How to Organize Your Spices + 5 Clever and Stylish Spice Rack Organizers
It’s hard to beat the feeling of reaching into your spice rack and finding exactly what you need immediately. A well-organized spice collection keeps your kitchen orderly, makes cooking easier, and just looks nice. Additionally, the type of storage solution you settle on can impact the quality and shelf life of your spices.
There are many options for storing spices, and the method that works best for you should combine functionality with aesthetics. In this article, we’ll go over several different spice rack organizers, discussing their pros and cons and sharing our recommendations for how to organize spices for your unique needs.
Best Way to Organize Spices — 3 Tips for Keeping Your Spices Fresh and Easy to Access
The layout of your kitchen and where you have available storage space will have a big impact on where you can put your spices, but there are a few key factors that should always be taken into consideration.
1. Keep spices away from heat, cold, sunlight, and moisture.
Many people keep their spices on the counter or over the stove for ease of access, or to save cabinet space, but this is a sure way to make your spices go bad prematurely or lose potency. Heat and light will dry out the oils, sapping the flavor from your spices. And if the spices are over the stove, steam from boiling water can get into the containers, leading to issues with mold and rot.
If spices need to be away from light and heat, it would make sense to put them in the fridge, right? After all, the fridge and freezer extend the life of other plant products! However, putting spices in the fridge or freezer makes them susceptible to water damage, as condensation forms easily in the cold temperatures, and constantly moving the spice from the cold of your fridge to the relatively warm air of your kitchen can cause them to degrade more rapidly.
Avoid exposing your spices to fluctuations in temperature, and keep them from getting damp. Spices should be stored in a cool (not cold), dry, dark space.
2. Store your spices at an easily reachable height.
It can be tempting to try and save space by tucking your spices away in a high cabinet or on a bottom shelf in your cupboard, but if you have to constantly stretch or bend down to reach your spices, you’re much less likely to use them—or even remember which spices you own.
By keeping your spices in a place where you can quickly assess your inventory and easily grab what you need while cooking, you’re less likely to have spices go bad or buy duplicates. And you’re more likely to remember to add the right flavors when cooking!
Prioritize putting your spices between hand and eye level.
3. Be efficient with your storage space.
Especially if you’re an avid cooker with a small kitchen, the amount of spice varieties you own might threaten to take over the room. Even if you have plenty of space, it’s wise to choose a storage method that keeps your spice collection discreet and compact. It should be simple to find the spice you need without knocking over five or six other containers, and you shouldn’t have to sacrifice prime cabinet space to do so.
Choose a spice rack that will let you clearly see what spices you have, pull out the one you need, then put everything back in a way that won’t clutter up your kitchen.
5 Best Spice Organizers
Keeping these criteria in mind, here are a few spice organization ideas that might work for you depending on your needs.
If you have a small kitchen and are short on space, you need to optimize every inch. Many kitchens have dead space in between cabinets. With a pull-out rack like the 432 Series Natural Maple Between Cabinet Pull-Out Organizer, you can take advantage of that empty space and have a stylish storage solution for your spices.
These types of spice racks do require installation, but customizing your kitchen with a feature that will appeal to future home buyers increases the value of your house. Our product comes in 3”, 6”, and 9” widths so you can select the right size for your space.
With full visibility and access on both sides, it’s easy to see exactly which spices you have. However, one downside of this product is that it does have to be installed underneath your counters, which can be difficult for those who have trouble bending or kneeling.
For a less permanent solution or one that doesn’t require any stooping, consider a tiered spice drawer organizer. With our 4SDI Series Natural Maple Spice Drawer, for example, you simply trim the insert to fit perfectly in your kitchen drawer, and drop it in. If you end up needing to rearrange your kitchen or if you’re renting and can’t install a new permanent fixture, the spice holder can easily be removed.
This is also one of the most inexpensive spice organizers because it doesn’t require any significant modification to the space. It also keeps your spices right at drawer height so you don’t need to bend or reach, and you can see your full collection at a glance.
The number of spices you can store here is limited by the size of your drawer, so if you regularly use dozens of spices, this might not meet your needs.
The previous two storage options were spice-specific and made to hold small spice jars, and that might not work for your cooking style. If you buy large quantities of certain spices or don’t have enough spices to necessitate their own rack, a larger pull-out organizer might be a better fit.
The Natural Maple Base Pull-Out Organizer takes up more space in your kitchen cabinets, but it’s also more versatile. Along with your spice jars, you can store other baking or cooking ingredients like flour, sugar, or oil.
If you’re a big baker, you might find it easier to keep the most common ingredients all together on one shelf, so you don’t have to collect things from around the kitchen as you prep. This organizer’s larger size allows for more flexibility in the way you organize your kitchen.
With this and the thinner pull-out organizer, however, you have to be mindful of where you put it. Storing your spices near your oven or dishwasher can damage them, as explained above.
Constantly bending and reaching down to grab spices while cooking isn’t suitable for everyone. And if your upper cabinets have shelves that are too high for you to comfortably reach, that space might seem unavailable to you as well. This is where pull-down shelf racks, like the 5PD Series Chrome Wall Cabinet Pull-Down Shelf, come in.
You install a pull-down shelf in one of your high cabinets and fill the rows with your spices or other ingredients. Then, you tuck it away behind the door. Whenever you need something from the shelf, you simply pull down the rack to eye level.
A pull-down shelf makes your kitchen more accessible and allows you to keep your spices conveniently organized in a single location. Plus, because you can see everything on the rack, you won’t forget about spice jars that have been shoved to the back of the cabinet.
Our suggestion for the best overall spice rack combines elements of accessibility, visibility, space saving, and affordability into a single package. When you want an option that makes use of otherwise wasted space, is adjustable as your needs change, and can fit anywhere in your kitchen, consider the cabinet-door spice rack.
This type of organizer, such as the 4ASR Series Natural Maple Spice Rack, comes with three bins that can be moved up and down to slot into the open spaces between shelves. Because it can be affixed to any cabinet door, you can choose any spot that feels comfortable to you. This sturdy, adjustable spice rack offers easy access to your whole collection, for a lower price than many other organizers. Most importantly, it keeps your spices from taking up space that you need to use for food or dishware.
Spice Racks to Avoid
You may have noticed that a few popular spice storage solutions didn’t make the list. Lazy Susans, magnet jars, and open-air or countertop racks seem appealing because they keep your collection front and center, but they also leave your spices vulnerable to the elements. Plus, they can make your kitchen look cluttered. If you prefer a sleek style, keep your spices out of sight—and out of danger.
Spice Organization Ideas & Tips
Installing the right spice rack is only the first step. Regardless of which holder you choose, your spice collection can still be hard to sort through if you don’t take some time to establish an organizational method. Here are some tips that may help you put together a photo-ready spice rack:
1. Buy in bulk using your own containers
Instead of buying pre-bottled spices, bring your own spice jars to a bulk food store. Not only will your collection look unified, but you can buy the precise amount you need—no more tossing out half-full spice bottles of turmeric you weren’t able to use up before it went bad! You can either buy a new set of containers to start your collection, or wash and reuse something you have on hand, like baby food jars.
2. Label everything
Make sure the name of each spice is clearly visible on the front and lid of each jar or bottle. If you plan to keep using a container to hold a specific spice for the foreseeable future, a permanent label might be your best bet. You can also write the name of the spice on the jar with a sharpie.
Removable labels or pieces of masking tape are a great choice if you plan to use containers for different spices. A removable tag with the date of purchase can help you keep track of the freshness of your spices. For a stylish look, consider designing your own labels or finding out a template online.
3. Have a system
How you organize your spices is up to you, but it’s in your best interest to find a method that works and stick to it. Some people swear by alphabetical order, while others prefer to group spices by type of cuisine—nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves in one section, and basil, oregano, and thyme in another. You might also want to put your most used spices in a prominent position, with the ones you use rarely to the back or sides.
4. Keep track of what you have
One of the most aggravating experiences is picking up a spice at the store and realizing you already have some at home. Stay on top of your collection and throw out spices when they start losing their flavor or if the powder starts clumping up.
Vevano offers a variety of products that assist with cabinet organization. Our designers are also happy to answer any questions you might have about choosing the right solutions. Reach out to us to learn more.