I like to cook. As a result, I have a lot of jars of spices and herbs (~100) taking up most of one shelf in the kitchen. I want to somehow take advantage of vertical space. (Stacking the jars directly on one another is more challenging to access the bottom-layer jars.)

I've looked at a lot of spice rack options, but:

  • they're expensive
  • they only hold a couple dozen jars at most (so I'd need to buy 5 or 6 -> more expensive)
  • they often are sized so they only hold their own jars, so all the random ones I buy from the store don't fit

How can I store my spice jars so they're easy to access and take up less (horizontal) space?

  • Uuhm... You said vertical space in the first paragraph and horizontal space in the question. Which one do you mean?
    – Alex
    Commented May 23, 2015 at 16:56
  • 1
    Both :) It's currently taking up horizontal space (all the short jars sitting on the shelf next to each other), and there's plenty of empty vertical space. I want to take up more vertical space and less horizontal space.
    – Erica
    Commented May 23, 2015 at 17:05
  • How good are you at carpentry? (I ask because I've never seen a pre-made rack like this.) Build your own racks mounted on the cupboard doors, cutting away enough of the shelves so that the doors close properly.
    – jamesqf
    Commented May 23, 2015 at 17:47
  • @jamesqf Let's say mediocre -- I know which end of a hammer is which, but don't have experience (or tools) to do particularly fancy work :)
    – Erica
    Commented May 23, 2015 at 17:50

2 Answers 2


I don't know if you buy ice cream in plastic boxes - I used to, the boxes they came in were about 6 inches long by about 4 inches wide, and 3 inches deep. I kept those - each one is filled with spices and herbs, and I stack one on top of another, on top of the caps on the jars in the one below. It does mean you have to lift off the top box to get whatever you need in the one housed below, but that's a lot easier than moving several individual jars of herbs balanced on one another. Any suitable box from any product you buy could be used, I just happened to have lots of ice cream containers. You may decide you need prettier boxes though, if they're on display, mine are inside a cupboard, but really, herbs and spices should be kept in the dark, in a closed cupboard, not permanently exposed to daylight, unless the containers aren't clear.

  • Sounds like a solution my kids will really enjoy helping me implement! ;-) I do have some other rectangular containers around that could work.
    – Erica
    Commented May 23, 2015 at 18:49
  • 1
    One tip though - put like with like, when mine get messed up, the herbs end up mixed in the spices ones, and I end up getting them all down to find the thing I want, infuriating... but my own fault
    – Bamboo
    Commented May 23, 2015 at 18:51
  • Yeah, I'm thinking labels on the front of the box and categorizing somehow would be helpful.
    – Erica
    Commented May 23, 2015 at 18:53

Get it out of your cupboard and onto your refrigerator. My fiance had bought me a pre-made set of magnetic spice holders and they are great; took a great deal of my spcies out of my cabinet and they are now on the fridge. Here is how you can make your own.

  • Newer refrigerators (electronic) have sides that are warm to the touch and work differently from older compressor ones. Putting spices against one of these will trash them much sooner than keeping herbs and spices cool and dry. Check which one you have by putting your hand against the side before you go with this hack.
    – Stan
    Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 17:35

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