Neat Tips to Organize and Store Your Spices

Nearly every kitchen I've ever been in has this dilemma in common. What is the best way to store cooking herbs & spices? There is no simple answer of course. If there were, there would be no dilemma! The thing is every cook has a different approach. Some buy fresh herbs, some buy frequently used spices in large bulk bags.

Some buy a wide variety of spices, some just a few. But in spite of all the different needs, here are a few tips that will help everyone organize and store their spices to save time.

  • Store spices as close as possible to where you use them. If you have a large kitchen where food prep and cooking areas are not near each other, separate and store spices according to where you use them, for example:
    • If you usually add spices while cooking, store them near your stove, but not so close that heat will damage them.

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    • If you usually add spices during food preparation, store them handy to your prep area.
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    • If you use spices mostly as seasonings when food is served, store them handy to your serving area.

  • If you have a large quantity of spices, and not much space, consider sorting them by frequency of use. Keep the most frequently used spices handy in your kitchen, and store the rarely used spices in an out of the way storage cabinet.
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  • Store spices alphabetically, just like they do in the grocery store. This makes it super easy to find what you need quickly.

    This way you give every spice a definite home, and it it will be easy to put away as well. Plus, you will always easily be able to see how much you have of a spice and whether or not you have duplicates. Avoiding duplicates will save you money as well as space.

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  • Arrange spices so that you can easily find what you need. If you have them stacked several deep and can only see the tops of the jars, label the tops.

    If you have deep cabinets, use a stepped shelf so you can see what you have.

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  • If you buy bulk spices in bags, store them by adding undershelf baskets to utilize vertical space in your cabinets and shelves. Or in stackable, airtight containers that you can label easily.
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  • Think twice about buying spice racks that already have spices in will you add new spices when you want to? What will you do with the spices that you don't like and never use? These are kinds of racks I often find people end up donating or giving away.
  • . 2006 Ariane Benefit, Neat Living.

    Ariane Benefit, M.S.Ed., is a professional organizer, coach, author and speaker with over 25 years experience helping people and businesses reach new heights of performance.

    She has written over 90 articles which can be found on the popular "Neat Living Blog: Neat Ideas for Living" at and at Ariane resides in Bloomfield, NJ with her husband, Alan and three adorable Maine Coone cats. When not helping people organize their lives, she enjoys gardening, entertaining, traveling and riding her motorcycle.

    By: Ariane Benefit

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