ORGANIZING SPICES IN YOUR KITCHEN
Organizing spices in your kitchen is one simple step in organizing your whole kitchen. Isn’t it amazing how quickly things can go from order to disorder? I find this especially true in my kitchen. Today I’m focusing on my spice cupboard! One organized cupboard will give you the momentum to organize more!
Today I’m teaming up with some of my blogging friends to share our very best Organizing tips and secrets!
Make sure to see their posts at the bottom of this post!
Can you believe that there are still some odds and ends that still need to be done in our kitchen?
Some trim and a few other things.
But the cabinetry is done so I have no excuse not to have all my spices neat and in order.
This post is all about organizing spices! However, the techniques and tips can be used in almost any closet or cupboard in your home!
These are my best tips!
MY MESSY SPICE KITCHEN CUPBOARD
This is the best picture of where my spice cupboard is located in my kitchen.
Here’s how my cabinet looks inside …
What a serious mess! I needed to get busy organizing spices, for sure!
WHY ORGANIZING SPICES AND MORE IS SO IMPORTANT
Here’s what happens (and I’m speaking from experience) when you have a messy cabinet like this…
- you can’t find what you need
- you buy duplicates because you don’t know you already have an item
- you don’t use what you have
YOU CAN’T FIND WHAT YOU NEED
Not being able to find something I need could make me a bit crazy! I am not good when I can’t find things!
It wastes my time and often I just get so frustrated I give up looking! And I don’t like how that makes me feel!
When I finally cleaned out and organized my spices and other things that belonged in my spice cupboard I was amazed at all the great ingredients I had!
I could have been adding them to recipes I just wasn’t using because I did not remember I had them!
Does it bother you too when you can’t find something? Then an organized home can be your best friend! And why not by organizing spices?
DISORGANIZATION IS COSTLY
Buying duplicates of items you already have because you don’t know you already have them can be very costly!
If you look closely at the top shelf of my mess spice cabinet you will see 5 one cup bricks of Crisco! I do use Crisco but not so often to have so much!
I also found tons of Old Bay seasoning. I use it in the summer to add to a Low Country Boil. But I have a lot of it! How many container of Old Bay do you see?
I could have bought my organizing self for the cost of three large Old Bay containers! UGH!
And sweet friends, time is money! If I waste time searching and searching for something instead of working productively on my blog it’s very costly!
ARE YOU REALLY USING WHAT YOU HAVE
I really don’t like to waste food!
Spices, like so many other foods, have an expiration date. Not all expiration dates are labeled. But the potency of spices really diminishes after a time.
And don’t we all want to use food at its freshest?
Spices easily loose their strongest flavor after awhile. So it’s important to only buy and then use what you have!
How many years do you think it will take to use four containers of cream of tartar?
I bet by now I’ve convinced you that maybe it would be a good idea to take a good look at your spices!
HOW TO ORGANIZE A SPICE CUPBOARD
MAKE A PLAN!
Before I did one thing to organize my spices I made a plan!
It’s important to solve the problems that keep reoccurring like…
- being able to find everything easily
- being able to see everything and know what I have
- having room for everything
I decided to change the height of my shelves and forgo the fourth shelf in the cupboard. It was just too cramped to easily find my spices.
Then I measured the length and width of the cupboard because I wanted to add a simple spice organizer on two of the shelves.
And to maximize my space and make everything look nice I chose to use spice jars that would work in the organizer and all be the same.
You can see the spice jars I chose that came with a collapsible funnel HERE.
I found that the most common size spice jar is 4 oz. and my new jars held 4 oz. Yay!
EMPTY IT ALL OUT AND THROW IT OUT!
On organizing day I first took EVERYTHING out of the cupboard. And organized the content into groups.
THROW OUT ANYTHING THAT IS TOO OLD OR SPOILED OR BROKEN DOWN! Don’t keep what you will not use! Clutter makes our homes messy but it makes our minds even messier!
I threw out a lot!
The mason jars that worked so wonderfully in my pantry at StoneGable did not work so wonderfully at the Tanglewood House!
The space here I have for spices is totally different than at StoneGable.
Just because something worked great for you at one time does not mean it works great now! Lesson learned!
After pulling everything out of the cabinet I put them in groups…
- savory spices
- sweet spices
- baking items
This helped me see what I had, didn’t have and had too much of!
Grouping all the items in my spice cupboard let me see what did and did not belong there too!
CLEAN OUT THE CUPBOARD
The next thing I did was to wipe out the spice cupboard and lay down fresh drawer liner.
For me, this was the fun part! I really like to organize and make something pretty and useful!
PUTTING SPICES INTO NEW BOTTLES
So I emptied my various jars of spices into the new 4 oz. jars with shaker lids. Leftover spices were put in a labeled box in my pantry closet.
And I gave some away to my assistant.
I used an ACRYLIC MARKERS that writes on glass instead of my LABEL MAKER or the labels that came with the spice glasses.
One helpful tip is when you are transferring spices from their old jars into the new spice jars do it over a trash can or sink. It really saves clean-up!
ORGANIZING SPICES IN THE CUPBOARD
One of the best things I did to maximize the space in my spice cupboard and to make the spices easier to see and access was to add 3 TIERED EXPANDABLE METAL SPICE RACK ORGANIZER on a couple shelves.
Each shelf comfortable fit 18 alphabetized spice jars.
And there was a little extra room for a few jared items I use often!
The bottom shelf is done and organized and today my second shipment of 4 oz. glass bottles are arriving! So the middle shelf will look as organized and pretty as the bottom shelf!
What a difference!
I’m also working on putting all my pantry items in stackable containers. A post will be coming soon!
Look for more organizing posts all winter and a kitchen tour at the end of the month!
You might like this other organizing posts…
DO THIS ONE THING FOR A MORE ORGANIZED HOME
Make sure you see what my friends are organizing in their homes!
Designthusiasm | The Complete Guide to Kitchen Organization
StoneGable | Organizing Spices In Your Kitchen
Shabbyfufu | How To Organize The Kitchen Junk Drawer – For Good!
In My Own Style | Home Organizing Tips and Ideas
Great jars and labels. I love the uniformity. My favorite thing for spices is a turntable and lucky enough they fit in my cabinet.
My kids tease me because I also keep them in alphabetical order, but they love how easy it is to find what they want.
Great idea, Lynn! Turntables are fabulous tools for organizing things! Thanks for the the tip!
I also put my spices in alphabetical order. Thank you Yvonne for your tips
I’m a turntable fan too! I can fit the regular size spice jars on a 2 tier turntable, and I’ve organized it alphabetically, which tends to fall apart and it’s more sweet vs savory in the end. I use the 3 tier you have on the second shelf for less often used spices and large bottles. I bet you’d like it!
Those jars are great and the expandable shelves are perfect for many uses. I have my spices in 3 drawers with organizers and need to clean and reorganize. Your spice cabinet has inspired me and I can toss old and probably have a free drawer to use for something else. Great post!
Yay! Thank you Cecilia!
I am cooking less, but want to have the important spices where I can see and reach them. I recently designated a “silverware” drawer next to the stove and after cleaning the drawer, I laid each bottle face up so I can access each one easily. I put duplicates away and discarded expired/old spices. I realize that I need to buy less and use what I have. So my spices need to fit in the space provided for them. Otherwise, they will become lost, old and useless. I’m aware of what I have because it’s staring me in the face when I open the drawer. it works for me.
So organized, Eileen!
I have an over the door hanger in my pantry that I put my cooking spices on and a turntable for all of my “sweet” spices/spices for baking. I also divided them in red (cayenne, paprika, chili powder) Yellow (garlic/onion powders, tumeric, etc) and green/herbs (basil, oregano, rosemary, etc), mixes (curry, garam masala, middle eastern, cajun, etc) each on it’s own shelf. My foreign sister in law lives with us, so I labelled each of the shelves in French too. She sometimes doesn’t get that concept, but I go in and re-organize quite frequently. I also stopped buying these at Costco because it’s way more than we need and I’ve conceded it’s ok to buy paprika (probably what I use the most) more than once a year. I don’t always use the same size container…but working towards that. It’s frustrating to me when the original container is bigger than the one I’m syphoning into, so I have “leftovers” (OCD). For the most part, this method has reduced a lot of waste, duplicates and I have fresh spices at all times!
Enjoyed reading this post, Yvonne. I use three turntables with alphabetized spice jars. To transfer spices without a funnel and with little to no mess and waste, I use a center-creased paper plate. One day I realized that I could save some of the outdated spices for potpourri.
Yvonne, a paper plate placed under your spice jar would also help even when using your funnel.
Yes, that would work too! Thanks for the tip!
Hi Shari, Lots of readers use turntables. Great ideas! Thanks for the tip for outdated spices!
Thank you. You have convinced me to purchase these jars and the tray for the drawer. The uniformity will improve my cooking and baking. I have been using boxes and assorted old trays.
You will love how easy it is to find what you have!
I recently cleaned my spice cabinet and found a lot of things that I was just holding on to had to go. That is good therapy and being or getting organized you get to see the fruits of your labor. I got two large OXO turntables and divided spices up between the two alphabetically. As long as I can still spell I’ll be good. It makes finding something very fast.
LOL! ME TOO! I am the worst speller! A turntable is a great way to organize spices. However, my cupboard is too small for one.
I’ve always been partial to turntables also. My fiancé didn’t agree saying spices flew off of them making a mess. But I think he’s sold now. Still great you got matching jars and freshened it all up! Love your style.
Could I please ask about your kitchen rug, where did you find it? Looks like style, color I need. thanks.. Organization tips great, wish I cooked enough now to use your idea, LOL
I think you might mean the dining area rug? It’s from Ruggables. We love it! You can see it here: https://rstyle.me/+B64u3u-RSe6t7yjbiIblbA
Ha! I have the same problem with multiplying Old Bay. You cabinet looks great. Love the shelf organizer.
Old Bay is amazing, right? We just don’t need that much! I gave my extra spices away!
What rug pad do you use under your Jute rugs?
I like a felt rug pad. Those rubbery waffle weave ones are horrible!
Fantastic transformation. I will be doing this. I am collecting what I need to start organizing my kitchen. Thanks for sharing
I just finished organizing my spices and purchased similar jars to yours so this was a wonderfully timely blog for me. I would like to add that I purchased a package of those little round garage sale stickers that are blank to put on the bottom of each jar and wrote the expiration date on them. It is nice to have every spice organized so beautifully and know how fresh they are too.
Great tip! Thanks!
So enjoyed your organizing tips. They came at the right time for me…Moving and going from owner to renter for next season in Florida. We have lived here seasonal for 23 years. Now to get rid of what we cannot use or store. Thank you so much. I will be tuning in often.