The Little Splurge I Made for My Spice Collection That’s Bringing Me All Sorts of Joy

updated Jan 8, 2021
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

For as long as I’ve worked at Kitchn, I’ve read up on our archive full of countless tricks to organize your spices. Alphabetize them! Line them up in a drawer! Arrange them on a lazy Susan! Stick them to a magnetic knife rack! Plop them in a custom shelving unit! Store them in stackable deli containers … the list goes on.

Why are there so many spice storage solutions out there? Because spices are a pantry problem child. Every brand has a different-shaped container, which isn’t ideal for uniform organization. We need a decently vast collection. And, well, spices don’t exactly have the fastest turnover rate. (Although if something no longer smells super potent, you’re better off getting rid of it.) For those reasons, spices are something people tend to stash away (fairly messily) in a corner or cabinet.

A few months ago, though, I discovered a system that made my spice collection something I actually wanted to put on display. I decanted all of my spices into matching rectangular glass spice jars ($25 for 10) and arranged them on this small-but-expandable acacia riser ($38) from Neat Method. (Don’t worry, I recycled the old ones!)

Credit: Lauren Masur

Did I need to spend $63 to decant and organize my spices? Probably not. But I cannot tell you the level of joy I experienced while decanting my preexisting spice collection into matching jars. Does that make me lame? Yes. Do I care? No. So many questions!

These spice jars also come with a set of stickers to label nearly every single spice imaginable. And let me tell you, labeling is fun. Just ask anyone who has ever gone label-maker happy. The best part is that now I have the tools to customize my jars and pull out additional labels as my collection expands. (I’m going to need to buy another set of 10 to fit more spices, because my collection is pretty limited right now.)

The riser method of spice storage is also unmatched. I can clearly see every single spice that I have and don’t have to rummage around in some dark cabinet where I’d likely risk confusing cinnamon for cumin. (We’ve all done it!) While I have my riser set at its smallest 10.5-inch width, it expands to 23 inches (if you have that kind of counter space). Each step on the riser can fit two rows of spice jars. Fully extended, it can hold up to 30! I like to keep some room for my simmer sauces and canned goods, though.

My exact spice jar set is currently sold out, but this set of 12 from Wayfair is similar. (And on sale!) While it doesn’t come with fun stickers, this Wayfair set comes with chalk-board labels so you can mark them accordingly.

What’s your spice organization method?