How to Store Spices | Clutter Video Tip

How to Store Spices | Clutter Video Tip

Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter
Diet book and on-line program, and today we are going to talk about organizing your spices.
This is everybody’s favorite subject; when they find out I am a professional organizer
they want to know if I alphabetize my spices and they make a lot of jokes about that. So
the answer is no, I actually don’t alphabetize my spices, and I’m going to tell you why
in a minute. I have four steps for you today in how to organize your spices the right way
for your situation. Step one, you want to decide what to keep.
You might be very surprised how old some of your spices are, so get realistic with that,
know that if they are too old, [POP] they are no longer useful or flavorful. So pare
that down so you can see exactly what you have to work with. Step two, you want to decide on your strategy.
So, again, alphabetizing, yes, that is one of the strategies you can choose. And if you
really like that idea, please go ahead and do that. What I like to do though is split
up my spices between cooking and baking. So I split them up by function. So savory spices
that I use in cooking, such as turmeric and paprika and basil, I put those together near
my stove. And then I have another set of spices that are for baking, like cinnamon, nutmeg,
baking powder, things like that, I have in another area near my mixing bowls. So think
about what makes the most sense to you and how you cook and make that decision, and then
you’re going to go to step three, which is decide on your storage space. So the best storage space is often, you know,
of course, the point of use. So we talk about this in other areas of the house too. Putting
things close to where you’re going to use them. It makes common sense. So if you’re
going to have cooking spices, you might have them in the cabinet next to your stove, like
I have them here. If you’re going to be baking a lot, you might put those spices near
where your mixing bowls are, just like I was talking about. You also may have a dedicated
storage space that is supposed to be for spices. Some people have these very fancy pull-out
spice racks that are built in between their oven and their other cabinets. There are special
situations, so decide on that storage space, and then your next step is step four, deciding
on the storage products that you’re going to use. This is where it gets a little confusing
and you can kind of fall for some of the gimmicks, and I want to help you out a little bit with
that. I really prefer turntables, otherwise known
as Lazy Susan’s, so I can just spin this around and quickly make a choice, and that’s
why I don’t need to have it alphabetically, because just in a few seconds I can see what
I have and make a choice. Again, the goal of organizing anything is visibility. So if
you have visibility to it this way, then alphabetizing is just an unnecessary extra step. If the
way to gain visibility is to alphabetize, because of the way your storage space works,
then by all means do that. Just make sure that there is a return on investment of your
time if you decide to do something like alphabetize. Make sure you’re not doing it just for the
sake of doing it. That is a very important thing to keep in mind in any project that
you’re doing. What I don’t like for spices are the stair-step
spice racks that you see that raise different levels like stadium seating in a theatre.
I don’t like those because the visibility is not that great and you also tend to knock
down a lot of things trying to get to the ones in the back. And also you might get caught
in the trap of buying some spice racks that have really beautiful matching containers
that you are supposed to then take the original container and dump the spice into this pretty
container and keep them all together, and I’ve got to say, that’s the last thing
I want to do when I get home from the grocery store, is pour little spices into little containers.
So I would rather work with a storage product that uses the original container that you
purchased the spice in from the store. Another great thing for spices actually is
racks that go on the back of a door, the racks that might be on the back of your pantry or
even here on the back of a cabinet. That can be great. And then if you have a drawer as
your storage space, you may just use regular drawer dividers to help you divide up cooking
versus baking, or just give you more visibility to those. If you’d like some help figuring out your
spices, we can help you in our Membership Program at
You can find out how you can have a team of organizers helping you with your projects
seven days a week. You can check that out, again, at, and we’d
love to see you there. See you next time, and may you always be happy
and grateful for having more than enough.

24 thoughts on “How to Store Spices | Clutter Video Tip

  1. Accendenatly posted the other comment, 🙂 well, anyway. Thanks for the video. I was so glad when I came and there was a littl thingy next to your name meaning that you posted a new video. 🙂

  2. Another great, helpful video. I use metal spice tins that attache to a magnetic strip. This works great for me because I buy my spices at a bulk food store. I just put the little plastic bag in the metal container and label it with a sharpie. It keeps the spices really fresh; especially the expensive ones that I only purchase in small amounts such as saffron.

  3. Love your videos! A lot of organized and well-thought common sense. I found some organizing professionals like to show off what their large space can hold, rather than to give practical tips that fit all sizes, shapes and budgets.

  4. Thank you so much! Great to hear! I really try to make practical stuff for people, so it feels great to hear you say that!

  5. Any discount store has these 10" turntables, usually made by Rubbermaid or a comparable company. OXO makes really nice ones. So, by "discount store" I mean Target, Walmart, etc…

  6. @Polly Dolly, yes, that is the definite exception to the "pretty containers" rule– if you buy in bulk, that is ideal to use them that way. Great! 🙂 They DO look very nice.

  7. Think of your small kitchen as a challenge of your efficiency skills. Most people can do well with a lot less space when they really get clear on what they actually use. I always say if you could put on magic glasses to show you what you actually use and don't use, you'd be shocked! Thanks for watching… 🙂

  8. A hint that made sense to me is to write the purchase date on my spices with a black Sharpie. It's surprising to see how long they have been sitting in my cupboard when I go to use them!

  9. I agree with wanting to keep the original packaging instead of having to pour spices into "pretty containers." With "pretty containers" you then have a second extra step of having to make a label of the expiration date to stick to the container (can't write it on the container b/c this will be constantly changing). I, myself, after shopping am so tired & just want to get the job done & over with & just get it put away it away on the shelf. (Don't make more work for yourself!)

  10. One thing we do is label the lids with the name of spices, which we keep in two stacking plastic shoe boxes. This lets us slide our entire spice collection (which is extensive) out of the deep pantry shelf and find the needed spice at a glance.

  11. I was actually thinking of buying see through containers, because my kitchen cabinet doors have completely see through glass installed in them, kind of like windows. I was thinking it might be less stimulation to keep seeing all that stuff in there, now I'm unsure 😛 Need to find some of those spin tables though! 🙂 My kitchen is kinda small

  12. Thanks for the tips. By the way all of your clothes are beautiful and you encourage us to find clothes at Goodwill stores and help them out. Great advise.

  13. I have lots of countertop space and cupboard space in my kitchen but nothing is empty. The other night it was like I looked at my cupboards with new eyes and was amazed at how much space was being used by things we don't need! One entire cupboard for medications, another for vitamins, another for odds and ends, another for paperwork……These things don't belong in my kitchen!! So now I'm on a mission. Great video!

  14. Wow I really love your logic. I’m de cluttering and reorganizing my home. Spices was going to be my first tackle. I’ve visited many organization videos and yours works best for me. I just subbed. I hope to learn more as I go about my journey.

  15. Loved how relatable this was… your idea to separate baking items from cooking was mind blowing game changer for me!

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