How I Set Up a Spice Drawer So It Stays Organized

If you have enough drawers in your kitchen, using one to store spices can be a good idea. Using a spice drawer clears space in your cabinets and keeps your countertops clutter-free.

Also, storing spices in a drawer and away from heat and light can prolong their freshness and protect flavor.

As someone who has started to cook more and experiments with new ways to season plant-based foods, I have acquired lots of spices that have been becoming a disorganized mess over time.

It was time to improve the organization of my spice storage drawer in my small kitchen in a way that I could keep the drawer and spice jars organized for good.

Spice Drawer Before Getting Reorganized

Does this look familiar? When my spice drawer was disorganized like this – I couldn’t easily find the spices I needed quickly, even though I set the drawer up for easy access.

There are two problems with this set up. The first was that the spice jars are not all uniform in size and didn’t fit together. This allowed them to roll around and get disheveled.

The second problem was that at a glance, if I didn’t see the spice I needed, I would think I needed to buy more, only to find once I bought the new jar home – I realized I had it and wound up with duplicates.

Hopefully my new and improved kitchen drawer spice organization will stop these scenarios from happening ever again.

How I Organized My Spice Drawer

I bought a set of 36 new square glass spice jars that came with labels for the sides and top.

I like the clear labels as they don’t block the contents as paper labels do.

It seems most spice jars sold online come with labels. I liked the labels that came with the set of spice jars I bought, but ended up buying a separate set of labels sold without jars that I liked better.

I bought them for a style reason – I just liked the font better – I know silly, but I liked these better as the font is larger and easier to read.

I also like these bottles since the lids give you the option to pour or shake.

How to Decide What Kind of Spice Drawer Organizer You Need

I was going to make a DIY spice drawer organizer, but after doing research on spice drawer organizers, I figured the best type of in drawer spice rack set would be a spice organizer drawer liner.

This type would work since the size drawer I have is not high enough to fit an expandable tiered rack where the spice jars are angled to easily see and grab.

Measure Your Drawer

How deep should spice drawers be? First measure your drawer to determine the depth to see what type of spice organizer will fit. I wanted to use an angled expandable rack, but my drawer was not deep enough to use this type. So measuring your drawer height is important.

Measure the width, depth and height of your drawer. This will help you determine whether to use a liner, expandable, or vertically arranged organizers. 

I figured the liner would work best for my drawer and bought one.

But, as I was putting the jars in the drawer to see how many of the new jars would fit, it just so happened that my exact drawer dimensions fit eight 4-ounce glass spice jars across perfectly – with little movement so they would stay in place.

For the length – four jars fill the length of the drawer with about an inch left over that allows to easily move the bottles in a line to remove one. So I didn’t even use the liner I bought and returned it.

No more jars rolling around and getting out of place.

How to Organize a Spice Drawer So It Will Stay Organized

1. Use Square Glass Spice Bottles

When deciding what type of glass spice jars with labels to buy to organize the spice drawer in your kitchen, go for the square bottles over round ones.

The reason for this is that when round bottles are in a spice storage drawer, they tend to roll, even when on a drawer liner or spice drawer rack.

When this happens you can’t see the front label of the bottle, hence at a glance when cooking you can’t see what the bottle that rolled contains. When you use square bottles this doesn’t happen. The labels will always stay face up.

When you have matching spice jars – you can save money by buying bulk spices in just the amount you need. Many whole food grocery stores sell spices this way where you can measure out just what you need.

2. Use a Drawer Insert or Tiered Racks

There are a few different types of spice drawer racks or inserts that include three-tier or more rack options. These expand to fit the width of a drawer.

3. Alphabetize the Spice Jars

The best spice drawers are organized in a way that makes sense to you. This could be alphabetically or by your frequently used favorite spices.

Should Spices Be Stored in Plastic or Glass Jars?

Spices don’t last forever, but if properly stored and sealed, glass will extend the shelf life significantly. Plastic jars can be porous where small amounts of air can get into them and degrade the spices.

Using clear jars also allows you to easily see when you are getting low on a herb, seasoning or spice.

What is Better to Use – A Drawer, Wall or Countertop Spice Rack Organizer?

Having organized spices in a drawer not only frees up valuable cabinet or pantry space but also makes them super easy to access. My drawer is next to my stove and food prep kitchen island.

Using a cabinet or drawer to store your spices will keep them in the dark which is a good thing as it will keep your spices dry and away from stovetop heat. When spices are stored on a wall or on a counter they may get too much light and degrade faster.

The Best Spice Drawer Organizers and Inserts To Buy

If you are thinking about reorganizing your spice drawer or rack, below are a few popular options to consider to organize them in the drawer space available in your kitchen.

Expand-to-Fit Organizers

Expand-to-fit tiered organizers are a simple solution. They simply expand to fit your drawer and usually feature different compartments and tiers to keep bottles separate and visible.

They come in wood, metal as well as clear and black plastic.

Trim-To-Fit Drawer Liners

It’s easy to create a custom solution with this type of spice drawer organizer to fit drawers. Simply trim with a pair of scissors to fit your drawer size. The ridges keep spice bottles in place.

This type of soft cushy liner comes in grey or off-white.

This is the type I thought I was going to use, but didn’t since my bottles fit nicely in my drawer without it.

For Deep Drawers

Choose your organizers based on the depth of your drawer. In-drawer organizers that hold the jars vertically work well in deep drawers.  

More Helpful Spice Drawer Organizer Tips

  • Most of the spice jar/label sets sold online come with a collapsible funnel so that when you bring a new jar of herbs or spices home you can easily fill the square glass bottles.
  • If you have extra spice in one jar after filling a new one, I keep a shoebox in an upper kitchen cabinet where I store these jars. When one of my spices gets empty, before I put it on my shopping list to buy more, I look in the shoebox to see if I have any in there first.

How do you arrange your spice collection? Do you have any tips to add that help you keep your spices organized?

Spice Drawer Jars, Labels & Organizers

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Source: Organization -


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