at good prices.

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added over 6 years ago

More a placement suggestion than a storage suggestion, but I made an under-cabinet magnetic spice rack that's ideal for small spaces and cheap to make. An added plus: the spices are visible and easy to identify. We drilled a long metal strip into the bottom of our cabinets, then super-glued tiny, very strong magnets to the metal caps of clear spice jars. The result is an organized, labeled, easy-to-access place for all of our spices to live.

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added over 6 years ago

We have a very low/short but deep drawer nest to the stove that not much could stand up in. (I do stand up the older metal "boxes" along one side of the drawer.) I lay my bottles down in the drawer, so it is easy to see all of the labels. To simplify things, I have the bottles arranged in alphabetical order, for easy finding. Somehow, something always gets put back in the wrong place, and then it snowballs from there. When I start to get frustrated, I have then created a task for some afternoon... putting the bottles back into ABC order.

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added over 6 years ago

When you store spices and herbs, keep in mind that heat and light are enemies. They are so pretty we are tempted to put them out where we can admire them. I did get some of the magnetic containers that I use only for whole spices, and keep them stuck on the refrigerator door.
Wonderful container suggestions here. I observe that container choices and organization plans are personality based . My containers range from ancient reused tins, to baby food jars (I bought a case because I liked the jars, used the carrots in pasta sauce), to plexiglass cubes (set of 12, on racks)... It could be considered chaotic or a joy to behold!

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added over 6 years ago

These are wonderful. They come in different sizes and fit beautifully in a cabinet.


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