How to Organize Your Spices

DIY, How-To

Fall is coming!! Did you know that?! Of course you did. Duh, you own a calendar. I’m being annoying.

Whenever a new season starts to approach, I feel the need to clean under my bed, scrub my oven and wash under my refrigerator. I gotta get my life together, you know?

I’ve been meaning to organize my spices for what seems forever. Look at this mess.

There’s multiple jars of the same spice, spices in brown bags, spices in plastic bags, spice bottles with missing caps…basically a gigantic pile of spice mess.

I decided to get it together…and make my whole cooking experience a little bit easier.

Let’s start with the jars. I decided on these jars.

You can buy them from Sur La Table or The Container Store. P.S. I bought mine from The Container Store.

Here’s another jar option from Ikea that’s slightly cheaper, though not sure if they’re airtight which is important when storing spices. If they are airtight, those would be awesome.

Next, I wanted to label them. And since these jars are cylinders, I knew a label probably wouldn’t go on it super smooth AND I wanted to be able to wash them.

I want to do this once! I’m thinking way long term with this project!!

I decided on painting the tops with chalkboard paint. I’m storing them in a big drawer so I wanted the tops labeled, but if you want to put them in a cabinet, you can easily just put the paint on the front of the jar.

First, I wrote down a list of all of the spices that were in my cabinet. The last thing you wanna do is dump them in the jars (without labels). That’d be a headache.

Next up is the painting part!!

Just try and paint inside the lines of the jars. No biggie. I gave these tops two coats.

I bet a coat of primer would’ve been a good idea. But I dunno…I didn’t have any.

After about 20 minutes, they were all dry.

I took my list of spices and wrote the names on the lids with a piece of chalk.

Then one-by-one I filled up the spice jars and put the tops on.

See! We’re totally read for pumpkin bread…chili…maple bacon scones…and apple cider doughnuts!

P.S. My favorite thing about these jars is how they fit a whole tablespoon!! It’s the little things…

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  • Reply Vilma December 3, 2014 at 2:13 am

    I love cooking with spices! I love to buy them but I wasn’t sure how to store them. Thanks a lot for this article! These jars are so sweet and useful at the same time! I will definitely buy some of these for my spices!

  • Reply Johnf323 June 25, 2014 at 12:27 am

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  • Reply Tobi January 17, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Oh my, this is so pretty and well organized. And it makes me think of the PG tips box up there in my cupboard with aaaaaaaall the spices that didn’t fit in the use-often shelves (i have 6 – how can that not be enough?!) crammed in. Honey, we’re moving! Thanks for the black board idea. Great stuff.

  • Reply Lauren June 11, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Ahh I love this idea with the liquid chalkboard pens but the tops of my spice jars are the flippy ones with two sides with different holes, and I can’t seem to get the pre-printed labels off the sides of the jar 🙁 Might have to stick with sharpie on this one but what a neat idea!

  • Reply Abby April 23, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    They are a bit less expensive on Amazon:

  • Reply Leslie - The Extruded Noodle April 23, 2013 at 11:53 am

    I love this idea especially that the jars all match! Organized AND creative!

  • Reply paulette smith November 19, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Just wondered did you put nail polish or clear laquer over the name so it wouldn’t get rubbed off by mistake. That probably doesn’t happen to you but, to me it would. Just wondered.

  • Reply joyce November 19, 2012 at 11:10 am

    I’m definitely going to try this! But instead of only labeling the lids, I’m going to paint on part of the jar itself since I tend to open up spice bottles at the same time while cooking and not re-lid them and mix the lids around lol Thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply Shannon May 9, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Thank you so much! I just bought a new contruction home and want to do glass front cabinets near the stove. However, all I could think about is the dreaded spice cabinet that I need near the stove. I never thought about storing them in cute bottles, nonetheless in a drawer. This is the perfect solution AND all of my spoons will fit inside! My home will not be ready until December so I have plenty of time to tackle this. Happy! Happy! My husband (who does most of our cooking) will be thrilled as well.

  • Reply Rainbow71 April 1, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    I just finished this project this weekend. Didn’t take a long time and was totally worth the effort. I’ve been wanting to organize my spices for years and never liked any ideas I saw until I found your site. Thank you!

  • Reply Allison January 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    This looks really cool love the jars.
    Do you store them in a drawer or cabinet? I’d love to see an after pic with them all together. Just wondering….if they’re in a cabinet-isn’t it hard to find what you’re looking for with the labels on the top??

    • Reply Adrianna January 18, 2012 at 5:37 pm

      I store them in a drawer. So when I pull it open I can see all of the names on the tops’ of the jars.

  • Reply Liz January 17, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    I did this craft over the weekend and CANNOT begin to express how happy I am about it. Fits a tablespoon, is easy to keep organized, and lets me buy bulk spices from now on! So, so perfect!

    • Reply Adrianna January 17, 2012 at 4:46 pm

      So awesome. Glad it worked out. YAY!

  • Reply Andrena December 15, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    This is fantastic, except one issue – storage of all the bottles. How do you store them all so they don’t gather dust and also so you can see the labels/tops at a glance? Currently, all my spice bottles are labeled on the top and in a shallow box, sitting on a pantry shelf. It works fine, but it gathers dust. I have a three drawer wood storage/file box that each drawer is 13 1/2 L x 12″ W x 2 1/2″ D. I’d like to put all my spices in glass jars or tins in these three drawers. I can’t find the proper jar. All the jars I’ve found, without having to spend $150 plus, are too tall. Any advice? Thanks

    • Reply Liz January 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm

      I used Ball 4 oz. Mason Jars from Wal-mart and they are under $8 for a 12 pack. 5 oz. probably would’ve been better, as my spice jars that were new or quite full almost did not fit. But it still worked, and the price is hard to beat.

    • Reply paulette smith November 19, 2012 at 7:21 pm

      you could use a nylon stocking covered cover to keep the dust off and it washes great!

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