July 9, 2021  

How To Organize Spices (and the best glass spice jars!)


Looking for a solution for organizing spices? I organized mine in a drawer using pretty (yet inexpensive) glass spice jars. They’re so much easier to find now! Keep reading for tips on organizing spices in a drawer.

image of organized silverware and spice drawers

This organizing project was a long-time-coming in my kitchen. And I’m thrilled to show you the outcome: a neat and organized, easy-access spice drawer.

Spices are unique because they don’t take up much space alone, but with every new recipe we try, we accumulate more spices and end up with a variety of shapes and sizes and brands. They start to look messy, and it can be hard to see what you have through the container clutter.

Kitchen cabinets and drawers get used SO often, I recommend taking the time to organize your spices. Check out how much space I saved in the photos below – on my countertop and in a cabinet! And who doesn’t love uniform containers with long-lasting labels?

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silverware drawer and spice drawer with text overlay
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How I Organized My Spice Drawer

My spices were originally located in one small cabinet plus a spice rack that sat on my counter. But with a little organization, I condensed them down into one drawer using uniform jars. And I strategically chose a drawer right next to the stove for convenience. Now I have an organized (and pretty!) spice drawer that makes cooking a bit more enjoyable.

I searched high and low for nice, affordable glass spice jars. These spice jars were recommended in every search I did, and I now know why! They have twisting lids and flat sides, which is great so they don’t roll around in my drawer. They come with two shaker inserts (large and small holes) and a collapsible mini funnel to help transfer the spices into the jars. They also included a handy conversion chart and 2 variations of pre-printed labels. They were roughly $1/jar from Amazon – not bad!

After I purged expired and rarely-used spices and combined duplicates, I transferred my spices into new glass jars using a small funnel. It feels so nice to have everything neatly organized in uniform jars!

spices in a cabinet
drawer filled with labeled spice jars

In addition to the glass spice jars in my spice drawer, I also added a turntable to an upper cabinet to use for specialty seasonings (like grilling seasonings) and overflow spices which I use to replenish the glass jars when they run low.

cabinet of oils and spices

Organizing spices

Follow these six simple steps to organize your spices!

1. Gather & Sort

Gather up every spice you have and sort into loose categories so you can see what you’re working with. You’ll likely discover a few duplicates that can be easily combined, and items that don’t belong with your spices that can be relocated elsewhere.

variety of spices

2. Purge Expired Spices

Next up, purge anything that is expired or that you don’t cook with. When I cleaned out the rotating spice rack we were gifted ages ago, I realized there were several jars of things we never cook with. I’m a pretty simple cook so there’s no need for me to have a jar of coriander taking up space–I have no idea what I’d ever use it for!

3. Decant Spices Into Uniform Jars

Create a uniform look by ditching your mismatched plastic spice jars for a nice set of glass jars. This keeps things looking much less cluttered. The set of glass jars I bought is inexpensive and comes with two types of shaker lids with varying hole sizes so you can customize the jar to work best for each spice.

Use a small funnel to transfer spices into new jars and you’ll have less of a mess on your hands. You can purchase small funnels (my spice jar set came with a small collapsible one!) or roll a piece of paper into a cone for a makeshift funnel.

chili powder funneling into a glass jar

4. Add Labels

Next up is labeling! Add labels to your spice jars to identify their contents and make your spice drawer look even more organized.

I used my label maker to create custom labels for mine and love how they turned out! You can also use a white fine-tip paint pen, design and print your own labels at home, or Etsy is a treasure trove of pretty spice jar labels. Oh, and the glass spice jar set I used from Amazon actually included two different styles of labels so that’s a great way to go, too!

image of label maker and phone creating labels for spices
spice jars, labels, and a label maker

Related: Check out my blog post on How to Make Water Bottle Labels to see step-by-step how to create labels using my favorite label maker.

5. Clean Out Your Spice Drawer Or Cabinet

Before moving anything in, wipe your drawer or cabinet clean. This will make it more enjoyable to organize, and easier to clean in the future!

Once you’ve done some light cleaning, install any tiered shelves or drawer inserts like the ones I made below. They’re pretty simple, they fit perfectly, and the finished product is exactly what I was hoping for! (A future blog post will detail exactly how I made this.)

6. Organize Your Spice Drawer / Cabinet / Rack

Last, but certainly not least, ORGANIZE! There are several options for organizing spices. I chose a drawer near my stove. Another way is placing them in a cabinet on turntables or a tiered shelf. Wall-mounted spice racks are also great space-savers.

Put your labeled jars away neatly in the area you choose. I find it easiest to organize roughly by color, with the spices I use most frequently toward the front. For example, one row of my drawer holds garlic powder, garlic salt, salt, and pepper. The next row holds taco seasoning, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and red pepper flakes. This is logical to me, but do whatever works for you!

Spice Organization FAQs

What is the best way to organize spices?

There are several options for organizing spices: laid flat inside a drawer, a turntable inside a cabinet, a tiered shelf inside a cabinet, or a wall-mounted shelf.

Is it better to store spices in glass or plastic?

Glass is better than plastic. All spices have an expiration date no matter the jar, but glass will extend the shelf life of spices significantly.

What are the best glass spice jars?

Look for glass jars that have a shaker lid on them. And if you’re putting them in a drawer, you might want to look for jars with flat edges so they won’t roll around as much. I highly recommend this inexpensive set of spice jars (they even come with labels!).

How do you label a spice jar?

You can label your spice jars with a paint pen, a label maker, vinyl labels made with a cutting machine, or use pre-made labels like these that come with a set of jars.

How do you make a tiered spice rack?

I built my tiered spice rack using small pieces of plywood with a 1×2 board glued to the back to make a riser. I built 4 of these for my drawer.

Should spices be kept in the dark?

Spices are best stored away from direct sunlight in a moisture-free, dark area such as a drawer or pantry.

Favorite Spice Organizers

Shop my favorite spice organizers on the LTK app!

spice organizer roundup
How To Organize Spices

How To Organize Spices

Instructions

  1. Gather & Sort
  2. Purge Expired Spices
  3. Decant Into Uniform Jars
  4. Add Labels
  5. Clean Out Your Spice Drawer Or Cabinet
  6. Organize Your Spice Drawer / Cabinet / Rack

Looking for more organizing inspiration? Take a look at these blog posts:

Have a fantastic day!

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