How to Organize Spices in 5 Steps
Do yourself—and your kitchen—a favor by revamping your spice storage methods. Here's how to organize spices in a drawer or cabinet and keep them clutter-free for good.
Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.
When it comes to implementing the best kitchen storage ideas, it’s daunting to learn how to organize everything from kitchen cabinets to pots and pans. And how do you even start tidying up the dreaded spice rack?
Intimidated by my own overflowing spice drawer, I found myself in desperate need of an organization makeover after moving into a new apartment. I tapped Julie Harris, a Kansas City-based organization expert, for her spice storage ideas.
Lucky for me, I discovered it only takes a few simple steps to organize spices like a pro. Add a few genius Amazon kitchen storage solutions to the mix and your space will look like it just got a luxe makeover.
Whether you prefer to organize spices in a drawer, cabinet or pantry shelf, here’s how to organize spices and keep them clutter-free for good.
How to Organize Spices
Tools and Supplies
- Glass spice jars with labels. A spice drawer or cabinet quickly becomes a clutter-filled mess when there are different container sizes. This spice jar set with labels is ideal for organizing spices in a drawer or cabinet thanks to their uniform design (I switched to these jars and can confirm they keep my drawer super tidy!) Functional and pretty, this set comes comes with a funnel and several labels for organizing all your best blends.
- Drawer shelf. Keep spices front and center with this three-tiered drawer shelf. It adds a dose of luxe design while making it easy to locate everything from star anise to garlic powder. Plus, it’s expandable to fit multiple drawer lengths.
- Cabinet display shelf. If you’re organizing spices in a cabinet, add this three-tiered bamboo shelf. It’s expandable to fit narrow or wide cabinets. This shelf maximizes vertical cabinet space while eliminating the need to get elbows deep just to hunt down paprika. Keep the rest of your cabinets tidy with these pantry organization bins.
- Lazy Susan. Another cabinet spice storage option, a Lazy Susan is one of the best kitchen organizers for the countertop, pantry shelf or cabinet. This two-tiered Lazy Susan maximizes vertical space while keeping spices within reach.
Step 1: Clear out the spice drawer or cabinet
The first step in creating the spice drawer or cabinet of your dreams is clearing everything out. Julie says, “Take out all of your spices from their respective cabinets, drawers and shelves.” Then, wipe the area down with a microfiber cloth and multi-purpose cleaning solution.
Step 2: Take inventory
Sort spices by laying them all out in the open on the kitchen countertop. “Consolidate any duplicates, then group spices by flavor profile,” says Julie.
Step 3: Combine duplicate spices
To keep your spice drawer or cabinet from becoming cluttered, we highly recommend investing in a uniform spice jar. Not only will this method make it a breeze to consolidate duplicate spices, it adds functional design to any drawer or cabinet. For duplicates, remove the spice jar’s cap and use a funnel to pour extra spices into the jar.
Step 4: Create a label system
Whether you use the labels included with the glass spice jars listed above or your own, a label system is key to keeping spices organized for good. Opt for sticker labels or a permanent marker to label each individual spice jar.
Step 5: Designate a cabinet or drawer for spices
Once spices are consolidated, “Designate an upper cabinet [or drawer] next to the cooktop for spices,” recommends Julie. “Incorporate turntables [or drawer shelves] for grouping cooking and baking spices together.” A turntable or shelf maximizes deep drawers or vertical cabinet space while making it a breeze to quickly locate spices without having to dig through them.
Spice Organization FAQs
Is a drawer or cabinet better for organizing spices?
Depending on the length and width of your drawer, a cabinet may be your best bet. “I prefer a cabinet for organizing spices,” says Julie. “A typical drawer is usually not large enough for all the variety of spices, especially the large ones that don’t fit within the depth of most drawers.”
However, this doesn’t mean a drawer is off limits. If you opt for a drawer, Julie recommends picking one closes to the cooktop. As for organizing a cabinet, “Use an upper cabinet for the spices as well as large containers of rubs, seasoning packets, cooking oils and vinegars,” adds Julie.
How do you organize spices in a small space?
Small space dwellers, like myself, know that organizing anything is a true art. Whether you have a cabinet, shelf or a small strip of countertop, Julie recommends adding a Lazy Susan turntable. “I love a turntable! A two-tier turntable maximizes the amount of spices stored in a small space.”
How do you group spices together?
There are two common methods for grouping spices, by alphabetical order or flavor profile. “I prefer to group spices by flavor profile,” says Julie. “That way, when you’re cooking an Indian dish, for example, all of your Indian spices are already together for easy access.” Make sure to keep your spice jars clean post-grouping them, as they easily accumulate germs.
After taking the time to organize my spice drawer according to Julie’s tips, finding spices isn’t just easy, the drawer has stayed organized, too. Revamping your drawer or cabinet with the best spice organizers is a kitchen storage idea that pays off, along with investing in pantry storage containers and items for organizing baking supplies. Next, you’ll want to organize your pantry with mason jar storage containers!
Want more fun product picks and money-saving deals from our shopping experts and Test Kitchen? Sign up for the Stuff We Love newsletter.