How to Store Spices, According to a Professional Organizer

Make meal prep a breeze with these spice organization ideas.

As a professional organizer, one of the most frequently asked questions I receive is how to keep spice jars tidy in the kitchen. Whether you cook a lot or hardly ever, chances are that you have quite a few herbs and spices cluttering up a cabinet, drawer, or pantry. Perhaps they're even scattered throughout all three spaces, making it difficult to find what you need for that new recipe you're about to whip up.

To keep spices fresh for as long as possible, it's important to organize them in a way that makes it easy to know when they need to be restocked and when they should be tossed. Being able to see them all in one space lets you do a more frequent and efficient check of when the jars are low and the expiration dates.

If your spices need a better system, try following ideas that showcase how to organize spices.

kitchen spice drawer storage organization
Christina Wedge

1. Lay Them in a Drawer

A shallow drawer near the stove or wherever you prep food is one of the best places to store spices in the kitchen. That's because they're easy to access even if your hands are busy with food prep. If the drawer height is sufficient, spice jars can stand up vertically and be secured in place with DIY drawer dividers. Otherwise, lay them flat on a slight angle with a spice jar organizer.

spice drawer with small jars
Laura Moss

2. Spring for Matching Jars

A set of coordinating spice jars looks aesthetically pleasing, plus it can also serve an organizational purpose. When spice containers are the same shape and size, they fit better together regardless of where they are stored. In a drawer, for example, spices will fit in neat little rows with or without an organizer to help.

kitchen cabinet with spice shelf
Ann VanderWiel Wilde

3. Use a Spice Riser

If you prefer to use a cabinet for spice storage, consider adding a shelf organizer to keep containers in line. A riser utilizes the full area of the cabinet and lets you see and reach for jars with ease. The best part? Many of these organizing tools are expandable to fit a variety of cabinet widths and make it a cinch to reorganize as needed.

lazy susan spice rack
Adam Albright

4. Put a Lazy Susan to Work

A professional organizing trick that I get excited to share is the use of a round organizer, such as a lazy Susan, to hold circular items because it truly maximizes storage space. This makes them the perfect home for most spice jars. If you have a wide selection of spices and herbs, either double up with a two-tier lazy Susan or place two side-by-side in a cabinet or pantry.

archer farms spices hanging in pantry
Jay Wilde

5. Save Space with a Snap

Small kitchens require a bit more ingenuity to make sure you're getting the most out of available space. That means thinking outside the box when it comes to organizing spices. Because they're relatively small compared to other pantry items, spice jars can be mounted to the inside of a cabinet door. It's a win-win since you're taking advantage of unused space while hiding away clutter.

open wooden shelving spice rack
Ed Gohlich

6. Put Up a Pretty Display

Maybe you're a minimalist when it comes to the spices you use in your dishes. If that's the case, consider putting them on display above your countertop. A set of Mason jars in a variety of sizes placed on a floating shelf is both attractive and serves a storage function. Add custom labels so every chef in the house knows exactly where to find the spice they need.

sliding spice rack in kitchen cabinet
Robert Brinson

7. Store Them in a Slim Cabinet

A narrow pull-out cabinet is a perfect spot to store small items such as spices. If you're blessed to have one or have the opportunity to add it into upcoming kitchen renovation plans, make this your go-to spice selection station. The containers are less likely to get lost in a narrow space and oftentimes, the custom sliding cabinets are designed to be placed near the stove for convenience.

slice out spice rack kitchen cabinet
Jean Allsopp

8. Repurpose Food Containers

If you've organized your food storage containers and end up with extras, give them a second life rather than tossing them. Repurposing plastic containers is just one eco-friendly way to get organized and can also solve your storage problem, especially if you buy spices in bulk. Decant spices into smaller containers, place them in a handy spot, then store the rest out of the way until you're ready to refill.

rounded spice rack cabinet
Marty Baldwin

9. Sort by Your Favorites

Another organizing rule that I like to follow is to store the most frequently used items at eye level or, in the case of my spices, which are stored in a drawer, in the front. This makes it much easier to find what you need in a pinch. There are always spices that only get used once in a while, such as around the holiday season; place these in the back rather than mixing them in with everyday seasonings.

spice islands jars on wooden stair rack
Cameron Sadeghpour

10. Mark the Expiration Dates

A trick that I use when decanting spices for clients is to mark the back of the jar with the expiration date, either with a chalk pen or a small label. Some spice brands don't state the date so when you purchase a new bottle, do a quick search of how long the spice lasts and write it directly on the bottle with a permanent marker. This takes the guesswork out of deciding whether to toss it when decluttering your pantry.

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