If you frequently cook at home, chances are good that you have a lot of spices. You have your average, everyday stuff like salt and pepper, then your spices for your Mexican food, your Italian cuisine, your favorite Indian fare and your favorite Chinese dishes. Then, there are the spices you use in your baking and dessert. It all starts to add up pretty quickly until you have dozens of those little plastic spice cylinders piling up in your pantry.
Luckily, this is a problem that plagues quite a few home cooks, so it’s a problem that comes with a lot of solutions. To help you find the best way to organize your spices, here are 12 spice racks to consider purchasing and a bevy of good ideas on how to organize them.
You might just find that when your kitchen is more organized, the cooking process is a lot more enjoyable (and easy!).
The Best Spice Racks
Most home cooks aren’t lucky enough to have a spice rack built into their kitchen cabinetry. For those of us who aren’t, we depend on a spice rack. Here are a few well-reviewed, home cook-approved options to consider.
This unique cabinet organizer from The Container Store allows you to see all of your spices (or, at least, most of them, from mid-container upward) at once. Rather than digging around, you can quickly and easily spot the spice you need when you need it. Just reach into your cabinet, pull down the rack and watch as it magically unfolds out of your cabinet..
Note that this rack has to be mounted onto the inside of your cabinetry, and you’ll want to measure carefully to ensure it works properly.
If you like the idea of the tiered spice rack, but you don’t want to mount anything onto the inside of your kitchen cabinets, check out this versatile option available on Amazon. It’s built like a little series of four steps, and each step is tall enough to allow you to see and access the items on the lower step. The shelf can hold up to 24 spice bottles, and the organizer even comes with nearly 100 labels, so you can even further organize everything.
For something a little fancier, try this wooden spice rack from Crate & Barrel. It looks a little like a wine rack, but downsized. Available in two colors, the rack comes with glass spice jars with stainless steel and plastic caps. Plus, the shakers are already filled with different spices, making this an excellent gift for someone just outfitting their first kitchen.
So you don’t need the full set of spices, but you do want the jars and a rack that will sit on your countertop. This countertop spice rack delivers all of the above, plus more.
It comes with 24 empty spice jars, nearly 400 labels, a chalk marker and even a funnel to help you pour your existing spices into the provided jars. Many of the spice labels are pre-printed with the most basic types of spices you might have on hand (a great perk for those of us with atrocious handwriting!), but there are also some blank labels included.
Look to this test tube spice rack for a head-turning, wall-mounted spice solution that takes up very minimal space. Yes, the spices are contained in literal test tubes that are stopped with corks and carefully labeled. They rest in a wooden holder that attaches to the wall. You can buy a rack that fits three to 19 test tubes.
The spices aren’t included and, while this particular rack might not be the most sensible option, it’s certainly the coolest.
If you want a wall mount spice rack that attaches to your wall like a floating shelf, but the test tube thing isn’t your taste, why not go with a set of three floating shelves?
While these aren’t specifically designed for spices, they’re the perfect size for a row of spice jars, measuring 3.9 inches wide and 15 inches long.
If you’re worried that you just have too many spices for any of the above options to work for you, you might want to consider the Spicy Shelf. Adjustable to fit most cabinets, place the two-tiered shelf into your space and start stacking. The shelf can hold more than 60 spice containers.
This unique little space-saving spice organizer functions like a set of drawers. The small cube sits on your counter, or anywhere else you want it, and then you slide out the three-layered drawers to see two rows of four spices each, laying horizontally for easy label reading.
There’s no assembly or tools needed. Just set the rack out and start organizing. The rack comes with more than 100 printed and blank labels.
This spice organizer isn’t so much of a rack as a series of clips. Each clip is designed to squeeze around the neck of the average spice bottle, allowing the bottle to hang securely in place. You get 40 clips and the clips attach via an adhesive to wherever you like. You can put them on the inside of a cabinet door, on the back of your pantry door, along the wall beneath your cabinet — wherever it makes sense with your kitchen layout.
If you like the idea of hanging your spices above your countertop, but you don’t want to stick that adhesive to your kitchen walls, consider this 24-piece hanging spice rack that stores your spices and herbs in adorable little jars that hang beneath your eye-level cabinets.
Each jar hangs from a hook, and all of the hooks are attached to one long wooden dowel. The dowel has some adhesive on the back, but that adhesive sticks to the underside of your cabinets, not your wall — so even if there is some leftover residue after removal, no one will ever see it and it won’t mess up your paint job.
For a pretty standard and classic carousel spice rack, go with this option that is designed like a lazy susan. It just sits out on your counter or in the cabinet and rotates, so you can grab the spices you need from the two circular shelves. The revolving spice rack comes with 12 glass jars, and each jar lid features three opening sizes for easier sprinkling or measuring.
Browse places like Pinterest for a spice storage solution and you’ll likely come across those magnetic boards that feature lots of little spice jars stuck all over them. But who has time to DIY something like that?
If you don’t, go with this store-bought option available from Amazon. You get 10 small, magnetic spice jars that attach to the fridge (or anywhere else that’s magnetic) via the lid. The jars come with printed stickers to add to the bottoms, so you can read and see what you’re picking up.
How to Organize Your Spice Rack
Once you have your perfect spice rack picked out, you’ll want to organize it to make the cooking process as easy as possible. Here are a few ideas.
- Alphabetize your spices.
Sure, it might sound a little OCD, but you’d be surprised how much easier your life becomes once your spices are alphabetized—ooking for the cumin? There it is! The paprika? Look a little further down!
Say goodbye to constantly shifting through bottles of spices, trying to find that one thing.
- Choose your own vessels.
Some spice racks come with uniform containers that you’re intended to dump all of your spices into; some don’t. Whatever the case may be, choosing identical containers to organize your spices, spice rack or not, can help keep things neat and tidy and aesthetically pleasing. Just make sure to label each container, keep track of what’s what, and look for airtight containers that will keep your spices fresh.
Tips for Buying and Storing Your Spices
Beyond organization, though, you can do a few other things when buying and storing your spices to make your life a little easier.
Throw some things out (in most cases).
Looking for something particular in your spice rack and suddenly realize that you’ve somehow ended up with three canisters of cardamom? You’re not alone. You think you don’t have any on hand, so you add it to the grocery list … and then you do it again … and again … until you have way more cardamom than you could ever need.
The easiest thing to do? After your spice rack is organized, throw out your duplicates unless it’s a spice you know you use often.
Additionally, check the expiration dates on your spices on occasion. You might be surprised just how old that canister of chili pepper is!
Consider buying just what you need.
It’s easy to throw a canister of Chinese five-spice into your cart at the grocery store, but will you really use the entire thing? If you go to a store that sells spices by weight, you can measure out only the amount you need, so you’re not buying large quantities of spices you only use once in a while. That leaves your spice rack free to store only the items that you use regularly.
Pick a good spot for your spices.
Once you’ve picked a spice rack and a spice rack organization method, you have to choose a spot for that spice rack. To make things easy, opt for a spot that’s going to be convenient, while still out of the way.
If you have a larger kitchen with lots of counter space, you may find that you can easily store a spice rack on the counter. However, if your kitchen is on the cramped side, you may want to opt for placing your spice rack inside a cabinet. If you do, choose a cabinet that’s eye-level, not one near the floor.
In addition to picking a convenient and readily-accessible spot for your spices, pick a spot away from your stove’s high heat and direct sunlight to keep your spices fresher, longer.
Spice Rack Alternatives
Don’t want to store your spices on a spice rack? There are other options.
A DIY spice drawer
This DIY project shows you how you can turn one of your unused kitchen drawers into a handy spice drawer with just a little extra work. This is a great option if you have a small kitchen with little counter space and not much space in the eye-level and above-counter cabinets either. It uses wooden drawer organizer inserts and miniature Bell jars for a pull-out spice storage solution that’s both easy and attractive.
A Kitchen Wall Rack
If you don’t want to use one of your cabinets or drawers at all, and you still don’t have the counter space for a traditional spice rack, consider a wall hanging shelf that can double as a spice rack.
An Overall Food Organizer
Want a spice rack that can literally move around on wheels but doesn’t take up space? This Rolling Kitchen cart is designed with canned food and condiments in mind, but also holds smaller items like spices. It’s an all-out pantry organizing solution that can be moved when and where you need it for easy access all the time and it’s slim design allowes it to fit into tight crevices, utilizing unused space in your kitchen and pantry.
The Lazy Susan
Your grandma had one. Your mom probably had one. Why not buy one for yourself, too? A lazy susan is the OG kitchen organizer, and for a good reason. There’s no more reaching around stuff in the front to get to the stuff in the back. Just give the turntable a spin and access the entire storage space with ease.
Ready to Get in the Kitchen?
Once your kitchen is a little more organized, you may just find yourself spending more time there, cooking your favorite meals and trying new recipes.
You might also be interested in: The 6 Best Stainless Steel Cookware Sets
12 Spice Racks To Level Up Your Kitchen
- The Container Store’s Pull-Down Spice Rack
- YouCopia ShelfSteps Organizer
- 18-Jar Acacia Wood Spice Rack
- SWOMMOLY Spice Rack Organizer
- Test Tube Spice Rack
- SONGMICS Set of 3 Floating Wall Shelves
- The Spicy Shelf
- YouCopia SpiceStack Adjustable Rack 24-Bottle Seasoning and Spices Organizer
- SpiceStor Organizer Spice Rack
- 24-Piece Hanging Spice Rack
- Belwares Store Spice Rack Organizer
- Gneiss Spice Small Empty Magnetic Spice Rack