Organized Your Entire Herb & Spice Collection


Do you find yourself with an unruly mess of spice containers? Little bags of herbs everywhere?

Check out this awesome tutorial on how to wrestle your entire herb and spice collection- no matter how big or small- into an organized thing of beauty.

Spoiler alert: We will be discussing my great love of mason jars.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase items through these links, I get paid a small amount. I’ve used links in this article to save you time and show you the exact products I use. 

I realize that normal people probably don’t lose sleep over how to store their spices. They probably don’t consider spice storage as a top priority, worthy of hours of careful analysis. It’s a good thing I’ve never claimed to be normal.

After losing much sleep over my unwieldy assortment of herbs and spices, I hit upon the idea of mason jars for spice storage. (Really- is there any problem that CAN’T be solved with a mason jar?) Mason jars come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes- perfect for my wide variety of herbs and spices!

I’ll show you all the details of my spice system below, including which mason jars to buy, where to buy them, and how to organize them.

Now some of you may be wondering why I’m not content with a standard issue spice rack. I understand. I tried to convince myself it would work. I bought little spice jars at the dollar store. I dutifully labelled them. But you know what? There were still stray spice packages everywhere, because the jars didn’t hold enough. I had to keep a whole separate stash of “leftover spices.” Ugh.

Another problem with the tiny jars is that I couldn’t fit my measuring spoons into them. Infuriation ensued. That was the tipping point.

After extensive research (really- you have no idea), I opted for five different types of mason jars. (FIVE!? Yes, five.)

   How to Organize your Spice Colection

I found my mason jars at Wal-mart and Canadian Tire. I’ve also seen them at some hardware stores. Mason jars can be a bit tricky to find outside of the canning season, so in case you can’t find them I’ve included affiliate links for Amazon:

The exact Bernardin mason jars I use:

1. 125 mL “baby” mason jars
2. 250 mL squat mason jars (short and wide)
3. 500 mL standard mason jars (straight up and down- no curves)
4. 1 L mason jars
5. 1.9 L mason jars

How to Organize your Spice Collection

Here’s how I use each size of mason jar:

1. I used the itty bitty baby jars for those spices I had just a smidge of, like saffron.
2. I used the 250 mL jars to house the contents of one of those standard issue McCormick spices jars.
3. The 500 mL jars are for the spices I buy in packets so I could easily fit the whole packet in one jar with none leftover.
4. The 1 L jars are used for spices and seeds that I buy in bulk- mustard seeds, sesame seeds, etc.
5. The 1.9 L jars are for nuts, coffee beans, and quinoa.

Some Notes on my Spice System:

-The lids separate as they are each made of two pieces- a seal and a ring. You can also get solid lids like these ones.

-Labelling is a must! I’m in love with my label-maker, so I create a quick label for the lid of each jar as I fill it.

-I store my spices out of direct sunlight and away from the stove so that they don’t become stale too quickly.

-I picked up a wide-mouthed funnel specifically made for these mason jars so I can quickly dump a package of powdered spices into a jar without any fuss.

-This system is expandable, as you are not confined to a certain amount of slots as in a typical spice rack carousel. You can easily edit it as your cooking tastes and techniques evolve.

-I love the fact that the 250 mL, 500 mL,  1 L and 1.9 L mason jars have interchangeable lids!

How to Organize your Spice Collection

The Best Ways to Organize your Mason Jars:

Here is how I have my spices organized in my current space (a pull-out spice cupboard):

How to Organize your Spice Collection

In my last apartment, I built a custom shallow bookshelf just for my spices. (Yes, I know this is over-the-top!) I built it with just enough room to house my 1 L jars on the bottom shelf, my 500 mL jars on the next two shelves (or two 250 mL stacked on top of each other) and my itty bitty 125 mL jars on the top shelf. It was per-fec-tion.

How do you store your spices? Please share any spicy tips you might have!


11 thoughts on “Organized Your Entire Herb & Spice Collection

  1. Rebecca says:

    what are the chances I took on spice organization just this week?! My jars have arrive, I have my label maker at the ready and am TAKING ON all the itty bitty bags falling out at me from my cupboards. Thanks for the timely post! Love your brand of crazy ;) right up my alley


  2. madeitloveItpaleo says:

    Awesome idea! We are doing this already with a couple of salts we use, but you’ve inspired me to keep it going in our spice drawer. We have jars of spices laid on their side to fit in the drawer, but jars with labels on top would be so much more organized. Thanks for sharing!


  3. Alicia York-Bird says:

    Aaarrgghh! I feel like an idiot. I’ve been desperate to clean up my spice cupboard as it’s really getting out of hand; so much so, only this past Sunday I was considering dropping a silly amount of money on one of those “As Seen On TV” spice shelf organization thingies from my local hardware store. And here you have the most logical and inexpensive method all laid out. I even already have all these types of mason jars collecting dust in another cupboard.

    I’m a derp…but hopefully a reformed derp now I’ve seen your post. Thank you!!! ;o)


    • Lauren says:

      Hey Alicia! I’m glad you like this idea so much! I really have to giggle at how much our spices drive us around the bend- I totally get it! Hope you love this solution as much as I did. :)


  4. peeledwellness says:

    Hey Lauren! I laughed to myself when you talked about solid vs two piece mason jar lids because I have a lifelong battle raging against the 2 piece lids. I can never pry off/ pick up the flat disc part of the lid. It is a war I intend to win…. maybe by buying solid lids. Thanks for linking up- can’t wait to see what you’ve got for next week!
    Xoxo K


    • Lauren says:

      Hey K! I love your description of your lid struggles. Too funny.

      Thanks for organizing the link-up on your blog “Tell ‘Em Tuesdays.” Today was fun and I met some lovely new bloggers. Looking forward to next Tuesday! :)

      Liked by 1 person

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