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5 Easy Steps to Organize Spices

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Genius kitchen cabinet and cupboard organization ideas to organize spices with a free printable spice inventory checklist

Woman in orange shirt with organized Spice Cabinet


As I am writing this post, it’s November, and you know what that means?

Thanksgiving is rushing toward us, and before you start planning your Turkey Day festivities, I’d highly recommend taking a few minutes to organize your spice kitchen cabinet for all the upcoming feasts and get-togethers!

And even if it’s not November when you read this post, it’s still a BRILLIANT IDEA to organize your spice cabinet ANY TIME of the year!

*SIDE NOTE:  If you need a little help with menu planning for Thanksgiving and want a stellar new family tradition of creating a Thanksgiving Memory Book, I have free printables you can use to help you get organized here!

 

Thanksgiving printables pack


We have just recently moved into a new house, and I haven’t fully got my organizational act together with my spice cabinet so that’s my top priority before all the merry mayhem of the Holidays rolls around.

If you too have an oh-so-sloppy-looking spice drawer or cabinet, then come along and join me on this adventure as I break down this task into 5 SUPER SIMPLE STEPS that will take less time than watching your favorite reality TV show.

Or better yet, you can do it WHILE you are watching your favorite trashy reality program…bring on the Housewives of wherever… Beverly Hills, Orange County, Potomac, Salt Lake City, yep, I watch them all!  #dontjudge

So let’s jump right in…here is my 5 easy steps for spice organization in your cabinet shelves

Note: The links in this post are Amazon affiliate links, and we will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking through our links at no cost to you. Read our full disclaimer policy here.)

 


1. REMOVE IT

I know this step is the H-A-R-D-E-S-T one because you think you can just dig around in the cabinet, throw a few things away, and call it a day.

I promise you, THIS IS the MOST IMPORTANT STEP in organizing spices!

Before you do anything else, pull everything out of your and see what’s really lurking in your cabinet space. I think you’ll be surprised what you find!

I found empty bottles, random lids, and several glass jars filled with UFOs (Unidentified Food Objects) that certainly did not belong in my spice cupboard.


2. CLEAN IT

Now that you have everything out of the drawer, spice rack, or shelf, it’s time to wipe it down the entire space!

I find that using a “magic eraser” is the most efficient cleaning tool for this job because it’s fabulous at removing stuck-on stains or grease spots from the shelves.

*Tidying Tips #1* – I even use the magic eraser to wipe down the outside and inside of the cabinet door, the counter underneath,  and any nearby wall if you are a bit of a messy cook!

It also works wonders on the stove too, if you want to really go wild cleaning!


3. TOSS OR MOVE IT

Once you’ve taken everything out and wiped down the shelves, take a look at the expiration dates on all the spice bottles and labels of the cooking ingredients to see if any are expired or running so low that they need to be replaced.

*Tidying Tips #2* – I think it’s a great idea to give every spice jar in your cabinets a good shake to be sure the herbs still move around and aren’t hardened inside.

This is the step where you also want to remove anything that isn’t a cooking or food item to make more room in your spice cabinet…for me that was a bunch of supplements and vitamin jars I was storing in the cupboard.

I’m not sure why I even had them in there ’cause I have an open cabinet where they would have more space and fit better that I am not even using!

Now is a good time to make a list or write down any spices or ingredients you are needing to replace.

To make things even easier for you, I made you a master list that you can grab here below!

 

Printable Spice Inventory

 
 

 

*Tidying Tips #3* – Laminate this checklist and hang it inside your cupboard door so you always have a running list of what needs to be replenished and repurchased.

It’s a great idea so you can quickly find what baking spices need to be on your grocery shopping list.

For me, I am NOT much of a cook, so I use the spice inventory list to show what I already have in my cabinet, so when I am trying a new recipe, I can look at the checklist to see if I already have the needed spice or if I need to buy it!

 

Printable Spice Inventory Checklist inside cabinet door

 


4. ORGANIZE IT

When it comes to spice organization, I think it’s crucial to find a way to see all of your options vertically, so invest just a little money in some kind of spice rack or shelf.

Here are the two that I use for storing spices at my house that fit well inside my cupboard.

I liked this see-through acrylic shelf for spice storage because I liked the fact that it is clear and it won’t darken the inside of my cabinet like a wooden or darker colored shelf might.


 

Clear acrylic three level spice shelf


I also purchased this white wire three-tiered spice rack because it was better suited for wider spice jars.


*Tidying Tips #4*
– You don’t have to break the bank and buy all of these spice storage organizing products from fancy places like the Container Store.

There are super smart ways to save money by shopping online at Amazon.com or at a local discount store (Walmart, Home Goods, TJ Maxx, etc.)

 

White Wire Three Tier Spice Shelf


Once you’ve placed your spice rack on the cabinet shelves, it’s now time to start putting things back in the cupboard, and you have a couple of options as far as your approach goes.


Two Ways to Organize Spice Bottles


A. Some people like to store the most commonly used spices and seasonings near the front of their spice cabinets to have easy access.

B. Some people choose to store their spices in alphabetical order.

 

Either way works, and I’d say use whichever particular one makes sense to you with how your brain works…I’m more an ABC-kinda gal, so I opted for choice #B.

I placed spices earlier in the alphabet like cinnamon and cumin near the back of the spice shelf and herbs that start with letters near the end of the alphabet like paprika and red pepper closer to the front.

You can use this idea in reverse if that works better for you!

*Tidying Tips #5* – I often see people leave their spice containers on the top of their kitchen counter and not inside a spice cabinet of some sort.  I would not recommend this idea because of two reasons.

#1 – Storing spice jars on the counter makes your kitchen look cluttered and normally spice containers do not match well with your home decor.

#2 – Direct sunlight on spices can affect their flavors and shorten their shelf life spans.  Bottled herbs stay fresh when they are in a darker storage space.

If you do not have room for a designated spice cabinet, you can store spices in a kitchen drawer or in a pantry.


5. CONTAIN IT

The best way to get your spice cabinet tidy and more importantly KEEP it organized is to invest in just a few basic organizing products. The three that I am using and suggest are:

 

A. Spice Shelf

When you place your spice jars on a multi-level shelf, you utilize the vertical space in the cabinet which also helps you see the labels of each of the spices.

 

Spices on a clear acrylic three tier shelf
 

 

B. Ingredient Storage Containers

These food containers are perfect for organizing dry ingredients like flour, sugar, powder sugar, and they also keep them fresher by keeping them fully sealed so they will last longer.


 

clear food storage containers

 

C. Lazy Susan

Still haven’t figured out exactly who “Susan” is, but she sure did make a nifty storage gadget!

The lazy susan AKA rotating turntable helps make frequently used items more accessible with a flick of the wrist.

Clear acrylic lazy susan with spices


Here’s where I put the lazy susan in my own spice cabinet…closest to where I cook, so my most utilized items are an arms-length away!

 

Lazy Susan in a Spice Cabinet

 


*BONUS POINTS*:


Many people recommend making all of the spice jars the same for a more cohesive look.

And you can buy sets like this one that comes with pre-printed custom labels that make it super easy.

 

group of empty spice jars



I just might do that cause I do think having the same glass bottles would help pull together an even more organized look for the cabinet. It’s on my wish list!

If you don’t want to spend money on a set of matching glass spice containers, you can also use baby food jars and  add masking tape and black paint or a chalk pen to label them.

Use what you have on hand if you are on a budget!

You can also use organizing bins for any random items that you don’t use as often that you want to keep tucked at the top of your cabinet.

I got mine from the dollar store, so there’s no big investment, and I hide seasonal baking items like sprinkles and cookie cutters inside!

 

An organized Spice Cabinet with a dollar store bin inside


If you want to take your organization game to the next level, invest in a digital label maker to label everything in your cabinet! Nothing says “Organizing Overachiever” like owning a label maker!!

 

Dymo digital label maker


And there you have it! TA-DA!

It is possible to organize your spice cabinet in 5 easy steps and you may even want to show off to your friends or at least brag about it on social media!

What do you think?

Can you tell much difference between the BEFORE and AFTER from my house?


BEFORE

Before a messy spice cabinet



AFTER

 
organize spices in kitchen cabinet

 

Are there any other spice shelf organization products that you swear by that I should add to my list?

Until next time, cheers to tidying your Turmeric, Tarragon, and Thyme, and cheers to you!

XOXO,

Magan

 

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Magan Weber

Your Go-To Mama For 

Organizing Your Health

Home, & Happiness

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