How to Store Lesser Used Spices in Your Kitchen

Even if you have a spice cabinet in your home, storing lesser used spices can pose a problem.  All of those little bottles with similar appearance can be hard to sort through, especially if your cabinet is deep.  Because I have this type of cabinet in my house, I have a found a work around for storing my spice bottles that I don’t use as often.

storage solution for lesser used spices

No, that’s not the before picture where I then show you some alphabetically ordered spice rack.  This is actually my solution.  But, hear me out on this for a minute before you scoff.

I used to use a shelf that I could reach in my spice cabinet for all of these things, as well as some other things.  This left me with a shelf that I couldn’t reach for things that I sometimes needed more frequently, plus the need to move all of these bottles and containers every time I needed to find one of them.  Sure, sometimes I might be lucky and find paprika right up front.  Other things, it might be all the way in the back.  Once I found the item I needed, I had to put all of those bottles and containers back into my spice cabinet.

Finally one day, in frustration for having searched through that messy shelf one too many times, I dumped all of the spices and other assorted similar things into a basket.  I picked a basket that could comfortably fit on the top shelf of my spice cabinet.  You know, that shelf that I mentioned that I can’t reach.  I can, however, reach well enough to just grab this basket to pull it down and look through it.

spice cabinet shelf that's too high

While it doesn’t look very organized (and it’s not), it saves me a ton of time and space.  I now know that most of my spices and similar items (such as sesame seeds, poppy seeds, a tiny bottle of chili oil, the small bottle of vanilla that I reuse for things like camping and just fill from my larger bottle that sits elsewhere in the cabinet, etc.) are all in that basket.  I may have to dig around in the basket a little bit, but once I find what I need, I can quickly just dump everything back in to the basket and slide the basket back onto the top shelf.

Even if you don’t have a spice cabinet, this basket solution can be great for keeping spices and other small items together in a pantry or other kitchen area.

What about you – do you have a spice rack?  How do you store your spices and other small containers in the kitchen?


  1. jro says

    Just remember that spices should be replaced annually. Storing them too long and then using them can ruin a great recipe!

  2. Tiffani says

    I have many of my spices in baskets, too, but since there are three of them, I type up a list of what is in each basket and tape it to the front. Not only does it help me out, other members of my family, or guests, can find them, too!

  3. says

    This is exactly what I do! Except I have 2 (they are wood clementine boxes) – they are sort of divided by how often the contents are used, but it is SO much easier to pull those two boxes out of the cupboard and SEE everything, then it is to dig through the entire cupboard for individual items.

    Within the cupboard itself I have just a tiny number of items that we use a LOT that sit outside the boxes: salt, vanilla extract (homemade!), cinnamon. :)

    • says

      Yep, those are some of the things that I leave out in the spice cabinet as well.

      I’ve never made homemade vanilla, but I’ve wanted to for some time. I think it sounds delicious.

  4. says

    I do the same thing with my spices, and for the same reasons!

    I have one lower, easy to reach corner shelf that is not tall enough for anything else, but is so deep I can lose things forever, so I pack my smaller cans and bottles of spices into a plastic storage basket and slide that onto the shelf. No more losing the allspice into the back of the cabinet.

    I also have a very high shelf that is great for my 6’3″ husband, but terrible for 5’2″ me. So I put my oversize kitchen utensils (spatulas, scrapers, whisks) into another basket, which I can pull off the shelf by hooking into the basket with my fingers. No more getting beaned by things!