Where to store spices in a small kitchen – space-saving places to stash spices in style


Cooking with spices is an essential part of making delicious meals, but finding a place to store them can be a challenge, especially in a small kitchen. Proper spice storage is important to keep your spices fresh and flavorful. Exposure to light, heat, and humidity can cause spices to lose their potency over time.

Having a well-organized spice storage system allows you to easily see what you have on hand, so you don’t end up with duplicates. It also enables you to quickly access the spices you need while cooking. With some clever solutions, you can maximize every inch of space to accommodate your spice collection.

This article will explore creative ways to store spices in a small kitchen. We’ll cover space-saving cabinet organization ideas, drawer inserts and racks, mounting spice racks on walls or inside cabinets, using lid organizers and magnetic strips, as well as some DIY spice storage projects. With these tips, you can keep your spice collection tidy and accessible without cluttering up your cooking space.

Clever Ways to Use Cabinet Space

Taking advantage of vertical space is key for fitting spices into tight kitchens. Here are some smart ways to organize cabinet interiors to hold an array of spices:

Install Tiered Shelving

Add pull-out height-adjustable shelves inside a cabinet to double or triple your storage capacity. Having different shelf levels allows you to see all your spices at a glance. Install the shelves high enough to accommodate taller spice containers below.

Use Wall-Mounted Spice Racks

Mount wire or solid hanging spice racks on the inside of cabinet doors to take advantage of unused vertical storage space. Choose narrow racks for a door to allow it to open fully. Racks with 2-3 tiers work well.

Attach Spice Shelves to Cabinet Walls

Make use of awkward narrow spaces between cabinets or along the sidewalls by attaching wall-mounted shelves. Adjustable shelves give you flexibility. Sturdy metal utility shelves with railings work perfectly for holding spice jars and bottles.

Install Vertical Dividers

Add vertical dividers in base cabinets to create organized columns for spices. You can buy divider sets designed for base cabinets or make DIY dividers out of wood or plastic sheets. Label the columns for easy identification.

Use Drawer Organizers

Take advantage of unused drawer space. Spice drawer organizers with small compartments keep spices separated and easy to identify. Stack two organizers vertically if needed.

Repurpose Shelves or Drawers

Dedicate a shelf or entire cabinet just for spices. Use bins or boxes to corral smaller spice containers. For deep drawers, add a divider to create vertical sections for upright spice bottles.

Back-of-Door Storage

Install wire racks or hanging shelves on the backside of cabinet doors to instantly create extra storage space. Group spices you frequently use together on the door for convenience.

Clever Drawer Organizing Solutions

Drawers throughout your kitchen offer versatile storage options for spices. Here are some clever ways to organize your drawers to store spices:

Use Cutlery Trays

Repurpose cutlery tray organizers to neatly hold small spice containers in kitchen drawers. The individual compartments keep spices separated and easy to find. Stack two trays vertically in deep drawers.

Install Tiered Drawer Organizers

Multi-level drawer organizers allow you to efficiently use all the vertical space in a drawer. Some come with adjustable or removable dividers to create custom compartments for different sized spice jars.

Divide Drawers with Inserts

Inserts that snap into drawers provide separate compartments for grouping spices. Look for inserts made of rubber, silicone or bamboo that grip to the drawer bottom.

Use Interlocking Drawer Organizers

Modular drawer organizers let you customize the layout. Stack, connect and rearrange the individual baskets to accommodate different spice bottle heights and widths.

Get Creative with Office Supplies

Office storage supplies like sorters, trays, and vertical files can neatly organize spice drawers. Label the compartments for an orderly system.

Repurpose Cutlery Dividers

Turn cutlery dividers into vertical spice organizers in kitchen drawers. The thin dividers create neat rows for upright spice bottles.

Try DIY Drawer Dividers

Use removable adhesive-backed hooks, dowels, or plexiglass pieces to make custom DIY drawer dividers suited to your spice collection.

Mount Spice Racks Creatively

Installing mounted spice racks is an excellent use of vertical space when you’re short on cabinet and drawer room. Here are some unique ways to mount racks in your small kitchen:

Inside Upper Cabinets

Attach a small spice rack to the inside of an upper cabinet’s door to instantly create storage space. Choose narrow racks so the door can fully open.

Inside Base Cabinet Doors

Mount a two-tiered spice rack to the door of a lower cabinet near your cooking area for handy access while cooking. Hook racks work well for mounting inside a door.

On the Wall

Wall-mounted racks get your spices off the counter and free up precious space. Install them near your prep and cook area for convenience. floated shelves work for flush mounting on walls.

Between Wall Studs

Make use of dead space between studs by securely attaching narrow shelves or racks designed to fit in those narrow gaps.

On the Backsplash

Take advantage of vertical backsplash space by installing wall-mounted racks. Stagger their placement for ergonomic access. Floating shelves also work well here.

Inside a Cabinet Frame

Make use of the narrow space inside the face frame of a cabinet by securely attaching a slim spice rack. Choose one wide enough to hold standard spice jars.

On Cabinet Sides

Mount a small rack designed for cabinet side installation. Position it near your cooking zone for easy accessibility.

Creative Ways to Use Lids and Magnets

Lid organizers and magnetic strips offer space-saving solutions for storing spice lids separately from jars. Here are some unique ways to incorporate them:

Lid Racks

Install flat lid racks inside cabinets to hold spice jar lids upright. Rack dimensions range from holding 12 to 40 lids. Position near spices for quick access.

Wall-Mounted Lid Bars

Horizontally mounted metal lid bars keep lids handy while freeing up shelf space. Screw lid bars inside cabinet doors or onto walls near your spices.

Magnetic Strips

Adhere magnetic strips inside cabinets to hold spice lids. The strong magnets keep lids upright yet easy to remove. Cut strips to fit different spaces.

Magnetic Spice Tins

Transfer spices from jars into stackable magnetic tins. The tins adhere to any magnetic surface, allowing you to mount them on appliances, vent hoods or metal strips.

DIY Lid Organizers

Glue magnets onto wooden boards, hang them inside cabinets, and let the magnetic force hold spice lids in place. Small pieces of mesh glued to boards also make DIY lid organizers.

Spice Drawer Magnets

Adhere magnetic vent covers, acrylic holders or mesh pouches inside drawers to separately organize spice lids and keep them from getting jumbled.

DIY Spice Storage Ideas

With a little DIY creativity, you can customize your own space-saving spice storage solutions. Here are some easy projects to try:

Repurpose Kitchen Tools

Recycle old mason jars, cups, or pots into spice containers. Clean thoroughly, apply labels, and use drawer organizers to neatly store your homemade spice jars.

Use Magnetic Jars

Attach magnets to the bottoms of glass or plastic jars, then add spices. The jars can be mounted on your fridge, vent hood, or any magnetic surface, keeping spices visible and accessible.

Make a Spice Rack from Scratch

Build a custom rack from wood, either from boards or old crates. Cut boards to fit an area, stain or paint them, drill holes, and insert jars. A crate can be mounted on a wall and jars inserted into drilled holes.

Fashion Rack from Metal Bars

Bend and attach metal conduit pipes or copper pipes onto a board to create DIY rack poles. Spray paint them and slide spice jars over the poles to hold them upright.

Use Pegboard

Mount a piece of pegboard on a wall and use hooks and baskets to create customized storage. Large enough pieces can hold bulk quantities of spices in jars.

Upcycle Ladders

Find a small vintage wooden ladder to upcycle into a leaning spice rack. Clean thoroughly and hang on a wall. Insert jars into the rungs to display beautifully.

Repurpose Wooden Crates

Sand and stain old unused wooden crates to give them new life as rustic open spice storage. Stand crates on countertops or shelves to corral spice jars.

Make Framed Spice Racks

Construct open box frames out of wood or plastic lattice, attach backing and hang on walls. Place jars inside the boxes to show off your spices within easy reach.

Spice Storage Tips To Maximize Freshness

Proper storage methods will keep spices fresher for longer. Here are some useful tips:

  • Store spices in a cool, dark place away from heat sources like the oven or dishwasher.
  • Keep spices in airtight containers and close lids tightly after each use. Glass, metal or ceramic jars work best.
  • Buy spices in smaller quantities to use within 3-4 months before they lose potency. Write purchase dates on containers.
  • Don’t store spices above or near the stove where heat and moisture can accelerate deterioration.
  • Avoid clear glass containers that expose spices to damaging light. Use dark opaque jars or keep spices in cabinets.
  • Store less-used spices in the freezer to extend shelf life. They keep for years frozen.
  • Transfer spices from supermarket containers, which aren’t airtight, into air-tight jars.
  • Clean and wipe down spice storage areas regularly to avoid potential contamination from dust and grime.
  • Organize spices alphabetically so you can easily see what you have and rotate stock.
  • Replace spices annually that you don’t use often. To test, rub a small amount between your fingers – if the aroma is weak, it’s time to replace.

Frequently Asked Questions About Storing Spices in a Small Kitchen

Here are answers to some common questions about how to effectively store spices in a small kitchen:

Are wall-mounted racks a good storage solution?

Yes, wall-mounted racks are an excellent way to take advantage of vertical storage space. Choose rack sizes and placements that allow you to easily access and see your spices.

Where is the best place to store spices?

The ideal place is a cool, dry spot out of direct sunlight. Store them away from the stove, oven and dishwasher where heat can degrade spices. Cabinets, drawers, and freestanding racks work well.

What kind of containers are best for storing spices?

Opt for rigid airtight containers like jars made of glass, ceramic or stainless steel that protect spices from air, light, and humidity. Avoid plastic bags and flimsy containers.

How often should I replace spices for maximum freshness?

Ground spices and dried herbs have a shelf life of 3-4 years when properly stored. Replace any spices you use rarely after 1-2 years. Replace volatile oils like cinnamon and oregano annually.

Is it better to store spices alphabetically or by cuisine type?

Alphabetical storage allows you to easily see and inventory what you have. Grouping spices by cuisine can also be helpful for quick access when cooking certain dishes.

What’s the maximum amount of time I can store spices in the freezer?

Spices will keep for 2-3 years stored in airtight containers in the freezer before losing potency. Label with dates and use freezer bags to prevent condensation.

How can I tell if my spices are still good?

Check expiration dates if marked. If not, rub a small amount between your fingers and sniff. If the aroma is weak, the spice has likely lost potency. Visual signs include faded color and changes in texture.

How much space should I allow for spice storage?

Plan for at least 1-2 square feet of storage space for spices you use regularly. Consider eventual expansion too. Consolidate and donate old spices yearly to avoid accumulation.


Finding efficient ways to store spices is crucial for any small kitchen. Getting creative with cabinet organization, drawer inserts, wall-mounted racks and lid storage solutions allows you to keep spices neatly stored and close at hand while cooking. Proper storage in a cool, dark space will help maximize shelf life. With some clever planning and innovative use of space, you can accommodate an extensive spice collection even in the tightest kitchen.