Kitchn Love Letters

I Can Finally See All My Spices, Thanks to This Brilliant $18 Organizer

published Dec 12, 2022
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Amazon mDesign Kitchen Food Storage Organizer review
Credit: Adriana Velez

I just want my spice collection to make sense. I’ve tried all kinds of spice storage solutions, including the non-solution of a chaotic jumble of bulk-bin baggies squashed into larger canisters (do NOT recommend). But I think I’ve finally figured it out with these tiered shelves by mDesign — it’s also known as a spice stadium, but I’m the one doing the cheering. 

It was my husband who found the tiered shelves. He doesn’t really cook, but he sure does love a well-organized situation. He’s also a big believer in Using All That Vertical Space wherever possible. My spice priority was being able to see what I have without emptying out the entire cabinet. Tiered shelves answer both priorities. 

Before that, I had my spices laying on their sides in rows in a drawer. This is A Thing that genuinely works for a lot of people, but not, apparently, for me. That’s because I’m not fastidious enough to decant all of my spices into bottles that are all the same size and shape. They didn’t fit perfectly in the drawer space either, so they’d shake, rattle, and roll in an uncool way every time we opened the drawer. Worse, even though I thought I was closing the tops tightly, there was always a grimy layer of spice dust underneath the bottles. 

Credit: Adriana Velez

With my spices arranged on the shelves, I can now see almost everything at once. I still sometimes have to move a couple of spices out of the way to pull out something from the very back, but at least I know what’s where. To make things easier, I’ve also been grouping spices I use for frequently-made dishes together, and I keep condiment-type bottles, like furikake and pepper, at the very front.

Another thing I like is that the spice stadium makes use of the vertical space in our cabinet. And I just really like the way it looks. Those bottles seem like eager, happy participants in my kitchen adventures. I open the cabinet door and they’re like, “Pick me, pick me!” It gives me a little serotonin boost. And can’t we all use a little bit of that?

Finally, at under $20, mDesign’s shelves are a whole lot cheaper than some of the other spice stadiums I’ve seen. That’s because they’re made of simple acrylic. Maybe if I had my spices out on the counter, I’d want shelves made of something like wood or bamboo. But I don’t! And anyway, the clear, plastic shelves read as almost invisible. All I see are possibilities.