How to Organize Your Spices: Tips from Ida Levy of @kitchenaccomplished
By: Dena Gershkovich, Lubicom Staff
It can be difficult to organize your spices – with so many different colors, flavors, shapes, and sizes, it’s hard to determine where everything should go. Each organizing method (or lack of method…) will leave your space with a different vibe. We interviewed food blogger Ida Levy (@kitchenaccomplished on Instagram) for some spice organizing hacks and methods. We hope that one (or more!) of these methods will work for you!
Ways to Organize
When making a plan for how to organize your space, the first thing you should do is plan out where your spices are going to go.
“Some people have cabinets, some people have shelves, some people have drawers, some people leave their spices out on the counter…” Levy said. “Once you get there, there are lots of things you can buy.”
Spices should ideally be stored in a cool, dark place, according to Levy. However, if it’s more functional for you to store your spices near your stove and the spices consequently lose their potency, you can use a bit more of the spice to provide the flavor profile you’re going for. (Some choose not to store their spices near the stove for bug infestation issues, consult with your local Orthodox rabbi regarding this.)
Levy also recommends keeping your spice containers consistent so that things look neat.
“It’s inexpensive and you get a huge bang for your buck,” Levy said, adding that spice jars are around $1 each at Bed Bath & Beyond. “You can put the labels on top of the jar or on the outside of the container, based on where you are storing them.”
If you decide to transfer your spices to matching jars, Levy has some advice: “My biggest tip is to get matching bottles and a mini funnel,” adding that bending the edges of a plastic cup is a good alternative to a funnel if you don’t have one.
If you are in the process of remodeling your kitchen, you may want to consider turning one of your pullout cabinets into a spice rack. One advantage of this type of spice organization system is that it’s very difficult to mess it up.
“It’s got a home. You can’t put it in the wrong place,” Levy said. “A lot of times when people hire organizers, they have to re-hire them.”
If you are going for more of a grocery store vibe, a stair-like tiered organizer is a good system to go with. This organizational method will allow you to see the spices that hide out in the back and make sure you’re not forgetting anything.
“You can stagger [the spices] so you can see the top,” Levy said.
You can find tiered spice racks in many styles and price ranges. Check out this product, available on Amazon for $13.99.
Photo courtesy of Ida Levy
Lazy susans are “a very good solution for a small cabinet – they come in all sizes,” Levy said. “It really clears up space in the fridge.”
Levy recommends putting the larger items (or spices that you have doubles of or use less often) in the center of the lazy susan and leaving products you use often on its periphery for easy access – and to help keep things neat. You can store taller items, like oils, vinegars, and cooking wines in the center of the lazy susan for a more consistent look. (Or, dedicate one lazy susan for your condiments and another for your spices.)
Check out this lazy susan for $16.99 on Amazon.
Custom Vinyl Spice Jars
Photos courtesy of Ida Levy
If you are looking to keep things extremely clean and consistent – and also directly in line with your spice preferences – you can do that through custom vinyl spice jars. See below for photos from Ida’s kitchen, which utilizes this organizational method.
“You can pay someone to custom vinyl your spice jars – plenty of people on Etsy do that,” Levy said.
Image courtesy of Ida Levy
Another option is to customize your spice jars yourself using washi tape. This will save you some money and achieve a similar, consistent look to the above method. Another perk of this method is that the washi tape can be easily removed, and the jar can be reused to house another spice, per your preference. You can also write your spices’ expiration dates on washi tape and stick it to the bottom of your jars to be sure everything stays fresh.
“It can still look intentional in a rustic kind of way even though you’re not spending a lot of money,” Levy said. “It’s very, very reusable, and it comes in many colors. You can put it on the jars and it can look consistent.”
Get washi tape ($12.99 for 30 rolls) on Amazon, here.
Get customizable, glass spice jars ($18.99 for a set of 12) on Amazon, here.
“This is my favorite for the cabinet,” Levy said. She likes that it is adjustable, in the sense that the organizer can be extended to fit the width of the cabinet, and that taller bottles, such as oils and vinegars, can be stored in the cabinet’s center.
Check out this organizer from Spicy Shelf for $25.19 on Amazon.
Once you decide on an organizational tool that works best for your kitchen, you should consider how you will keep the spices in their proper places.
“You can organize spices alphabetically or by order of use (ie. most used on the top, least used on the bottom),” Levy said. “You should definitely have some sort of organizational system.”
Levy also recommends keeping all of the labels of your spices facing outward so that you can easily see what you have on hand, as well as to promote a consistent, organized look.
We are sure that cooking in a clean, organized kitchen will make your food-preparing experience much more enjoyable. We hope these organizing tactics will please your eyes – as well as your tastebuds, as you’ll be able to easily locate all of the different flavors you have available to cook with! If you enjoyed this article, follow @kitchenaccomplished on Instagram for more foodie tips and tricks!