From the Woodshop

From the Woodshop: Getting Control of “Spicetopia”

My partner John and I enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. As a result we have a large collection of spices in our kitchen. We call our collection of spices “Spicetopia”.

Lots of spices, however the “organization” (= none) of our spices was not working to find the spices we needed in an efficient manner (like under 10 minutes, ha!).

Exhibit A – the state of the cabinet where “Spicetopia” was stored:

Cabinet of Curiosities

John is a woodworker and figured he could come up with a simple solution to organizing the spices but every option we discussed still gave us a cluttered or semi-cluttered cabinet.

Then we thought: what about putting the spices in an entirely different area – in a drawer!

So a couple Fridays ago, we began with purging and consolidating our spices. Why organize stuff that is expired or that we never use?

Yes, we had cocktails while purging spices, it was our wild Friday night!

After seeing what was left to find a new home for in a drawer, we purged one of our kitchen drawers and consolidated our cooking utensils (sorry no photos of this exciting event, ha!).

Then John built drawer organizers which were a series of slopped risers for the spices, out of scrap wood:

Slightly raised and ready to hold some spices!

And here is our new “Spicetopia” drawer:

Oh look, I can now easily find/identify our spices in “Spicetopia”

We put the spices in alphabetical order for even more ease of use! We did get challenged with things like “Cayenne Pepper”, “Black Pepper” and “Red Pepper” – do you file them under “P” for Pepper or their first name?!?!? But we figured out these complex life decisions…

And here is the cabinet without all those spices cluttering it (we also did some purging and organization of the entire cabinet):

Much better!

John and I are weird, we find organizing our kitchen a fun thing to do on a Friday evening!

28 thoughts on “From the Woodshop: Getting Control of “Spicetopia””

  1. Love the drawer. As one who is vertically challenged, only 5 feet tall, it’s a much nicer set up for me. Otherwise I am must pull out the step stool to even look into the cabinet. Fun evening for sure.


  2. That is awesome, and an organised kitchen and pantry helps reduce waste. Don’t know how many times I bought stuff I already had before I tidied up.

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  3. Cocktails and de-cluttering! Now there’s a concept! I admit, I was anxious when you said you had too many spices that needed a place to be put…then greatly relieved when you said you ditched the expired ones first. Too many spices and herbs are left to become impotent (!) thus useless for use in seasoning anything.
    Love the drawer inserts – talk about custom made!


  4. When I need a little lift I reorganize closets or clean out shelves etc. so I understand. And it sounds like fun to me what you did. Looks great. Ingenious idea.


  5. That looks great! I have tried a drawer like yours, using a plastic steps which aren’t nearly as classy as yours. It does help to find the spices. Not all my spices fit, so now I use multiple drawers.


  6. Wow! Your cabinet and Spicetopia drawer look just wonderful! Organized, easy to get to everything, and a nifty woodworking solution played a part! That sounds like a fun Friday night to me too πŸ™‚


  7. You made me think of all the spices we now have in our cupboards that our moms didn’t have. My mother kept her spices in 2 cookie tins. One was savory and pickling spices. The other was for baking spices and flavorings. I sure could not do that today.


  8. There is great satisfaction in creating order from chaos. Am so impressed with our alphabetical system of spices in a drawer. We too store ours in a drawer, but with no risers and no system.
    PS did you put the sweet basil under s or b? πŸ˜‚

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  9. We just went through all this too. I love the drawer idea, but didn’t want to give up any drawer space, so we installed 3 vertical sliding spice holders on the hip level shelf of the pantry. Doesn’t it feel good to get all this stuff organized?

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  10. Two comments, and a Congratulations!! First, my sis has used a spice drawer for years. I just never feel I can sacrifice a drawer, but it is an amazing way to organize a lot of spices! Second, organizing anything with you is always a surprisingly good time! You have so much fun doing it, and it’s easy to have fun with you. Congratulations on your newly organized drawer!

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  11. Haha – you are so funny with “complex life decisions”
    And I like how tugs came out!
    Very organized and great idea
    – when we redid our kitchen recently – we decided to put in tiles in the bottom of the cabinet that holds out spices – just some tan little tiles we had and Tierney – it looks so good and is easy to clean – but it also keeps that cabinet cooler (and for some reason – it was running hot when we would cook or use the air fryer – and so we really like the tile bottom

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