Are you finding yourself overwhelmed with a messy spice cabinet filled with jars upon jars of ingredients? If so, I highly recommend setting aside time to figure out how to organize spices ASAP!
I love a good organizing project as much as the next mom. But I’m not exaggerating when I say that getting my unruly spice cabinet organized was a HUGE game-changer. Not only does it save me time when I’m cooking, but it also saves me money by preventing me from buying duplicate spices or wasting expired ones.
There are many different options for making your spice cupboard, shelf, or spice rack your own. Even if you have a standard spice rack, the herbs you use will probably be different from your neighbor’s.
I’ve always had a designated cupboard shelf for my spices, but my previous attempts at organizing it were a huge fail because I didn’t have a good plan. This time around, I decided things would be different.
Spoiler alert: it was! Almost 4 years later, and I’m still using this easy method!
As I found, there are a few different ways to organize your spices, depending on what works best for the physical space you have in your kitchen and your cooking style.
In this post, I’ll show you my super simple organizing method from my own kitchen and give you plenty of other ideas that are all budget-friendly and efficient!
How to Organize Spices
Here’s how I finally got my spice situation in order. My “before” for this one wasn’t too bad, But there were too many spices stacked on top of each other. I’d crammed them in so tightly that I couldn’t efficiently find which spice I needed.
Sound familiar to anyone else?
I already had a good location for my spices in the cabinet next to my stove. Since I wanted to keep using this shelf, I knew I had to find a method that would allow me to organize my spices uniformly.
1. Clean out the space entirely
First, I cleared out my cupboard. It’s essential to completely clear out the space you’re planning to organize.
I had spices stored in another cupboard and even more in my pantry area. My pantry is quite a mess, so you won’t be getting any photos of it anytime soon.
I sorted the spices, matching the same types together. I threw out anything expired and combined some jars of duplicates.
My next step was to sort out my favorites—the spices I use frequently and need to get to quickly. They’d stay on the shelf, and the rest would head back to the pantry.
2. Buy uniform jars
Rather than have a random assortment of containers, I decided to splurge on replacing the spice containers with one single type of jar. It made a MASSIVE difference!
I found these jars at Bed Bath and Beyond, but found very similar spice jars on Amazon here. These spice jars are made of sturdy glass and come with a removable shaker disc. Plus, at under $1.40 each, they are definitely budget-friendly.
There are so many other options out there if you prefer a different look. I really like these pretty jars with wooden lids too!
3. Label your stash
From here, it was pretty simple. I found free printable labels and printed out the round spice labels. I chose the blank variety because I wanted to write in the spice names myself.
If you want to save time, use the ones with the spice names already printed on them instead.
I also printed out small rectangular labels for the spice jars themselves.
I didn’t have any matching label stickers at the time. So, I decided to print on regular computer paper, cut them out carefully, and use standard tape to attach the labels to the top of each spice jar.
You can save a lot of time by using the label stickers or purchasing pre-made spice jar labels, but if you can’t find them or don’t want to spend the money, you can try my cheap method, too.
4. Fill up your jars
After I attached all the labels, I filled the jars with the spices. Any extra spices (I like to buy larger quantities for a few I frequently use, like minced onion, basil, and cinnamon) went into my storage pantry in a labeled bin.
5. Put back all the spice jars
Finally, I put all the spices in my spice cupboard into white plastic bins, which I found at Walmart for $1.
The top round labels are the magic key to this organizing project. Now I can instantly find which spice I want without picking up numerous jars and looking at the front label.
The finished result of tackling my spice cupboard? Success! It’s convenient, easy to keep organized, and it works.
13+ Other Ways to Organize Spices
If this method doesn’t work for you, here are some other ideas that might fit your space and cooking style better.
1. Try a tiered rack in the cabinet
If you have an available cabinet at eye level, using a tiered spice rack might be the perfect solution. It allows you to see every single spice and is very budget-friendly.
2. Use stackable tins
A great way to make the most of limited space is to use the vertical plane. Stackable solutions make this possible. You’ll follow the steps in my tutorial above; just use tins instead of the bottles.
It’s quite a useful solution if you need to stack the spices on your kitchen counter. You could choose a classic stainless-steel tin or something a little more fun to match your decor.
3. Arrange spices with drawer inserts
Maybe you have a spice drawer rather than a spice rack, and that’s just as simple. If you visit Ikea, you’ll find rounded inserts that will hold the spice bottles snugly. The dividers keep the spices separate and ensure the bottles won’t roll around in the drawer.
4. Use mini-mason jars
Mini-mason jars provide a cute and quick solution if you can’t print out labels. Simply remove the inner lid, and apply a layer of chalk paint in a color that matches your décor. Set it aside and allow it to dry. Then apply a second and, if necessary, a third coat.
Once you’ve let the paint dry, write the name of the spice on the lid with a Sharpie.
5. Hone the power of magnetism
The space directly inside our cabinet doors most often goes to waste. We tend to push items further into a cupboard so they don’t fall out when we open the door. Make use of this space by adhering a magnetic strip to the inside surface.
Take metal canisters and transfer your spices into them. Label the lids so you can see what is in each container. The bottom will click into place, thanks to the magnetic pull of the strip.
You can also purchase a magnetic spice rack that mounts directly to the side of your refrigerator. This is an easy option when you’ve got limited space.
6. Use the space underneath your cabinet
There are two ways to use the bottom underneath the cabinet. The easiest is to use a magnetic strip to hold the jars in place. A second option is to install several cup hooks. Tie a string around the mouth of the pots and hang them under the cabinet.
With these methods, you’ll need to place the labels on the front of the bottles so that you can see what spice you’re reaching for.
7. Make fine cooking a science
You can easily find small test tube sets with holders. Make sure to look for the ones with stoppers. Then mount the holder on the wall, label your test tubes, and fill them.
8. Try a rotating spice rack or Lazy Susan
This option is perfect if you have a small kitchen with limited space.
You can either keep this on your counter, place it in your pantry, or store it in a kitchen cabinet that’s at eye level.
9. Use your available counter space
If you have limited cabinet or pantry space, consider using your available counter space to display your spices. You can use a metal tiered spice rack to save space and make it easier to reach all of your spices. I also really like this pretty wooden tiered rack too.
You can also use a decorative tray or even a cake stand to display your spices in an aesthetically pleasing way.
10. Wall-mount a spice rack
You can also use a wall-mounted spice rack if you have wall space available and want to keep your counter clutter-free.
11. Utilize a floating shelf
Another option is to use a floating shelf on a kitchen wall to store your spice jars. This keeps them within easy reach. The downfall here is you’ll need to make sure the jars are well organized and neat looking, so it creates a visually appealing display rather than a chaotic one!
For a floating shelf, I’d recommend splurging in pretty yet minimalistic jars like these.
12. Install a pull-out rack inside a cabinet
For a more hidden and organized storage solution, consider installing a pull-out spice rack inside one of your cabinets. This allows you to utilize the space without taking up any additional counter or wall space.
13. Purchase a custom spice organizer
If you have some extra cash to spend, there are also custom in-cabinet spice organizers available that can be installed for a sleek and efficient solution. This is a great option if you have a large spice collection or can’t figure out how to organize spices in an odd cabinet layout.
Alternatively, if you have tall drawers, you can also order custom spice drawer organizers–I absolutely love this idea!
Three Methods for Sorting Your Spices
Now that we’ve explored some creative ways to tackle how to organize spices, let’s discuss three different methods for sorting and ordering them.
The most straightforward method is to sort your spices alphabetically. This makes it easy to find what you need at a glance, especially if you have a larger collection of spices.
You can either arrange them in alphabetical order from left to right on a shelf, or you can use a label maker to print out labels and place them on the lids of your jars. This makes it even easier to find what you need.
2. By cuisine type
Another popular method is sorting spices by cuisine type or region. If you frequently cook dishes from different cuisines, this might make a lot of sense!
For example, keep all of your Italian herbs and spices together, then have a separate section for Indian spices, and so on.
3. By color
If you love organizing and want a more complex method with visual appeal, why not throw color coding into the mix? Use different label or lid colors to separate the flavors.
You could use green for herbs, red for fiery spices, and brown for earthy flavors. Go nuts or stick to something simple; it’s up to you to decide!
4. By frequency of use
Finally, you can also sort your spices by the frequency with which you use them. This means placing your most commonly used spices front and center, while less frequently used ones are stored towards the back or on a high shelf.
So, there you have it! Over a dozen ways to figure out how to organize spices once and for all!
As you have seen, there are many different ways to organize your spices depending on your space, budget, and personal preference. With a little creativity and effort, you can transform your cluttered spice cupboard into an organized and functional part of your kitchen.
Dare I say it makes me love cooking dinner recipes even more? 😉
So say goodbye to digging through piles of spices, and hello to a more efficient cooking experience!
More Organizing Posts to Read
- 5 Simple Steps for Organizing Clothes in Your Closet
- Tips for Organizing Small Kitchen Drawers
- 3 Simple Steps for Organizing Paperwork
- Organizing Kids’ Craft Supplies
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