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When it comes to organizing the kitchen, there's one utensil that we've relied on for centuries - the humble spice rack. Storing your jars of herbs and spices in your cupboards just isn't practical, but neither are clunky free-standing racks that take up space on your countertop. Luckily though, there are a host of space-saving solutions out there that don't take up prime real estate on your surfaces.
Here's the thing - I share a property with two other young women and we're what you might call a condiment household. Our kitchen cabinets are full of sauces, spices, herbs, and not much else - but that doesn't bother me. What does bother me is rummaging in cluttered cupboards to find my dried oregano only to pull out a jar of paprika instead. If I'm not paying attention, my meal is ruined in minutes.
Due to our absurdly small kitchen, a free-standing spice rack is out of the question. We need a kitchen storage solution that maximizes as much space as possible, and I think I've finally found the answer. Here's why I think it's the spice rack for anyone living in a smaller home or apartment, alongside some other spice storage options recommended by professional organizers themselves.
Di Ter Avest is a professional home and lifestyle organizer and the owner of Di is Organized. Her in-person services, virtual projects, workshops, and digital book Organize Yourself Healthy, help women create sustainable organizational systems for their homes and lives. Her expertise has been featured on Forbes, Today, ApartmentTherapy, Real Homes, and Kitchn; she has also given workshops at IKEA, West Elm, and Williams-Sonoma.
Meet the space saving spice rack professional organizers are loving
From revolving stands to tiered shelving, there are a million and one spice racks out there that all claim to be the best. But, in my eyes, anything that's freestanding is a complete waste of space.
With that in mind, you can imagine the joy I felt when I stumbled across an innovative design on TikTok that makes use of the space beneath your cupboard shelves that normally goes unused. The handy pull-out contraption mounts under your shelving and unclips to hold up to seven spice jars, which can then slot back into the space, a bit like a drawer. Joseph Joseph's under-shelf spice rack is the perfect small kitchen storage organizer for anyone who, like me, lacks countertop space.
This unique spice rack design from Joseph Joseph utilizes unused space beneath your cupboard shelves. The easy pull-out compartment has a drawer stop, unclipping to reveal up to seven spice jars. Installation is totally tool-free and uses non-marking tape to secure in place.
Professional organizer Di Ter Avest, owner of Di is Organized, agrees. 'Vertical space often needs to be more utilized, especially in kitchen cabinets,' she says. 'It doesn't matter if you have a big or small kitchen, or how much space you have in the cupboards; if your spices don't have a dedicated spot, it will get messy and cluttered.'
This spice rack provides the perfect quick fix with no installation necessary. 'I see homeowners and renters using this spice organizer to store their most used spices since the rack holds up to seven spice jars,' Di says.
As she points out, this rack does limit the number of spices and herbs you store at once, however. 'It's only going to be functional for small collections which is not typically the case with spices,' says organizer Kayleen Kelly. You could have one in each of your cupboards, but that might not be practical if you're the kind of person who cooks with lots of spices every day. If you're looking for somewhere to house a bigger collection of spices and herbs, here are three alternative options we also love that will help organize your kitchen.
3 spice storage alternatives professional organizers recommend
'If you own more than seven spices and like to experiment with more flavors, we love to use the SpiceStack adjustable spice rack organizer by YouCopia to organize spices,' says Di. This pull-out rack can sit in your cupboard and fits 24+ spice bottles. The drawers lower to eye level for a fast find and the adjustable dividers mean you can fit jars of varying heights and sizes.
Kayleen's go-to for easy organizing is narrow acrylic bins that fit in the cabinets. 'I have one for my "daily go-to" spices and others for the rest,' she says. 'You can even break them down by "sweet" "savory" and "spicy". Clear bins make it easy so you can just pull the category down and use what you need.'
'Unless you have an abundance of kitchen drawers, drawer spice racks are a waste of good space since they require you to lay spice jars on their sides,' says Melissa. Keep your spices organized and out of sight with this over-the-door spice rack instead, perfect if you have a pantry. With six separate shelves, you can comfortably fit all your herbs and spices as well as a few bottles and cans, too.
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Lilith Hudson is the Staff Writer on Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.
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