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Kitchens may be my favorite places to organize for clients. From pantries to pots and pans, to spices! I love it all!
Some clients have certain places in their kitchens that are functioning well and other ones that need my help. Some clients need a total kitchen overhaul- a complete rethinking of the space. But one area that's a very common problem is spices. If you are here because yours need help too- you're not alone!
They're small. You've got a lot of them. They topple over when you're trying to find what you need. Probably some duplicates in there adding to the chaos. Eek! So how do you organize them?!
Before doing anything else, please declutter your spices. Throw away expired spices, spices you won't use again, broken bottles, and empty bottles. Combine any spices you can. Write a list of any spices you need to replace and keep that in mind while organizing. (You'll want to leave room for these.) The reason for decluttering first is to get an idea of how many spices you keep on hand and how large of an area you'll need for your spices.
Ideally, you'll want to choose a place in your kitchen that is close to the stove or where you most often use your spices. This eliminates extra steps while cooking or baking. You want your home to work for you, not against you. If you don't have the right-sized space for your spices near the stove, don't worry. Just choose a space in your kitchen where all of your spices will fit together. You don't want your spices to be in multiple places in your kitchen.
Now, for some inspiration! Here are my favorite ways to organize spices so you can find what you need and stop buying duplicates:
1. Create a spice drawer. If you have the room in your kitchen to designate a drawer for your spices, do it. Laying them flat lets you easily scan for what you need.
This spice drawer liner by YouCopia is one of my favorites for drawers. It's affordable, works on ANY drawer, and allows you to see all of your spices at once. You get a 10-foot roll of soft, nonslip foam that is as wide as most spice bottles.
The roll is shaped with grooves in it to keep all spice bottles from rolling or sliding around in your drawer. It works on any drawer because you custom cut it to fit the length of your specific drawer.
Sometimes it's cheaper on Amazon, so check the price here as well.
If you are looking for an acrylic look and have a drawer deep enough, the IDesign Linus In-Drawer Spice Rack is another option. It displays your spices at a slight tilt and enables you to view all of your spices at once. With this option, I recommend decanting your spices into matching spice bottles so you maximize all of your space. Here are my favorite spice bottles to decant into and they come with labels and a small funnel!
2. Tiered spice organizers and lazy susans. This is a great option if you are short on space and don't have a huge collection of spices. The tiered shelves and matching glass spice bottles save a ton of vertical room.
I used these tiered shelves for my most used spices and I used lazy susans for rubs and backstock. The tiered shelves come with spice bottles, a funnel, and labels. I love that you can see all of your spice labels with this option and you can grab one without knocking all the rest over.
I don't always suggest lazy susans for spices because you can't see the ones in the middle. It's best if you store bulkier, taller, or backstock spices on them so you don't have to search for the spices stored in the middle as much. Just make sure to measure your cabinet space before buying so you can get the best fit.
Lazy susans are not an item that you want to score the best deal on. Splurge a little on lazy susans because cheap lazy susans won't spin easily, rendering them pretty useless (and annoying!) I love these ones from Amazon or this one from iDesign. They spin well and are very sturdy.
3. Alphabetized in clear bins with labels on top. This option is better if you have a lot of spices and limited space in your kitchen. Bins can act as drawers within a cabinet and make it easy to pull them all out at once while you are cooking and then put them all back easily. Here are the acrylic bins used below, but make sure to measure your space before you buy to get the best fit. Again, decanting into matching spice bottles will ensure you are using up every inch of space inside the bin but is not necessary.
Pro tip: Place the label on top of the spice bottle after screwing the lid on tight. I didn't do that above and you can see the labels aren't all straight.
Lastly, if working with adjustable cabinets, don't be afraid to adjust them depending on which products you use. You want to bring your spice collection as low as possible so you aren't reaching to grab one.
I hope you now have some inspiration to level up your spice organization! Trust me, you won't regret it.