Molly Maid
seasoning spices laid on a table

How to Organize Your Kitchen Spices

When chaos overtakes your herbs and spices drawer (or spice rack, or spice cabinet), it makes cooking and menu planning harder. The good news: It’s not hard to learn how to properly organize your kitchen spices. If you have a little strategy… it’s simple to do.

Here’s how to gain control of the situation:

Purge Your Spice Drawer

Yank all the bottles, jars and bags out into the light of day for serious scrutiny. And then wipe clean your spice drawer, cabinet or rack. Spices and herbs do not often come with expiration dates, but you probably have an inkling of just how long each has lived in your drawer, cabinet or organizer.

Pro tip: It can help you decide if suspect herbs are past their prime if they smell faint, not vibrant.

Consolidate Your Spices

After separating keepers from “tossers,” get everything labeled and into a satisfactory container. Are you happy with bay leaves in a twist-tied bag? If not, this is your chance to get them in a spice jar and label it. Carpe diem.  And if you want all your spices and herbs made to look uniform, transfer them to cute store-bought spice jars, which generally range in price from $1–$3 per. Uniform spice jars are also easier to organize – essentially, all of the puzzle pieces are the same!

Reconsider the Locale

Are you happy with the spices being hidden in your drawer? Would you prefer to place them on the counter instead? Or maybe in a cabinet above the stove? There are countless options on the market that make drawers, cabinets of all sizes, countertops, walls and even refrigerators places to store herbs and spices. When considering spice storage ideas, consider convenience, functionality and aesthetics. Only you can decide what kitchen spice “feng-shui” will make you happiest day today and in the heat of a challenging new recipe.

Put Everything Back: Voila!

This is the payoff: placing all the “keepers” back into your clean space in an organized manner. Ahhh. Brings the shoulders down. Warning: This might get you excited to try an adventurous new recipe. Soufflé, anyone?

Some tips for herbs and spices

Age rule of thumb: ground spices like nutmeg and curry, and herbs like basil and oregano are good for three years. Seeds like poppy or sesame are at their peak for only two years. If you end up with aged spices and herbs, you can still use them – it’s not dangerous – just double the amount the recipe calls for to get the same flavor you would from fresher stuff.

Since paprika, nutmeg or onion powder can literally age 50 years in your spice drawer if you let it, some make it a practice to label spices with a date, placing the dates on the bottom of jars or on screw tops so they’re out of sight.

Let Molly Maid help

Having an organized kitchen helps all of us enjoy our homes more, and so does having a home that’s clean. We’re experts at household cleaning, contact your local Molly Maid or call (800) 654-9647 to ask about home cleaning services that meet your schedule, budget and cleaning needs.