There are quite a few options to choose from when it comes to Spice Rack Organizing. Selecting the best spice rack organizer, containers, and labels can be an overwhelming process. This post will tackle some of these issues and more.
I have finally hit the jackpot in regards to my spices. I can honestly say that my spice rack is complete, and its location is perfect. It has been a long journey, and I’m super excited to share my eureka moments with you!
Since remodeling our kitchen eight years ago, I’m still rethinking and reorganizing various areas. I believe that a kitchen is in constant flux until it is organized correctly and efficiently. I am a woman on a mission, and I have organized our baking pantry, snack drawer, coffee station, under my kitchen sink, and now our spices. If you like to receive my 5-step organizing series than signup here. It is free and will be delivered to your email inbox.
But before I dive into my post, I want to mention that my friends are collaborating with me on their organizing posts as well. You can view their projects at the bottom of this post.
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Ok, back to spice rack organizing.
First off, organizing anything is an investment in time and money. My issue when it comes to my spices is that I haven’t spent the time addressing the reasons why my system isn’t working. And most importantly, I also haven’t taken the time to solve the problems.
And I must admit that when it came to my spices, I just slapped something together and I struggled with the consequences.
This photo is from another post, Tips for Kitchen Organizing, and I didn’t address my spice rack issues. So, finally, I spent time planning my spice rack. I had a recent failed attempt when I tried spice rack organizing, and I’ll share that down below under spice rack options. But seriously, I think the planning took just as much time as installing all the spices in their containers.
Key Concerns When Organizing Spices
Placement of Spices
I recently had a big ah-ha moment. You see, I always placed my spices up above eye level. Well, when you place them on the tiered shelves, there isn’t enough visual clearance, and the labels aren’t even visible. You can see it in my old system in the photo. I tried to write the names on the lids.
Finally, the lightbulb turned on in my brain, and I thought to myself, let’s lower the location of the spices. Now this made a world of difference.
- Height of the Spices: The height is so important when you are organizing your spice racks. Place them about a foot and a half below your eye level. So, here is why they should be lower, you can see in between the spices to the labels as well as view the labels placed on the lids. It is the best way to view your spices. I’m not sure why I always insisted on putting them above my eye level.
Choosing a Shelf
I’ve had these organizers forever and almost tossed them out. I almost bought a snazzy spice rack that rotates and has another lazy Susan within the rotating spice rack. But, I looked at it, and still, not all the spices were visible. So, I stuck to these shelves and told myself to make them work. I wasn’t going to give up on my spice rack organizing.
DIY Spice Rack:
I signed up for the plans to build a spice rack since this version had more clearance between the rows. I liked that with this version, the labels were visible. But, I didn’t have the wood, tools, and time to do this project.
Lazy Susan Spice Rack:
I almost bought one of these rotating racks, but I didn’t like that some of the containers blocked others. So, I decided it wasn’t the most efficient use of space, and I didn’t buy it. It was super tempting since they look so cool. Also, it seemed the tray was a bit unwieldy when it rotated; the lazy Susan (located in the middle) turned while the larger one was rotating.
Tiered Spice Rack:
I have owned these shelves for the longest time, and I was shocked to find them at The Container Store. They expand to longer lengths, and I like that they just fade away in the background. But, I’ve always been frustrated that the space between the shelves wasn’t more prominent, so the bottles had a more significant clearance from each other. Well, as you know, I fixed that issue. I do love the sleek look fo these shelves and how it looks so pretty when the spices are all organized.
Pull-Down Spice Rack:
I bought the pull-down spice organizer but quickly found out my shelf wasn’t deep enough. Also, we would have to bolt my rack down somehow since the weight of the shelf, when extended, puts a lot of pressure on the shelf. Ultimately, it just felt like it wasn’t a great fit overall. I wanted to drop the spices down, so I had a better view of them. Well, I accomplished this obstacle by lowering my shelf in the pantry. Hello!
You could say that this spice rack organizing has taken over my brain this past week!
Spice Storage Jars
Up until tackling my spices, I had no clue that these spice jars existed. Once I went onto Amazon, there was a boatload of them. And most of them received excellent reviews.
Let me tell you, I LOVE these bottles and I want to shout it from the rooftops. You really need to buy these bottles and labels for your spice rack organizing project. This package includes a funnel, a ton of printed labels, blank labels, and a chalkboard pen. I can’t say enough great things about these bottles and labels. The transformation of changing out your containers is so drastic that you’ll never go back to just shoving your store-bought spice bottles on your shelves. Here are the things I love about them.
Lots of Great Spice Labels
They have almost every type of spice listed on their labels. There are so many that I haven’t even heard of, which is super cool. For instance, what is Ras El Hanout?
Visibility of Spices
You can see for yourself in the above photo the difference between using a uniform spice jar. My son had the idea of placing the two different jars side-by-side.
Bottles are Pretty Durable
I did drop a few bottles and they didn’t break. The lids got a little dent, but nothing too horrible. This spice kit is fabulous and it includes everything you need to organize your spices.
So, when organizing my spice rack, I placed the labels on the top of the lids as well as the front of the jars. I was able to do this since I bought two boxes of spice bottles and received two batches of labels. The clear labels (pictured above) they planned for the front of the jars were too difficult to read when I filled the jar with spices. They should’ve made the front labels with black letters with a white background or vice-versa. But, I solved that problem by placing the black circle labels on the front.
How to Organize Spices
1. Determine Where You Want to House Your Spices
I highly suggest placing them about a foot and a half lower than eye level. This way, you can see the labels on top and the front of the jars when you look down on them. Also, you can easily reach in and grab the spices, no more tiptoes!
2. Clear the Pantry Shelf
I find when organizing any area, clearing the shelf out is essential. This way, you start with a fresh slate. While you have it clear, clean out the area with a damp rag or Mr. Clean sponges. I had marks on my tiered shelves, and the sponge took them right off. It was like magic.
3. Measure Your Space
Measure and know the exact measurements of your space. I can’t stress enough how essential it is to successful spice rack organizing. Also, if you have adjustable shelves, take out the shelf above the area you want to organize.
4. Throw Out Any Old Spices
I had about 20 old spices. So, once I purged everything, took inventory, I knew how many bottles I needed.
5. Calculate How Many Bottles You Need
So each tier holds seven bottles and so my whole organizing shelf contains 28 bottles. And my space holds two-tiered organizers, so I have a total of 56 spice bottles.
6. Buy the Tiered Spice Shelves and Spice Storage Jars
7. Clean Your Bottles
I hand-washed my new spice bottles in soapy water. You can place them in the dishwasher as well. Let them air-dry overnight. I still had a few wet areas in my containers, so I set them outside in the summer weather. You don’t want any moisture mixing with your spices.
8. Transfer the Spice to the New Bottles
I placed a cookie tray down on my table and used the funnel (it came with the bottles) to transfer the spices. Sometimes the funnel would get clogged with clumps of spices, so just pinch the end to get the spices flowing again. Also, the standard spice bottle which holds 1.75 ounces, the contents will fit in these jars. Just a side note, you’ll find that spices are pretty strong in flavor, so after using the funnel you’ll want to give a good wash before using it again.
9. Place Spice Labels on Jars
So, you’ll want to place the lid on your bottle before attempting the labels. You see, the names on the labels should line up once you decide which side of the container is the front. I also found that if I don’t use the flip-top lid, then the cap will twist to a different location on the bottle. I also realized that if you place one side of the label down, you can kind of moved and adjust the other side to line up straight. And you’ll be relieved that the stickers can be gently pulled up and repositioned without tearing.
10. Organize the Spices in Alphabetical Order
Yes, it will be a bit of a pain to alphabetize the spices, but it is worth the effort. When you are busy baking or cooking, you’ll be so happy you did this step. I know my family thinks I’m over the top with organizing, but they do love that everything is so easy to find in our kitchen. And since we are all cooking these days, it is super cool when your kitchen is well organized.
11. Allow Enough Space Above Your Top Row of Spices
So here is the thing when it comes to spice rack organizing, you want enough space above the top row of spices, so you can physically grab the spice bottle. Secondly, visually you want at least a minimal distance of four inches between the lid of the top spices and your next shelf in your pantry. I realized that when I looked down at my spices, the shelf above can block the view if it is too low. I hope I’m making sense here.
12. Label Expiration Date
The spice kit contains blank chalkboard labels. And since I had plenty of labels, I placed them on the backside of the bottles. And then when I buy new spices, I will write the expiration date in with a chalk pen.
Questions You May Have About Spices
Is It Best to Store Spices in Plastic or Glass?
Plastic is porous and eventually allows air in, and that damages the spices. Glass will extend the life of the spices, which is a good thing.
Do Spices Need to Be Stored in the Dark?
Light will negatively affect the flavor of your spices. So you preferably want to store them in a pantry where they will be in darkness most of the time.
I hope I didn’t overwhelm you with this spice rack organizing tutorial. You probably noticed how passionate I am about organizing our kitchen. The rest of the house is disorganized, but slowly and surely, my kitchen is a well-oiled machine. And with all our cooking lately, I need everything to be organized nicely. I know that my son mentioned that this project was time-consuming, but it is worth all my planning and installing of spices.
I’m confident I won’t have to reorganize this shelf ever. I hope that you have all the success in organizing your kitchen spices too!
Happy Organizing My Dear Friends,
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