Sorting The Spice Drawer

Our kitchen has been in need of a bit of organizing TLC for a while, so today – in the first of what should be a few kitchen organisation posts – I’m showing off my new spice jar storage.

This was my second attempt at better sorting my spices. Originally, they were all thrown in a drawer, in mismatched bottles and jars, and it was a right royal mess (I don’t have a photo, but I’m sure you can picture it). Then I stumbled on these little beauties at Ikea…
{Rationell Variera insert for spice jars, $3.99}

The most obvious choice to fill the drawer inserts were these little jars, and they were the right price at $1.50 each…

{Droppar Spice Jar, $2.99/2 pack}
I was so excited to have it organized (no picture again, sorry), I did a little dance. Sadly, it didn’t last long. The Droppar jars are proper rubbish. The tops don’t screw on, which might be fine if they were upright all the time. Laying on the spice jar insert though, they came loose and I ended up with a drawer peppered with spices. (See what I did there?)

They were also too small, so I couldn’t decant full jars and ended up with extras. It had all gone Pete Tong, and my drawer ended up looking like this (you might not be able to appreciate the mess entirely, but I assure you it was pants)…

I looked for alternative jars to fit the inserts with no luck- mainly because I still didn’t want to spend a lot. Then I found these at the Container Store…
{Quattro Sagioni Spice Jar, $1.49}
Pretty, dishwasher safe, cheap and, at 6oz, big enough to hold the contents of pretty much any store-bought spice jar. No, they don’t fit in the spice drawer insert, but when I popped them in the drawer, I could actually fit 14 of these babies into less space than I could fit 10 jars Ikea-style. Even with everything back in the drawer, there was extra space!
After that, my little jars just needed labeling. I almost went with these free printable ones from Martha Stewart (download the PDF here):

But I don’t have a color printer, and it would have been a faff to get them printed elsewhere. I still had some chalk board paint left over from my chalk board frame, though, so I decided to give all the lids a little makeover. First, they all got a couple of coats of Zinsser Bull’s Eye 123 Primer.

Side note – I might have been able to get away with just one coat of primer, had I not left my newly-painted lids outside to dry and run out to the shop. When I left home, it was sunny and gorgeous. When I pulled into the Target car park, it looked like this:
Gah. Despite a soaking, the primer did okay, but I thought a second coat after that was probably a safe bet. I followed it (on a drier day) with a couple of coats of Rustoleum chalk board paint…
I wanted to be able to write cleanly on the new lids, and regular chalk just wasn’t going to cut it, so I ordered a chalk pen from Amazon and used that to label each one.
While I was at it, I decided to find a new home for the cling wrap, aluminium foil and freezer bags. Now they’re living in a magazine file in one of the lower cabinets instead.

As a result, we went from a big mess, to this:

Then this:
And finally this:
I’d like the Ziplock bags to be prettier (ideas, anyone?), but still, it’s so much better – there’s even room for the butter dish in that drawer now (hooray for more counter space). Did I mention that sorting makes me happy? šŸ™‚


  1. November 7, 2011 / 12:58 pm

    Those are some awesome ideas! Our spices are organized too (spice loft/glass jars – we have tons). I love the magazine holder for the bags and wraps though! Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. November 12, 2011 / 8:41 pm

    Your spice jars look great! I'd like a nicer way to store my ziplock bags etc too. Will be on the lookout šŸ˜‰

  3. November 13, 2011 / 10:13 pm

    First time visiting, and throwing my two cents worth about the boxes, I use a holder that attaches to the inside panel of the cabinet-leaves even more room in the drawer, and I'm sure there might be one out there that you won't have to screw/nail into the wood if that is a concern to you! Hope it helps!

  4. November 17, 2011 / 10:46 am

    Thanks so very much for joining in with my Pinning and Singing Pinterest Party and linking up this great post! Your inspiration ideas were all fabulous but I think your end-product is the best of them all!

    I know there are a lot of linkies out there so I am really grateful for your support and bloggy friendship!

    Best wishes,

  5. November 17, 2011 / 8:05 pm

    Forever Christmas – I will have to keep an eye out for something like that – sounds great! Where did you find yours?

  6. July 29, 2012 / 4:05 pm

    Ahhhh! LOVE the labels. I have yet to transfer spices to cute jars. So well done. Thanks for joining the party!