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Organizing the Spices

Remember when I shared my newly organized kitchen utensil drawer last week? Well, I also organized the unruly kitchen cabinet above the utensil drawer. I initially set out to organize our spices, but I was on an organizing streak, people. I couldn’t be stopped. So I organized (and cleaned!) the entire cabinet.

Let’s start with a before image of the cabinet. Woof. Tons of spices on the bottom shelf, a bunch of stuff on the middle shelf, and even more stuff on the top shelf.

messy kitchen cabinet

I could never find spices because they were stacked on top of each other. I’d dig into the pile hoping to pull out the garlic powder and I’d get parsley flakes instead. It was rough.

messy kitchen cabinet-- don't pin this

So I picked up some tiered, wire shelf thingies for about $3.50 each at the Walmart (please don’t judge me). I pushed the shelves together to make one big tiered shelf. Don’t they remind you of the risers you stood on for choir concerts in elementary school? No? Well, that’s what I think of when I look at them.

spice organizers

I arranged the spices in categories– grilling, cooking, and baking. My cooking wines and oils are arranged in the empty space on the left. Now, some of you may be saying “Well, that’s great, but you can’t see the spices on the second and third shelves”. That’s partly true, but I’ve been using this system for a week, and I’ve already memorized where my most used spices are located. Maybe I’ll label the caps one day. But for now, this system is  working for me, and it’s a great improvement from what I was doing.

organized spices

I corralled our spice packets in a shallow plastic basket I had laying around. Now when I need a packet, I grab the basket from the second shelf and flip through the packets until I find the one I need.

organized spice packets

So here’s the freshly cleaned and organized cabinet.

organized kitchen cabinet

I put our varieties of salts and peppers on the second shelf along with the spice packets. The third shelf houses my recipe boxes, toothpicks, and kitchen scales.

organized kitchen cabinet

Now the entire cabinet is organized, down to the cabinet door with my hidden kitchen organizer.

hidden kitchen organizer

How do you organize your spices?
Do you now have the sudden urge to clean one of your kitchen cabinets?

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  1. No judgment for buying shelves at Wal Mart! My Wal Mart has awesome organization stuff, not to mention they carry the Better Homes & Gardens line, and I’m a sucker for BHG, lol. Your cabinet looks great! I organized my spice cabinet recently, too. It feels so great to just reach in and grab for something, rather than having to dig:).

    1. Never regret buying things for a bargain. I bought similar ones at the dollar store for a buck a piece.

  2. This looks awesome! I LOVE looking for organizing shelves and bins at Wally’s and $ store! It’s the only place I go. Container Store is cool to look at, but I can’t really feel good about the project if I spend $15 on a bin when I know I can go to the $ store or even Goodwill and find something probably better! I am so with you!

  3. No Walmart hating. I’m a big fan. Maybe when I’m rich and snooty and using $100 bills as tissues I’ll turn up my nose at Walmart, but as a relatively poor relatively recently graduated family, we love the Walmarts. I’ve never seen the choir stand shelves before, but they look really handy for spices! Mine are a bit of a mess too. The only thing that keeps them from being a complete disaster at this point is that my kitchen is so much larger than my previous kitchen that I haven’t even come close to filling up all my cabinet space yet, so the spices can sprawl. I should probably reign them in before things start getting crowded though.

  4. I think it looks really neat and tidy. I love, love, LOVE! anything to do with organizing. Keep up the good work!

  5. I keep all of my spices in two semi-useless drawers in my kitchen… they lay flat with their labels up so it’s easy to reach and get what I need. I used to keep them above the stove, but I couldn’t reach them. Now I use that cabinet for tuperware. I still can’t reach it, but that’s ok!

    Love your little secret organization of that door! =)

    1. I love the spice drawer idea! Especially if you’re petite. Which I’m not since I’m 5’10”, but I can appreciate your struggles. (I’m the chick who reaches the top shelf for the short people at the grocery store.) We have so many cabinets, but not enough drawers in our kitchen. Well, that’s kind of a lie. We have 2 junk drawers which are taking up prime real estate. I should work on that.

  6. I could benefit from a spice cabinet makeover. Our cabinet got pretty bad awhile ago and my husband actually reoganized it which clearly means it was an absolute nightmare since he never organizes things! Its looking a little scary again now though! I love that back of the door organizer!

  7. I need to do this! This is definitely my kind of organizing. Didn’t spend a lot of money or make things look super staged, just organized and functional!

  8. Now. I just did mine too. Although I ditched the stair step things. Too much mess. I’m so sloppy with my spices so I went with containers for like spices.

  9. How funny that you posted about organizing spice today too! I posted my on little spice organization project today, and I saw a featured reader’s spice drawer over on iheartorganizing.com … Weird!

    1. Great minds, Rachel, great minds. 🙂

  10. When we turned our hall closet into a pantry, I was able to move my spices from a drawer to a cabinet – I just invested in a little spinny thing (lazy susan?) but I’m not really digging it.
    This definitely makes me want to go organize though – way to be motivating!

    I also love that you have wood colored/stained cabinets, too. Everyone has white, and I was feeling like an outcast with my brown kitchen. 🙂

    1. Oh, they won’t be honey oak for long. I’m hopping on the white kitchen cabinet train ASAP. Choo-choo!

  11. I need to get some of those rising step shelves for my spice cabinet. I have one of those lazy susans and I end up having to unpack it entirely to find the things in the middle!

  12. Martha L. says:

    Oh my! The cabinet is beautiful! I love how organized and put together everything is. It surely makes for less of a hassle when it comes to moving throughout the kitchen to find the ingredients.

  13. It looks great! I organized all my spices a while ago, but they’re a mess again – really need to get back on top of it! I bought a bunch of jars last year and switched all my spices out of their original containers and into the jars. Now, I try to only buy the spice packets because they’re usually cheaper and hold way more than the containers. They take up one whole shelf in my base-cabinet-deep pantry cupboard.

  14. I was JUST talking to my husband about this week as I attempted to pull out one of my spices and was greeted by an avalanche of McCormick spice bottles. I REALLY need to do this! Thanks for the motivation/inspiration!

  15. I was in a hurry when we moved in, and I threw our spices in a drawer. A DRAWER! D was horrified. Well, still is, since I haven’t re-organized them yet. 😉

  16. I have not read all through the comments….what you might do is now take a sharpie and right on the sides of the spice lids what they are. Since from your photo’s you cannot see the names on the jars because of the spices in front. This way you can reach in and grab what you need. The shelves look great and I really like the tiered idea.

  17. It looks great!!! Nice to get those cabinets cleaned out and organized. I have been doing lots of that around my whole house. My spices, cooking and baking take up the cabinet next to the stove and one of the two drawers in the cabinet below! Spices in the drawer are in alpha order, so I don’t have to search for the one I need. It is out of control. Fairly organized, but out of control, in the sense I have so many. I like making a wide variety of things, thus all the spices. (plus, my job is cooking for a tax office during the tax season). Having the big bulk containers from Sam’s Club eats up a lot of space too.

  18. Trust me, Walmart is nothing to hate. I work there (in Canada)… and I LOVE our products. And I do recall seeing some Great Value product in your cupboard so you clearly love it there too :P. Great job on the cupboard! Looks awesome.

  19. i have 4 lazy susans in my spice cabinet Keep baking spices on one( baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, cinnamon nutmeg ginger
    various salt and peppers and garlic on one
    and canning and tomato spices on top one basil, parsley italian seasoning pickling spices
    For most part it works unless hubby cleans up he just puts them back whereever but luckily he usually only uses the spices and doesnot put them away

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