Organizing your spices can be a daunting task. With so many different flavors and brands, it’s easy to get overwhelmed not knowing where to start. But having an organized spice rack can make all the difference when it comes to making delicious meals in no time! Whether you have a large selection or just the basics, here are some tips for organizing your spices that will help keep your kitchen running smoothly.
Spice organization ideas and tips to keep your kitchen cooking spices in order, up-to-date, and looking pretty!
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SPICE ORGANIZATION IDEAS & TIPS
With the new year, we naturally want to make a fresh start and resolve to make changes in our lives! From diet and lifestyle changes to getting organized in our lives and home, it’s what we do each January! And, it doesn’t happen overnight.
But, we can take small steps in these areas and that’s progress. When we updated our kitchen last year, I didn’t just focus on how the space looked; but also on how it functioned. And, I made some changes. Today, I wanted to share one thing that we did to update our spices, get them organized AND looking pretty!
Before we get to organizing your spice collection, we need to make sure you have spices that are still actually good and will actually give your food the flavor that you’re looking for.
ARE YOUR SPICES OUT OF DATE?
I don’t know about you, but I had not gone through my spices in years. Don’t follow my bad habits and annually assess your spice cabinet and throw out anything that needs to be disposed of.
How long do those dried spices really last anyway?
According to McCormick, “dried seasoning, herbs and spices in jars last 1 – 2 years.” I went through all of my spices last January and threw away any that were outdated! And, I hate to admit that most were!
Of course, the spices I use the most were good, but things that I don’t use as often were many years out of date! Yikes!!! So, I would suggest going through your spices once a year and throw away any that are outdated!
Also, if there are spices that you really don’t use, don’t bother replacing them!
Always check expiration dates and toss out spices that you don’t use often enough.
WAYS TO ORGANIZE THOSE SPICES
Now, get those spices organized! There are so many ways to do this! There are spice racks that elevate the spices on different levels so it’s easier to see them all and you have easy access to a variety of your spice containers in a small area. You could also use a lazy susan, wall storage, drawer storage, cabinet door storage and more! And, I can’t tell you what is best for you!
You need to evaluate your own kitchen space and decide what would work best for you!
I don’t have a lot of kitchen counter space, and don’t like a lot of clutter on my countertops.
So, I decided against any organization ideas like that. Same goes for wall storage. I just don’t have it available in my small kitchen. If you have small kitchens space like me, you may want to think more on ways to organize the cabinet space rather than laying them out on the counter.
I think drawer spice organizers are fantastic, but I only have three drawers in my entire kitchen! So, giving up one drawer just for spices wasn’t going to happen. I could have gone with an inside cabinet door solution, but instead opted for creating a larger pantry door organizer that would not only store my kitchen cooking spices, but also other cooking foods and supplies.
Here is what we built. It is similar to the built in craft closet storage in my office and I shared those building plans in that post! And, I saw this pantry door organizer built by my friend, Lori from The Stonybrook House and showed it to Mark and we adapted it for our needs. This is a pretty easy building project and Lori is so good and showing that.
Then, I recently saw these acrylic spice shelves that can be added to the inside of a pantry door. So, if you aren’t into DIY, these spice shelves would be a great option for you!
SPICE JARS AND LABELS
I could have simply stopped there, but I took it one step further and gave my spices a cohesive clean look with new glass jars and pretty labels! Here are the jars that I purchased on Amazon! Mine have gold lids, but those are sold out and I’m not sure if they will bring them back.
Then, I purchased these pretty labels from Paper & Pear Labels on Etsy.
After using them for a year now, I have to say that I’m pretty impressed by them! I’ve gotten them wet (I’m not the neatest cook or baker, ha, ha!), but they look as good as they day I purchased them! These labels come in different styles and sizes. I ordered the 1.25″ x 2.25″ White Standard Labels 60 count.
The 60 count gives you most every spice you would ever want. But, you can also get label customization for an additional cost. Once I had all of my spices in their new jars with pretty labels, I wrote the spice purchase date on these white round dot labels and put it on the bottom of each jar.
Looking for more spice rack ideas?
Try a spice rack that is actually a few racks that fold into one storage area. You pull the rack out and down so you can easily see the entire set of spice jars on that level. Then you can return it back to the shelf area and pull out and down the next level if necessary. It’s a clean looking, great way to organize a cabinet of spices.
If you like having all your spices out on the counter for fast access, you can get nice, new plastic containers and print out some custom labels adn then place the on a countertop spice rack. If you’re in the kitchen a lot and use a lot of dried spices, this may be a great option for you.
If you just have a handful of commonly used spices, you may want to consider a tiered spice rack that you can place your most commonly used spices on. You can place this spice storage rack at eye level in a cabinet that is out of direct sunlight which may help some spices last longer. Keeping some in a dark place helps preserve them longer.
Some other options that I saw that were great for small spaces were installing a magnetic spice rack. You can place them on the inside of a cupboard door, similar to what I did. Once you have a magnetic rack up, you can place your own spices in magnetic tins and use a label maker to make your own spice labels.
If you have no cabinet space and don’t want to use your countertops as storage space for your spices, try one of those wall spice racks on a kitchen wall. I find organizing the spice storage containers in alphabetical order is the perfect way to place them, so I know where to find any spice at all times and I know where it belongs when I go to put them away. No looking in different kitchen cabinets or spaces!
Don’t hesitate to use your creative ideas when going through your spices and figuring out the best way to to organize your spices. Hopefully one of these various different ways will help your store spices more efficiently and you can find the perfect solution to your spice bottle clutter.
And, you’ll notice in the photos that I do have some things like sugar sprinkles and Everything Bagel from Trader Joe’s in their original jars. And, that’s okay with me! Because, Function is Key! More than anything, I hope these spice organization tips have inspired you! And, I’d love to hear if you have a unique way that you organize your kitchen cooking spices!