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What’s Inside: A Surprising Spice Drawer Solution

spice drawer storage by Mimi Giboin

Spice drawer envy hit me me hard for the first time when I visited a friend’s remodeled kitchen in Montclair, New Jersey a few years ago. I remember the moment like it was yesterday: a shaft of sunlight fell on neatly alphabetized jars that lay on a gentle incline (to make it easier to grab the one you needed), with nary a cardamom pod out of place.

This led me on an odyssey to organize my own collection of kitchen spices. After trying storage tins, jars, and custom drawer inserts, I’ve found a surprising solution: watchmaker’s cases.

Photography by Mimi Giboin for Gardenista.

spice drawer storage by Mimi Giboin
Above:  Glass-topped aluminum Watchmaker’s Cases come in hinged aluminum cases; sets of 10, 12, 15, 20, or 40 are available for from $5.40 to $14.90 depending on size from Lee Valley Tools.
 ingenious solution—glass-topped watchmaker’s cases— that helped me impose serenity and order on my jumbled collection of spice jars, bags, and tins.

spice drawer open by Mimi Giboin
Above: On the left, my watchmaker’s cases, organized alphabetically. On the right, two Enamel Trays from Falcon (available in five colors, including gray as shown, for $37 apiece) keep track of workhorses such as salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, as well as bunches of fresh herbs from my garden.
spice drawer containers storage by Mimi Giboin
Above: The watchmaker’s cases, “originally made to store gems,” notes the retailer, fit snugly inside their aluminum cases.
spice drawer storage by Mimi Giboin
Above: My spices are organized alphabetically; in case of any confusion, you can flip over a tin and read a label on the bottom.

N.B.: See more of this spice drawer setup on Gardenista, in Herbs: 9 Favorite Mints for a Cook’s Container Garden.

For more on organizing your spices, see:

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