I don’t have $20,000 to replace my kitchen cabinets but I wanted a spice drawer. I want a lot of things actually. And I’ve been finding a way to get many of them, including a spice drawer for less than $15. Can I tell you how people’s eyes light up when I tell them I just got a spice drawer? It’s like I won the lottery, a very small one, but still….
Though there are all sorts of retrofit cabinet options for folks who want a more organized kitchen, most of them don’t even fit the dimensions of my cabinets. My drawers don’t pull out all the way. Drilling even small screw holes into them is asking for trouble.
But I wanted to stop walking the almost 20 feet from the counter where I prep food into the pantry where the spice racks hung on the wall. The ugly yellow laminate that has been on my counters since the house was built in 1975, oh so inconveniently run all the wall up the wall to the hanging cabinets. Hanging the spice racks on the kitchen walls wouldn’t work.
Putting spice racks on the inside of the cabinet door, a great option for some folks would mean drilling into 35+ year old fake wood that might crumble, or not hold the weight, or need wood glue reinforcement and maybe patching and painting.
I didn’t want getting a spice drawer to be hard or expensive. And I didn’t want to have to buy new spice jars and label them so that everything would be uniform to fit into a spice drawer or rack. I wanted to use my spices as they were and not have a whole bunch of baggies of extra spice somewhere because they didn’t fit into my pretty spice bottles. I looked on Amazon, at Lowe’s and Home Depot, at the Container Store, and finally found the perfect spice drawer inserts at IKEA for $3.99. I measured my drawers and figured out I needed three of them, which would give me a couple of inches for the pepper can, the almond extract jar, the cinnamon sticks that weren’t in a jar, etc.
If you decide to do this, don’t forget to measure the length of your drawers to make sure the inserts will fit in. Cutting them to fit would turn this into the hard kitchen project category. I would not recommend it..
So for $11.97 plus tax, I have a spice drawer right next to my stove-top. It’s been life-changing. No, I’m not exaggerating. My old funky 70s kitchen functions better. Cooking is easier and faster. I don’t have to make multiple trips into my pantry, each one of which risks that I will be interrupted by my sweet son needing something or wanting some attention.
I organized the spices in groups likely to be used together: baking spices, peppers, spices for Mexican food, etc. That drawer is one of my favorite parts of the kitchen now.
And it’s just the first drawer. I’m taking that kitchen on one drawer at a time, to get the most that I can from with it, with the money and the space that I have.