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Organizing Your Spices: Hall Of Fame {Part 2}

Lots and lots of readers have tackled the task of organizing your spices, so many that I've had to add a second page for this hall of fame.

That's great though, because it just means there are even more ideas that work, in the real world, for this task that can inspire us all.

Organize Pantry & Spices Challenge
This mission is part of Organize Your Pantry Challenge here on the site, which is of course all about organizing your pantry and food, including spices.

Before you begin to organize your herbs and spices though, make sure you're only organizing what you should keep. Do the spices declutter mission here first to get rid of any old or unneeded spices.

If you get inspired by what you see below I'd love for you to join the challenge with us, and do it yourself.

Once you've accomplished it make sure to share your before and after pictures here and I'll add them to the page so we can all celebrate your success together!

So scroll on down to get some inspiration and ideas of your own now!

Photo courtesy of osseous on Flickr CC

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Seriously Some Of These Spices Were Well Over A Decade Old!

by Jessica

Jessica from A Homemaker In Training wrote about her work on Challenge #3 on her blog.

In regard to her spices, she said: "Seriously, I think that I had some spices that were well over 10 maybe 15 years old. Yes, really. They are gone now. There are some that still may be a little too old but we will roll with it."

She further wrote in to share with me the following:

My spice shelf needed the most help. I needed to let go of some spices.

Seriously, some were 10 to 15 years old.

Good bye, lemon pepper that has been living rent free in my cupboard and hitching rides to each new abode for the last at least eight years! Goodness.

I had a stair stacker and just went with what I had and tossed what I hadn't or wouldn't be using in the next year. If I need more spice I will probably go the bulk route as it is usually much more cost effective.

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Wall Mounted Spice Rack Cleared Up Cabinet Shelf Space

by Anna
(Mocksville, NC)

Anna shared a picture of what she did with her spices.

She explained, "I purchased two wall-mount spice racks which really helped empty a kitchen cabinet shelf that was bugging me."

Now Anna kept hers in her pantry, but you could easily mount such a rack up on a wall in your kitchen itself as well.

Spice bottles are perfect for this, because you can get some really pretty ones that make it look like decor in your home, as well as extra storage space.

Here are some available wall mounted racks you might like:

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Organizing Spice Cabinet With Items From Dollar Tree

by Ferris



Ferris from The Hamman Family Blog shared some really awesome and still cheap storage solutions for the cabinet where she keeps her spices.

She went to The Dollar Tree and purchased some storage containers with dividers. (You can see the picture -- it is the red box.)

She explained: "The red fabric containers from the dollar store turned out to be really awesome. The inside separators are just Velcroed in so you do not have to use it if you don't want to. I bought 2 of these.

I used the separator for 1 and not the other. Also, since these are from the dollar store they are not the strongest so I reinforced the bottoms with some extra cardboard. This seemed to make them strong enough to pull in and out and not feel like they will break or drop all my items everywhere!"

Further, she stated: "The top fabric box has the separators in it. In that box is my vegetable oil, olive oil, pams, and some red and white cooking vinegar. The bottom box has my extra spices in it."

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More Dollar Tree Organizing Ideas From Ferris

by Ferris

Ferris (see above) also shared these pictures of how she organizes her spice packets and a few small spices.

She has them on the inside of her cabinet door, with a homemade door organizer.

Again, she used little plastic storage bins from the dollar store.

She explained, "I used the baskets that I got from the dollar store and screwed them to the cabinet. (Well Jake screwed them to the cabinet.) I love the way this turned out. It was so nice tonight when I cooked to just quickly grab the items I needed because I could get to them easily!"

Completely brilliant! Love it!

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Organized Spice Drawer: Now I Can See Everything I Have

by Louisa

Louisa sent in an after picture of her spice drawer on the site's Facebook wall.

She said, "Drawer full of easy to find spices! Got this idea from Pinterest."

Taylor says:

This look great Louisa, and they all fit in really well together.

Sometimes people want to use a drawer organizer designed for spices for this task, although it doesn't seem like you used one.

Here are some available models:

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I Use Turntables For My Spices In My Cabinet

by Trisha

Trisha shared her picture on the sister site, Household Management 101's Facebook page as well.

Trisha says:

I use two turn tables in my cabinet. One tiered and one single for the larger items.

I have them arranged alphabetically on the tiered table and by size/type for the odd ones on the single table.

I also love my "modular mates" from Tupperware for my baking soda, powder, cornstarch and cocoa. I have so much room and it's always easy to find what I need.

We are an army family and this system has followed me through 6 houses in 11 years.

Taylor says:

Thanks for sharing this picture Trisha.

This is a great method, and if since you move a lot it makes sense to choose something easily movable like this as well.

Here are some available turntables, also called lazy susans, that would work well in cabinets:

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Adding Sticker Labels To Top Of Jars To Find Easier In Drawer

by Bev

Bev shared her progress on her spice drawer on the sister site, Household Management 101 Facebook wall.

She explained that she "rehoused spices into drawer in kitchen.....alphabetic order, need more stickers. A work in progress…"

Further she stated, "The only place I could have my spices was along a thin rail that ran along the back of my pantry. Fine for me but now my daughter enjoys cooking and she was not able to read the labels. So we re organised to have them in a more user friendly place."

Putting spices in a drawer can clear up counter or cabinet space, but the disadvantage can be trying to see what is what when you need to grab something while cooking.

Adding the labels is a great fix to that problem. Great idea Bev!

Here are some available pre-printed spice labels if you're interested:

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Debate: How To Arrange Spices? Alphabetically Or By Type?

by Taylor

Taylor says:

There seems to be a debate raging about whether to arrange your spices alphabetically or by kind.

I honestly don't think there is a right answer. The answer will really be what your preference is, and what works for you.

Quite a number of readers have shared with me that they do it alphabetically.

For instance, Laurie shared, "I found arranging them in a loosely alphabetical order helps me find what I want easier."

I can understand that. If you have a lot of spices you can look through quite a number of jars and bottles before you find the one you want if they don't have some type of organization scheme.

I just guess I personally find that a bit stifling to imagine doing while I'm in the process of cooking something, and I could easily see people messing it up when they're helping you put things away.

On the other hand, I've also gotten discussion about why spices should be grouped by like item.

For example, one reader who did this week's challenge, Caroline, and blogged about it at Southern Mom Says explained on her blog:
I grouped all my spices together by like items. For example, all the Italian type seasonings, Oregano, Basil etc together and then the spicier stuff like Cumin, Paprika, Chili powder and then the sweet and/or baking spices together like Cinnamon, Powdered sugar & All Spice together. This will hopefully keep me from buying duplicate spices and also being able to tell quickly what I need to replace.

I personally think that is a great way to organize your spices!

I know a lot of people also like alphabetical, but sometimes if you use several spices together frequently Caroline's method may actually make it easier to grab all the right ones together, and save yourself some time.

On the other hand, everyone knows how to alphabetize. Not everyone thinks exactly the same way about what spices would make sense together.

Therefore, I really think this is a decision each person makes for themselves. Of course, it's not a huge deal either. You don't like the method you choose after trying it out -- just switch and see how that goes!

Do what works. What works for you?

Bev says:

I hadn't even thought of grouping the spices by 'type' and I can see how it would work for most cooks.

I choose to alphabetise the spices to make it easier for my daughter who is just starting to cook more elaborate meals in the kitchen. She may not know spices by 'type' so A-Z makes it quick and easier for us all. :)

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Decluttered & Organized Spice Drawer

by Leigh



Leigh from Joy and Strength shared her before and after pictures of her spice drawer.

She said: "The spice drawer was the first drawer I tackled this week and I was beyond thrilled with the results.

The spices were originally in with the cooking utensils.

I switched things up and put the spices in a smaller drawer by themselves, put all the bagged spices into lrg baby food jars, used a shoebox to corral them, gave away some stuff I never use and chucked the yuckies!"

Has This Inspired You To Get Organized?

organized home challenge
I hope these real life examples of how people have organized their own spices have given you ideas you can use as well.

If you're now inspired to get organizing, I would encourage you to join the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge here on the site. Over the course of the year we tackle every room and type of item to get your home decluttered and organized.

In addition, if you do this particular task I would love to see your results. You can share your before and after pictures here and I'll add them to the hall of fame, so we can all celebrate your accomplishments together!

Some links on this page are affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase a product through them I receive a small commission which helps me provide this information to you for free, plus support my family. My integrity and your satisfaction are very important to me so I only recommend products I would purchase myself, and that I believe would benefit you. To learn more please see my disclosure statement.

Related Pages You May Enjoy

Getting Clutter Free 15 Minutes At A Time Hall Of Fame

Storing Spices Hall Of Fame {Part 1}

Free Printable January Declutter Calendar With Daily Mission

Go From Organizing Your Spices Hall Of Fame {Part 2} To Home Page

Comments for Decluttered & Organized Spice Drawer

Click here to add your own comments

don't store near heat
by: Marybeth

Reminder: they say do NOT put spices near/above stove as the heat can and will effect the lasting flavors in them.

I use a basket
by: Sarah

I keep mine in a basket to organize them and when I need a spice I just pull out the whole basket.

what I do
by: Aimee

Mine are on lazy susans and I have seasoning packets in recycled baby wipe boxes with no lids.

I use a basket too
by: Lily

I keep mine in a small basket on the counter. That way I can reach them without them falling on my head.

alphabetized on turntables
by: Kay

Mine are on turntables too, but they are alphabetized. I don't buy duplicates that way.

start small
by: Consuelo

Best to have a spice rack and start small and build as you build your spices.

built in drawer
by: Cathy

I have a built in spice drawer in my kitchen. Best idea my contractor had.

spinning rack on counter
by: Katy

Have a spinning rack on the counter. Excess and the packets to refill the rack are in a photo box. Box was $3 at Michaels. The farmer's market sells really cheap spices for refill but in ugly containers.

I use a breadbox
by: Sherri

I have a beautiful breadbox that my brother built and my SIL painted. I use that for spices.

I use magnetic organizers from Ikea
by: Hannah

I use the neat little magnetic organizers from Ikea. Not too pricey and they work great! For Ikea they are pictured for an office, but they work great in the kitchen too. My fridge happens to bump up against my stove and counter space where I cook so they are on the side of fridge. Easy access.

Tupperware spice carousel
by: Shawna

I picked up a Tupperware spice carousel thing at a yard sale last year and I LOVE it. I have peppers and spicier things on one side, others on the other side. Just need to find another and I'll be set.

spice carousel
by: Roberta

I got a spice carousel which fits in an otherwise wasted corner of my kitchen counter!

I use baskets in my cupboard
by: Vickie

I found baskets that just fit in the upper cupboard. I can pull them out like a drawer, or take them out to wherever I am working at. I put meat type seasoning in one basket, spicy seasonings in another, cookie cake decorating stuff in another.

Spices in freezer
by: Edye

I usually buy bulk spices that comes in small Ziploc bags. I transfer them to clean medicine bottles. I label and date them. Then store them in a basket in the freezer.

The salesman told me that the freezer would keep them indefinitely.

The bottles close air tight so I don't worry about moisture getting in.

Spices in bulk
by: Sammi

Buying spices in bulk is only good if you can use them quickly. Most spices have a shelf life and it isn't a saving if you need to dispose of them. Herbs especially loose their potency quickly. I keep a list of purchase dates on the blackboard next to my pantry. It really helps.

I too had some that were a decade old. Ugh!

Renovating my kitchen pushed me into better organization.

Sorting by type facilitates experimentation
by: Mel P.

I have my spices organized by type on four turntables in the awkward cabinet (with shelf) above my stove hood. It might take up a lot of space, but it lets me put all of my spices on the outer edge of each turntable so nothing's hiding! I do, though, have some seasoning blends and a few fresh duplicates/backups in the spaces on the shelves around the turntables. With four turntables, my four "type" categories are whole spices, baking/sweet spices, all kinds of pepper (chili powder, garlic pepper, cayenne, etc.), and savory seasonings and herbs. Each turntable is alphabetized as you go around. I often experiment with seasonings and spices, just making things up as I go along, so sorting by type works very well for me. "Hm, this needs something spicy..."

how I group my spices
by: Janet

I use the 2-tier turntable for mine. Sweet spices on the bottom, savory on the top. Alphabetical just didn't work for me, so I also use like groupings on each tier. The spices I use for spaghetti sauce are not the same as the ones I use for cornbread dressing.

love the drawer storage idea
by: Wrap Girl JuJu

I had purged and arranged my spices in a cabinet 2 weeks ago but I have limited cabinet space and I never considered laying them on their sides in a drawer. Guess I'll be moving them to a drawer today to open up that cabinet space for something else.

I put up a small fold up table with cupboard
by: Janet Hunter

My kitchen drawer held all my spices. I used the small unit to free up the drawer, my spices are held there, also with a fold up seat. I can now sit in my small kitchen and prepare my mixed, curry spice etc; garam masala etc. I love it along with my pull out behind the door unit.

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