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How to Organize Spices in a Lazy Susan Cabinet

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Organize your spices in a lazy susan cabinet for easy access, efficiency, and to make the most of your dried herbs and spices. Check out the steps, considerations and space saving methods to create your own well organized storage space.

A small ceramic bowl filled with spices and a bay leaf, Photo by Andy Holmes on Unsplash.
Photo credit: Andy Holmes on Unsplash.

Well Organized Spices in a Lazy Susan Cabinet

From one house to the next, my corner lazy susan has proven to be the best way to organize my spices. It’s large, it spins, it can hold a variety of sizes and different shapes, it’s close to the cooking and prep zone, eliminates reaching into the far back of the cabinet, and it’s cool, dark + dry. Perfect!

Along the way, I’ve organized groupings of spices to suit my needs and relied on inexpensive dollar store bins and random baskets to corral large and small items. 

Also along the way…it’s turned into kind of a mess. 

I’ve finally gotten around to cleaning and reorganizing my spice cupboard and figured I’d share how it went…the steps, considerations, products and space-saving results!

The Importance of a Well Organized Spice Cabinet

Whether you use a lazy susan cabinet, another cupboard, or a pantry, having your spices well organized has a ton of benefits!

  • Time + effort — quickly find the ingredients you need while cooking. Save time searching through cluttered shelves and drawers to make cooking more efficient.
  • Freshness + flavor — have all your spices stored properly in air-tight containers and protect them from light, moisture and air exposure to preserve their freshness and flavor.
  • Reduce waste — when your dried herbs and spices are well organized and easy to to access, you’re more likely to use them before they lose their potency. Knowing what you have and being able to get to them means you’ll reduce waste and save money having to discard old, expired items.
  • Avoid duplicates — being able to easily see what you have means you’re less likely to accidentally buy duplicates (been there!)…saving money and space.
  • Neat + tidy — I’m a clean-as-you-go cook and that goes for my ingredients, too. Replacing everything after use, in their designated spot, keeps a neat and tidy kitchen and reduces cooking chaos (especially if you have a small kitchen). 

Simple Steps for Organizing Your Spice Cabinet

#1. Take an Inventory

The first thing you’ll want to do is take everything out of your cabinet to see exactly what you have. This is a great time to wipe down shelves and vacuum out corners!

My spice collection outgrew the size of the bins I’d been using, so there were plenty of loose bottles and spice containers. I made sure to group them together on a work surface so I could accurately access what I had. 

Next, check for general quality and expired spices. Most bottles have an expiration date stamp. As a rule of thumb, ground spices last about 6 months; whole spices will last longer. If you’re just over the expiration, give it the sniff test — if it doesn’t smell like anything, toss it out…it’s lost its mojo.

As you discard contents, be sure to recycle the containers or wash and repurpose them. If you have a local store that sells herbs + spices in bulk, they may have a program that allows you to bring your own containers from home to fill. 

Various bins and baskets filled with spice bottles and other cooking and baking supplies.
Many different bottles and boxes of cooking spices on a black kitchen counter.

#2. Measure the Space

Like me, you might be wanting to upgrade your organizing bins. Measure the cabinet shelves (depth, height, diameter, etc.) so you can select bins that fit the space and maximize your storage.

I chose wedge-shaped bins to fit out the round shelves in my lazy susan. Admittedly, I didn’t do a great job measuring and probably could’ve ordered bins one size larger, but I’m not mad at it. These pie-shaped bins still fit the shelves more efficiently, and they have non-skid buttons you can stick to the bottoms to make sure everything stays put.

Wedge shaped clear acrylic bins stacked on a wood table.

No matter what style of kitchen cabinets or kitchen drawer you’re using, there are handy bins and organizing solutions to fit your needs or amount of herbs and spices. Here are a few other options to inspire you…

  • Spice drawer organizer — I love the streamlined look of this! If I had more kitchen drawers, it would definitely be a game changer.
  • Test tubes — this is a great solution if you don’t keep many spices or have a lot of storage space since it can sit on the counter or shelf and still protect your spices from light. It’s portable, too!
  • Acrylic lazy susan — I like high-sided spinners so your things don’t go flinging off when you spin it.
  • Two-tiered shelves — or three-tiered, these work well on pantry or cabinet shelves.
  • Lazy susan spice rack — self-contained and efficient…who didn’t have one of these starting out?
  • Hanging rack — great for walk-in pantries or to hang on the back of a door.
  • Stackable containers — pretty and can work in just about any situation.
  • Pull out spice organizers — more expensive, but a super efficient way to make use of deep cabinets and shelves.
  • Freestanding rack — when you have tall spaces you can fill.

#3. Create a System of Organization

Consider how you want to group your spices…by type, frequency of use, culinary category, alphabetical order?

I’ve got mine organized first by type, then by frequency of use (most-used spices on the top shelf, lesser used on the bottom shelf). Here’s how that shakes out…

A list of spice rack items.
A list of spice rack items.

Whew…that’s a lot of stuff!

I’m not a stickler for having all the same spice jars or bottles, but they must be airtight, preferably glass, and easy to identify. Since these are organized in a lower cabinet, I like the lids to be labeled so it’s super easy to find and grab what I need. 

The tops of spice bottles labeled with their contents.
Label lids to easily see what you have.

Once you have your system worked out and bins and bottles labeled, arrange them in your cabinet in the way that will serve you best. Take it one step further by creating an inventory list to attach to the cabinet door…use it to mark when items are getting low so you can restock during your next grocery trip.

After upgrading to my new bins and reorganizing the categories, I had a ton of extra space in the cabinet that I filled with miscellaneous and odd shaped items (like a giant box of kosher salt!).

There was so much extra space in the bottom shelf, I was able to move my flour + sugar bins from the pantry to the cabinet so nearly all my baking ingredients are in one place.

If you find yourself with extra cabinet space, consider how you might be able to declutter kitchen countertops by storing some items below. 

Flour and sugar bins on a lazy susan shelf.
Reorganizing created extra space, so I moved some items from the pantry to the lazy susan cabinet.

Final Thoughts on Organizing a Spice Cabinet

Having a well organized spice cabinet will save you time and effort, reduce waste and help to keep a tidy work space.

Recycle or reuse containers whenever possible, buying bulk spices to fill existing containers. If replacing bins, consider where you can reuse old bins to organize another space in your home.

Protect your investment by keeping spices in airtight containers, out of direct sunlight and in a cool, dry space. Don’t measure with wet spoons and don’t sprinkle from the jar over a steaming pot (moisture is an enemy!). 

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[Featured image photo by Christina Rumpf on Unsplash]

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2 Comments

  1. I have been looking at something like this to help organize my kitchen cupboard and keep them tidy; a lazy susan seems to really help with this. I think it might be useful in my fridge too for all the condiments, etc. Great tips!