How to Organize Your Spices


With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I want to continue along the kitchen theme.  Does the following situation sound familiar?  You are in the middle of a recipe and go to your spices to find the one you need.  You spot it behind several others and try to carefully lift it out, but instead you create a domino effect and end up with spice bottles falling all over your counter.  If you can relate, then read on for some ideas of how to best organize your spices.

Gather – Gather all of your spices.  Sort through them and get rid of any old, expired bottles.  Make a shopping list of any that you need to replace.  Now that you know how many you have, you can plan which space would be the best fit.

Identify the Space – You want to store all of your spices together in one area.  The first step is to determine which cupboard, shelf, etc. will be home to your spices.  When choosing a space, consider frequency.  If you cook with spices several times a week, then pick a space that is easy to get to.

Clean – Before loading everything, take a few minutes to clean your cupboard or shelf.

Put It All Back Together– There are many inexpensive products out there to help you organize your spices.  Here are some of my favorites:

Expand-a-Drawer Spice Organizer – If you have enough drawer space to dedicate a drawer to spices, I love this product.  It opens up cupboard space, makes it extremely easy to see what spices you have, and provides easy access to all of your spices.

Tiered Shelf – If extra drawer space is only a dream, then this is an effective, inexpensive option.  The Expand-a-Shelf is similar to the previous solution, but it is meant for a shelf.  This product makes it easier to see what you have and access it when you need it (without the domino effect!).

Lazy Susan – This rotating turntable is another option for a cupboard or pantry.  If you use a lot of spices in your cooking and prefer to have them close at hand, there are several lazy susan options for your countertop as well.

Wall-Mount – This is a great option if you are short on space in your kitchen.  There are several different styles, including a new magnetic spice rack.

Whether you’ve experienced the “domino effect” or you’ve purchased spices unnecessarily because you were unaware of what you had, then follow these suggestions to organize your spices…just in time for the holidays!


Donna Lindley, Certified Professional Organizer and owner of Rochester Hills, MI-based Organize Your World, Inc.