7 Creative Ways to Store Spices

Spices are an essential part of cooking, adding flavor, aroma, and depth to dishes. However, proper storage is crucial to preserving the freshness and potency of spices. Improperly stored spices quickly lose their vibrancy and flavor.

Finding creative ways to store spices can help keep them fresh for longer. It also enables easy access and identification when cooking. From clever cabinets to specialty canisters, here are seven creative ways to effectively store spices:

Utilize Spice Drawers

Installing spice drawers or pull-out cabinets provides dedicated storage space for spices. This keeps them organized in one easily accessible place, rather than cluttered in a jumble of bottles on a shelf.

Spice drawers maintain spices neatly in one spot, making identification and access much simpler. Different sized drawers or tiered designs also allow grouping by spice type, such as having baking spices in one drawer and herbs in another.

When shopping, look for spice drawers with options like shallow drawers for small spice jars, deeper drawers for larger containers, or spike-shaped notches to securely hold bottles. Drawers with lips or edges will help contain spills.

Having dedicating spice storage in drawers or a pull-out cabinet makes spices more visible and prevents them from getting lost amid other ingredients. The contained storage also helps spices stay clean and free from cross-contamination.

Buy Spice Racks

For easy organization without built-in cabinetry, spice racks offercompact storage. Racks areavailable in avariety of sizes, shapes, materials, and configurations to suit different needs.

Countertop horizontal racks store spices in neat rows for at-a-glance visibility. Rotating racks are great for access to spices from all directions without having to move bottles around. Vertical door racks mount on cabinet doors to take advantage of existing space.

Multi-tiered racks keep spices conveniently grouped by type, while magnetic racks attach spices to metal surfaces like refrigerators. There are even adjustable or customizable options to rearrange bottles to preference.

When purchasing a spice rack, look for ones with non-slip feet for stability and wide enough spacing between shelves or pegs to easily remove bottles. Racks should be durable and easy to clean. Size the rack appropriately for the spice collection.

Repurpose Kitchen Items

With a little creativity, many typical kitchen items can be repurposed into functional spice storage. Cutlery organizers, pan lids, silverware trays, and coffee pod drawers are all candidates for storing spices neatly and compactly.

Tiered cake stands lend themselves perfectly to displaying spices while freeing up shelf space. For a pretty yet practical option, decant spices into lined ceramic canisters or glass jars, arranging them on the countertop or in a cupboard.

Cleaning and repurposing small crates, boxes, or bins creates custom compartments for categorizing spices. Even magnetic strips for knives can hold long-necked spice bottles.

Make sure repurposed items are thoroughly cleaned and will not transfer any flavors or odors to the spices. Use food-safe containers that seal adequately to contain any spills or leaks. Choose materials like glass, stainless steel, ceramic, or food-grade plastic.

Use Spice Jars

To avoid a jumbled mess of spice bottles and baggies, transferring spices into uniform glass or plastic canisters is an aesthetically pleasing solution. This is ideal for housing bulk spices or spices purchased in bags rather than bottles.

Look for lidded canisters in small, medium and large sizes and group accordingly, such as larger ones for bulk items like sea salt or black peppercorns and smaller jars for herb blends or spices like cinnamon sticks.

Clear canisters allow quick identification of contents without having to open each jar. Plastic clip-tight jars are affordable and help seal in freshness. For a decorative touch, choose colored glass jars and use chalkboard labels for identifying spices.

Be mindful of how much light and air the containers allow in, opting for darker jars or ones with airtight seals to maximize freshness. Only fill jars partway to allow room for shaking them to distribute spice.

Take Advantage of Magnetic Spice Tins

Magnetic spice tins offer a novel approach to keeping spices neatly stored while readily accessible. The lightweight tins contain the spices and feature a magnetic back that adheres to any magnetic surface.

Group tins by spice type on a refrigerator door, dishwasher front or metal backsplash. The strong magnetic adhesion prevents toppling while the convenient positioning keeps spices within easy reach while cooking.

Stainless steel tins are durable and match most kitchen aesthetics well. Clear plastic tins allow seeing contents at a glance. Choose varying tin sizes based on the spice amounts needed.

To best preserve freshness, look for airtight tins with sealable lids and lids with flip-top openings for easy one-handed access. Transferring bulk spices into individual tins helps extend shelf life.

Mount Wall Spice Racks

Mounting a wall-mounted rack or rail provides compact spice storage that is up and out of the way. This frees up prime counter or cabinet space while still keeping spices readily accessible.

Rail-mounted racks allow sliding spice jars along a mounted rail to position as desired. Rotating racks pivot to move the entire storage unit without having to remove jars. Some racks are static but with open shelves or pegs to remove and replace bottles as needed.

Opt for wall racks with enough depth or clearance to accommodate the full height of taller spice bottles. Closed racks will limit light exposure to protect freshness. Choose durable materials like wood, stainless steel or plastic.

Install racks at least five to six feet off the ground for comfortable access. Place centrally for ease when cooking rather than at far ends of a counter. Make sure bottles or jars fit securely so there is no risk of tipping or falling.

Get Creative With DIY Spice Storage

For the ultimate in customization, try crafting unique spice storage from common household materials like crates, boxes, tins, jars, bags and more. Old kitchen tools like pans or colanders also get inventively repurposed.

Small boxes, varying in size, are ideal for grouping similar spices. Mini cupcake tins neatly hold small spice tins or bottles. Paint stir-sticks inserted in a box or canister make spice shelves. Cleaned food cans covered in scrapbook paper or chalkboard labels transform into custom canisters.

There are also more elaborate options like a spice rack made from wooden laths or custom shelving built into a cupboard to fully optimize the space. Take inspiration online or get creative with materials already on hand.

With a DIY approach, consider sizes, weight distribution, sturdiness, positioning and ease of access. Use only food-safe, non-porous materials thoroughly cleaned before use.

Key Considerations for Storing Spices

While finding a functional storage approach is important, equally vital is understanding optimal storage conditions to keep spices fresh and flavorful as long as possible. Here are some key factors:

  • Light: Light exposure causes spices to lose their volatile oils and degrades color and flavor. Store spices in dark containers or places not exposed to light.
  • Air: Minimize air circulation by tightly sealing spices after use to help retain aromatics and freshness.
  • Moisture & Humidity: Dampness causes clumping while humidity accelerates loss of flavor. Store spices in a cool, dark place.
  • Temperature: Heat diminishes spices’ potency. Avoid storing near heat sources like ovens or dishwashers.
  • Duration: Buy small amounts and replace yearly for maximum freshness. Date jars and rotate older stock to the front.
  • Cross-contamination: Segregate spices from other foods & ingredients that might impart odors. Clean storage areas between uses.

With the right storage, spices can maintain peak quality and flavor for extended duration. Purpose-designed or creatively repurposed storage solutions keep spices organized and easily accessible. Just be mindful of storage conditions like light, air, heat and humidity. With a little thought, it is easy to keep a spice collection neatly stored and optimized for freshness.

Frequently Asked Questions About Storing Spices

How should spices be stored?

The ideal storage for spices is in a cool, dark place in airtight containers away from heat, moisture and light. Use bottles or jars that are opaque and seal tightly. Store spices only with other spices to prevent cross-contamination.

Where is the best place to store spices?

The optimal place to store spices is in a cupboard or drawer away from the stove, oven or dishwashers. A dark cupboard or dedicated spice drawer where they can be kept away from light is ideal. Wall-mounted racks or spice racks inside cupboards are great options.

Should spices be kept in the fridge?

Spices do not need to be refrigerated. The humidity and risk of absorbing other aromas from the fridge can be detrimental. Store spices in a cool, dry place in your cupboard or pantry away from heat and moisture. An exception is spices used for pickling, which require refrigeration.

How long do spices last in storage?

How long spices will last depends on the type as well as storage. Ground spices will keep 1-2 years. Whole spices can last 2-3 years or longer. Check for vivid color and robust aroma and flavor. If lacking, replace and do not use old spices with diminished quality.

Should spices be kept in original container or transferred?

It is fine to keep spices in their original containers if they seal tightly. Otherwise, transfer to airtight containers like small mason jars. This blocks light, air and humidity. Label newly transferred spices with the name and purchase date for tracking freshness.

How to prevent spices from clumping?

To prevent moisture absorption that causes clumping, store spices in airtight containers not exposed to humidity. Keep storage areas clean and dry. Add a few grains of rice to absorb excess moisture. If clumping occurs, sift spices through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.

Can spices be stored in clear jars?

It is best to store spices in opaque, dark containers that protect them from light which can degrade flavor. Clear jars allow light exposure, so they are not ideal for long term storage. If using clear containers, store the spices in an area not exposed to light.

How to store bulk spices purchased from bulk bins?

Transfer bulk spices to small, sealable containers like jars, tins or zip top bags. Pack them in amounts that will be used up in 3-4 months. Remove excess air from containers and seal tightly. Date and label spices and store in a cool, dark place.

How to keep spices organized?

Use racks, organizers or containers that group spices logically, such as by spice type or frequency of use. Label everything clearly. Keep less used spices separate from everyday ones. Take inventory regularly and replace old products. Clean storage areas periodically to maintain freshness and prevent clutter.


Spices are invaluable kitchen staples, but keeping them fresh and usable requires proper storage. While there are many options, from in-cabinet racks to drawer organizers to custom DIY solutions, the essentials remain the same. Store spices in a cool, dark space in airtight containers away from heat, light and humidity. Repurposing household items or purchasing specialty racks can make organization easier, as can transferring spices from bags into containers. With the right storage, spices can maintain their vibrant flavor and aroma for extended duration. A creative, customized approach helps keep spices tidy, accessible and optimized for freshness when cooking.