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Organizing And Storing Spices Hall of Fame: Part of Week 3 of the Organized Home Challenge

One of the tasks in the Organize Pantry Challenge was storing spices, and keeping them organized for use.

There are both fancy ways to do this, using spice racks and specially made storage solutions, and those that you can do yourself at home with what you've already got.

Here are some before and after pictures from readers (scroll down to see more) showing how they conquered this challenge, and organized their spices for use in their pantries, kitchen cabinets and drawers.

Organize Pantry & Spices Challenge
You can read the entire Organize Pantry, Spices and Food Storage Areas Challenge to get more step by step instructions on how to do this challenge.

In addition, check out the spices decluttering mission here on the site to make sure you're only organizing and storing the herbs and spices that are still good, and not keeping old, expired, or duplicate spice tins or bottles.

If you've been inspired and want to share your own pictures, I'd love to add them to the hall of fame. You can share your before and after pictures in the Home Organization Hall of Fame.

Photo by EvelynGiggles

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Lisa's Organized Spices And Tupperware

by Lisa

Lisa shared her organized spice and tupperware cabinet on the Home Storage Solutions 101 Facebook wall.

Lisa says:

My spices and Tupperware cabinet was the one I was least looking forward to but now it is done! We purged and reorganized and YES the spices are in alphabetical order :)

Taylor says:

Lisa, that looks awesome, and so impressed with the alphabetical organization!

Another way some people like to organize their spices is by group or type, such as sweet spices together, Italian spices, curries together, etc. We typically use a couple of the same spices together in different meals, so some people may want to consider that method of organization too.

I think I see that you've used some spice shelf extenders too in your cabinet to let you organize more spices and see them all (see the example on the right for those who don't know what I'm talking about). I love these little "risers" that let you stack things three rows deep and still be able to see the spices in the back.

***Update: A reader, Jane, discussed a con of using shelf risers for your spices. She said:
I have two of the shelf risers. The problem is that for tall bottles you can't see the labels. When I reach for something in the back the ones in the front tend to tip and often fall out and knock others over. Can be very frustrating.
That's good to keep in mind Jane, so thanks for sharing your experiences with me!

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Purging Spices And Cooking Supplies

by Megan Lorenzen
(Waverly, IA)

Newly purged spices/cooking supplies (note the turntables - these are great!)

Newly purged spices/cooking supplies (note the turntables - these are great!)

Megan has shared pictures of her newly decluttered spices and cooking supplies.

Megan says:

I completed a badly needed purging of my spices and other cooking supplies.

Although they had been pretty well organized on turntables before, there were lots of out-dated things (see picture). The worst was an unopened bottle of peanut oil I believe I received as part of a wedding shower gift with an expiration date of 2003! Sadly, that means I moved it to two different houses AFTER it had expired. Yikes!

Many of the cooking wines/vinegars dated back to my experimental cooking days before kids and expired 3-5 years ago.

Everything is now back in place (and still alphabetized!). I'm glad to know everything is fresh and edible. :o)

I have also gone through the rest of my kitchen cabinets and found lots of stuff to throw or give away. My best re-organization was adding baskets and labels to the kids' plastic cupboard and the sprinkles/cake/frosting supplies. (see full cabinet picture)

Taylor says:

Thanks so much for sharing your before and after pics. Your cabinets and food pantry now look like you've got lots of room, and can find things more easily, which is great.

I love turntables too! They are great for organizing spices, or other small items in your pantry so you can find things easily, including stuff in the back of the cabinet.

In addition, adding containers like cute baskets can make it easier to keep like items together on your shelves so that was a great choice. Great job!

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Clearing Out The Spice Drawer Made It More Functional

by Susan @ Camp Slinkard

Spice drawer - before

Spice drawer - before

Susan from Camp Slinkard blogged about her accomplishments from week #3 of the 52 weeks to an Organized Home Challenge.

I've already featured her pantry organization results in the Pantry Organizing Challenge Hall of Fame, but I wanted to show how she organized her spice drawer too, since she did such a great job.

She already had a spice drawer organizer (like the one pictured to the right), but with time it had started to get a bit full.

Sometimes some simple organization is really all you need to improve things, including decluttering. Great job Susan! You knocked this one out of the park!

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Built In Spice Rack In Pantry Wall

by Nikki

Empty shelves

Empty shelves

Nikki says:

I had the idea to build a spice rack into the wall in my pantry.

Of course it was up to my husband to figure out how to make it happen. I think he did a fabulous job.

Now I can see all my spices at once, so things don't get lost and forgotten behind other things.

Taylor says:

Wow Nikki, this is absolutely great. Your husband is very talented!

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Storing Spices In An Old Build In Ironing Board Cabinet

by Jan @ The Crafty Mermaid's Grotto

Spice cabinet - with door opened

Spice cabinet - with door opened

I have already featured Jan from The Crafty Mermaid's Grotto in the Pantry Organizing Challenge hall of fame.

However, she has such an ingenious and creative idea for storing spices in her kitchen I had to share this with you too.

She has an older house, and the previous owners had a built in ironing board cabinet in the kitchen, with a fold down iron. Since she doesn't iron she and her husband redid the space to instead hold spices, installing adjustable shelves.

What a creative storage solution Jan! Great job, and very ingenious.

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Stacey's Organized Spices

by Stacey

Stacey shared her picture of her organized spices with me on the site's Facebook wall.

Stacey says:

I wish I had taken a before picture because you couldn't see all what was in my spice cubbord, but here is the after shot :)

I ended up finding homes for lots of things that didn't need to be in here plus marrying same items and throwing away things we didn't need or that were basically empty :) It was very rewarding!

Taylor says:

Stacey, it looks great! Wonderful job.

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Decluttering Spices And Making A Spice Inventory Sheet

by Bec @ 2012 - the year of challenges

Spices Inventory

Spices Inventory

Bec from 2012 - The Year Of Challenges blogged about her pantry organizing, which I've already featured in the pantry organizing hall of fame.

However, she did such a good job with her spice storage I wanted to share these pictures too.

Not only did she declutter her spices, getting rid of duplicates and ones that have expired, she also created her own spice inventory, to keep track of what she has on hand, and posted it on the inside of her pantry door.

I was so impressed I had to feature her here too, in this Organizing and Storing Spices Hall of Fame!

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Switched From Counter To Drawer Storage For My Spices

by Angela



Angela from Confessions of a Craft Addict shared before and after pictures of how she both decluttered and then organized all her spices.

She had been storing the spices on her counter, in her breadbox, and also on top of it, and to the side of it.

When she had first decided on using the bread box in this way she explained, "It really seemed like a good idea at first. But, it just wasn't big enough, and I could never find anything. So I had some duplicates."

She threw out expired items and paired things down, and before she put them in the drawers she labeled the tops with a white paint pen, and put them in alphabetical order so she could find what she needed easily.

Then, she moved the bread box and some other kitchen counter clutter, and voila, she had more clear work space as well!

Great job Angela!

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Storing Spices Is Easier When You Get Rid Of Duplicates

by Christine



Christine also shared her pictures on the Facebook wall.

Christine says:

I got 2 cabinets down to just one. I wish I had a little shelf for spices but I improvised by turning a container upside down.

I can't believe how many spice duplicates I had. I feel better that this is done and nothing is falling out at me when I open the doors. Wish I would have taken a before pic. Oh well. I love the after!

She also said:

Honestly, who needs 7 pepper shakers? 5 of which are almost empty!!

Taylor says:

organized home challenge
Thanks so much for sharing your pics Christine, and I think you did a great job paring things down if you could combine 2 cabinets contents into one.

It is easy to accumulate duplicates of spices since we easily forget what we have in our cabinet already while we're at the grocery store. If you use the printable pantry list I've created though, you won't have this trouble in the future since you'll know what you've got in your pantry and make sure you use it before it goes bad (or in the case of spices, loses flavor).

I hope these pictures have inspired each of you to organize and store your spices to help you find what you need while cooking. You can read the Organize Pantry, Spices and Food Storage Areas Challenge here, and then once you've done the challenge be sure to post your own before and after pictures.

You can share your food and pantry organization hall of fame pictures and stories here.

Please note I've gotten so many submissions I started another hall of fame page, which you can see here.

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.

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Go From Organizing And Storing Spices Hall Of Fame To Home Page

Comments for Storing Spices Is Easier When You Get Rid Of Duplicates

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baskets with similar spices in them
by: Conny

I started organizing my kitchen and with this I put a small basket or even two in each of my kitchen cabinets. In each one I have similar spices that go well together, like when I make salad I have all the green spices in that one basket, or for the chicken all the needed spices in another one. It works for me.

One day...
by: Margaret Mary Myers

I enjoyed this post! Right now, even though I don't have duplicates, my spices are totally hopeless. Every time I cook I have to take out 5 or 6 jars that I'm not going to use, in order to get to the ones I am going to use.

But I'm afraid that if I take the time to change that, I might sidetrack myself from the paper sorting I'm working on.

However, this post inspired me to think creatively about what I can do, and whether I can do a little at a time, to make my spices more usable.

Thank you.

how I do it
by: Anonymous

I have two narrow shelves for spice storage and use shoe boxes to store alphabetically AND makes for easy access. I also put labels on tops of bottles. When I need a spice, I pull out the A-L box or the M-Z. Easy access and organized.

When do spices expire?
by: RgH

I have lots of spices and have 2-3 different ways to store them. My question is, how long are spices good to use? I looked and there are no expiration dates on mine.

the way I store my spices
by: Anonymous

I have a lot of spices because I like to cook. They are in all different size containers and packages. The ones that come in celophane bags I put into old glass baby food jars but the rest, I leave in the jars they came in. To keep them neat I get those baskets from the dollar store, deep and short, and put my spice jars in them with a label taped to the top to tell me what it is so I don't have to take everything out and look at it. Then I tape an index card to the front of each basket with the contents so that I can easily find the spice I need. Some of the baskets are stacked on top of one another to create more space for the big containers like salt boxes, garlic powder, etc.

label tall jars
by: Anonymous

For the tall jars, I put a handmade label on the top (facing the front) so it shows over the tops of the lower ones. You can buy sticky backed labels at Office supply places and print the names with a Sharpie, so they're easy to read.

Pantry and spice organization
by: Marjorie

I'm in the process of moving and have boxes of things I need to put away. My favorite kitchen was one I designed and organized into work areas like baking, storage, prep/clean up, etc. So I'm trying to organize the space by work area as much as possible. At the moment my focus is my pantry and the HUGE spice collection, which I kept fairly neatly in a cabinet in my last home: plastic containers for infrequently used collections like for Thai and Vietnamese cooking, on the top shelf; larger/bulkier spice jars on the middle shelf and everything else arranged A-Z on the bottom shelf. And things I used most right up front. It was a pretty good system but took up a whole cabinet, which I don't want to do again. After reading your "how long do spices last" column, I'll be going through my huge box of spices and imagine a lot will get ditched and help solve my problem of where to put them! I like the collection idea as well the idea of storing spices in Dollar boxes, A-Z, w labels on the top of the bottles!! In my last home, I used fabric and plastic (open top) bins to store things on the lower cabinet shelves: small appliance bins and bins for similar items, like teas, flours, drink containers, and baking tools. The bins store 2 deep and slide out easily to get at things quickly. I also use a few fabric bins for ingredients for recipes I make frequently so I don't have to gather them every time--I just have to remember to look for those ingredients in the recipe bins. Thanks for the great articles and thanks to everyone for sharing their ideas! It's very motivating! I'll post pics as I progress!

Shoe Organizer for Spices
by: Suzanne

We have hung a clear shoe organizer over the inside of our pantry door. The clear pockets allow me to see all of the spices, and the pockets are big enough to store larger spice containers (like ones from Costco) or several small spices in each.

Spice Question
by: Pamela

I have seen spices stored on the side of refrigerators. Is this safe to the life of the spices as I was thinking this could be a good option for me.

Making the right spice easy to find
by: Kate

I keep my spices standing upright in a pull out lower cabinet shelf. I line them up alphabetically and write their name on a small piece of masking tape attached to their lid. So easy to use.

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