It’s BBQ season! What does this make me think of? Spices, spices and more spices. There are endless ways that your spices can be organized. What it comes down to is the storage space that you have to contain your spices in and how many spices you have. Now, let’s spice it up! 

When organizing spices, the first question that’s always asked is, “are they even fresh anymore?” Before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s important to take stock of what you have before we settle on a system. I’ve done a little research and found that this link breaks down the shelf life of different spices into a chart whether the spice is fresh, ground, dried or whole.

Once you’ve purged your unwanted spices, identify how you’re going to sort them. Three options are to organize them alphabetically, to sort them by container size, or organize them by type (baking, spicy, herbs, etc). 

Now it’s time to figure out what your storage options are:

  1. Drawers: If you’re lucky enough to have extra drawer storage close to the prep space in your kitchen, one option is to use a spice organizer inside of your drawer to keep them handy and tidy like this one that’s customizable. Here’s another expandable option and if you don’t have many spices, there’s this option.
  2. Vertical Rack: Check out this acrylic spice rack that holds your spices vertically on the wall or on the inside of a cabinet door in a clean and efficient way. We sell a similar one at our studio.
  3. Stadium Rack: If you’re constantly losing spices in your cabinets, a stadium rack is the way to go. This tool allows you to really see all of your spices and stack them one behind the other while still being able to read the labels. I personally have the one above in my own home and love it because it’s expandable and fits my pantry space perfectly.
  4. Magnetic Tins: Another popular idea is to fill individual tins (one tin can hold a whole jar of spices) with a different spice and adhere them to the magnetic spice rack close to your prep area. Don’t forget to label them once you’re done transferring the spices! Here’s one example. This is Stasia’s favorite, she’s been using this method in her kitchen for years. She alphabetizes them as well so it’s easy to find what she’s looking for and they are all uniform.
  5. If you’re lacking drawer or cabinet space consider a revolving countertop spice rack like this one. It includes both pre-printed and blank labels.
  6. Lazy Susan: You might already have this one floating around other parts of the house, the pantry is no exception. Add your spices onto this lazy susan for divided access within a pantry or cabinet or onto this simpler one if you don’t have the height.
  7. ELFA: As always, we cannot forget about adding a little ELFA action to your kitchen. If you have a spare door in your kitchen that can handle a standard and some mesh bins, consider gaining tons of pantry space by putting your spices into one of the mesh bins on the inside of your door. Here’s what that would look like.

Wouldn’t it be nice to add a little Emeril Legasse “Bam!” moment into your cooking routine by having your spices handy and organized so you can easily jazz up your meals? Make sure that you’re checking the expiration date of each spice every now and then and as always, send us some before and after pictures of your work. Now go spice things up!

Written by Mia Salmo

Mia Salmo

Professional Organizer