How to organize your spice cabinet – easy and inexpensive

by | Jun 23, 2022 | Uncategorized | 1 comment

This post is about my spice cabinet organization. In this post, I give you tips about to how to organize spices beautifully, inexpensively, and efficiently using spice jars that you may already have.

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If you are into Indian cooking or remotely interested in it, you probably know the number of spices that are used 😊 As such, organizing spices is a key component of my Indian kitchen. 

When I moved to the US, I was so fascinated by the revolving spice rack and I bought one for myself. But I quickly realized that 16 spice jars are in no way enough nor is the size convenient. 

The spices I bought at the Indian grocery store would not fit into those bottles and I had to find more space for the excess. 


Our apartment storage was limited and so I had to get creative. I wanted a spice organizing system that has:

  • Matching jars as I like uniformity
  • See-through jars so that I can see the contents
  • Large enough to hold the contents of the entire packet
  • Easy to access 
  • Inexpensive

I began thinking about solutions that could accommodate all my needs. One day, as I was emptying a salt container that I bought from Costco, I had my light bulb moment! 

I could re-use those containers for my spices 😊

They met all my needs – They are large enough (I can even put a spoon inside), they match each other, they are transparent, they are square-shaped, and can be stacked. 

Kirkland salt container

Therefore I began collecting those containers. 

Over a couple of years, I had enough containers for all my spices and I brought them with me when we moved into our home.

They were a miss-mash of jars because the color of the lids changed over time, but they served the purpose. They had different colored lids, and handwritten labels that were worn out, and they started to feel a little meh!

spice jars with worn out labels

So I decided to breathe some new life into them! Here is the process that I followed to refresh my spice cabinet organization.


When I started collecting the salt containers, they had copper-colored lids. The recent containers have black lids.

In order to have matching spice jars, I began getting rid of the ones that had the copper-colored lids and saving containers with black lids.

12 washed salt containers

Over a period of time, I had enough black-lidded containers to complete my spice cabinet organization.


Once I had the needed number of jars, I emptied the shelves in the cabinet next to the stove as that is where I want to arrange my spices.

Having them next to the stove is really helpful while cooking. Remember I said that I needed my spice organization to be easily accessible 😊

Empty kitchen cabinet

I gave the empty shelves a quick cleaning and they were now ready for the spices.


Next, it was time to get the containers ready for the spices. I gave the containers a good wash and removed the existing labels.

Some labels came off easily, but for some, I just let the labels be. They are not going to be seen in my spice organization. You’ll see in a minute what I am talking about.

washing a spice container

Once the spice jars were clean, I let them dry overnight. This is important because there should be no moisture in the jar before the spices are poured in. Otherwise, the spices will go bad.


Now the containers were ready for the spices to be poured in. I think there is something oddly satisfying about pouring spices into jars…don’t you think? Or maybe it’s just me 😊

pouring spices into a spice jar

I could have used a funnel for pouring the spices in, but I haven’t had much success with powders using a funnel. Instead, I used a sheet of paper to pour the spices in. It worked beautifully!


This has to be my favorite step of them all. My heart fills with joy at the sight of labels 😊 Tell me it’s just not me!

I spent some time with this step, but in my opinion, it’s totally worth it.


I bought sheets of round stickers from Amazon. The sheets that I bought come with an online template with which you can create and customize your labels.


I used Canva Pro to create an online image for the labels and uploaded that to the template. Next, I added text to the design. Then I duplicated the design to all the stickers on the sheet. Once that is done, I changed the text for each spice name.

Labels for spices


Then I hit print and printed my first set of labels on my printer. I once again changed the text for the next set of spice names and printed those out too.

add label to a spice jar

My labels were ready! All that was left was to peel them off the sheet and stick them on top of the lids of the containers.


I felt so happy just looking at all the containers filled with spices and labels on their lids 😊 Then I began planning how to arrange them on the shelves.

spices with labels

I kept the most commonly used spices on the top row of the bottom shelf so that they are easy to access. The bottom rows of the bottom shelf also have spices that I use frequently.

stacked spice jars with labels

I placed 18 containers in 3 rows of 6 on the bottom and middle shelf. Since these jars are square-shaped, they stack up quite nicely. 

The least used spices occupied the top shelf and there’s only one row of spices at the top because that’s as far as my hand will go 🙂

organized spice cabinet with stacked spice jars

I placed the remaining spices on the middle shelf. 


Now my spices are all neatly labeled and organized. I can see what spices I have and I can access them easily.

The good part is I didn’t spend a dime on the jars. This arrangement definitely ticks all points in my list of requirements.

kitchen cabinet organized with spices

I took a step back and just admired the whole cabinet and honestly I felt satisfied. Hope you like my spice cabinet organization as much as I do.

In the future, I’ll probably build some shelves so that the jars sit on shelves instead of being stacked on top of each other.

This would make it even easier to access. But for now, I am happy with what I created. Let me know what you think.

spice cabinet organization pin

If you like this post, you may like the following posts as well…go give them a read

I am also available on Instagram where I share more details about my organizing, decor, and DIY projects and talk a little bit about me and my life.

1 Comment

  1. Lorna

    Does Costco sell the empty jars if they do how much for how many ?


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Thank you for being here! I’m Divya. I love everything organizing, DIY, and Decor.

Divya is the coffee-loving, multi-passionate, perpetual learner, and writer behind the scenes of Smile and a Coffee. She is a mom of 2 and a project manager at her day job. As a lover of all things organization, decor, and DIY, she documents her journey of organizing and decorating her home on Smile and a Coffee while inspiring her readers with great tips and tricks to create a beautiful home and wonderful life.

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