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Mar 18, 2008 01:32 PM

Spice Jars

I'm hoping others can offer some inspiration when it comes to organizing my spices. Not the most fascinating topic, I know, but a practical one that needs to be addressed in my home. I live in a space limited condo, but need a system to organize the many spices I have. I've been looking for pretty air-tight containers (3 oz would be ideal) to store my spices in but to no avail. Has anyone seen any they can recommend? Does anyone have a great system of organizing the abundancde of spices in their homes?

Any tips and suggestions would be much appreciated!

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  1. hi! Penzy's sells jars that might work for you.

    I am looking to organize as well. Alphabetizing works for me. I tried separating sweet and savory, or grouping by type of cuisine, etc. but that never seemed to work.

    My husband takes the "taller jars in the back, short ones up front" approach. I have seen rotating spindle-type holders, and some other designs, but they always come with jars that are loaded with spices of questionable provenance that I don't need or want.
    Good luck. I am looking forward to seeing some good ideas in response to your question.

    1. Second alphabetizing. I have one of those vertical elfa racks with modular clip-on baskets that hold spices, and it's the best spice rack type solution I've seen.

      Most of my spices are in similar sized jars already, but you can buy pretty good containers at stores like the Container Store if there's one near you.

      1. I agree on the Penzey's jars. I have tons and tons of spices, and their jars come in all sizes and widths, including shaker tops. I prefer larger containers for frequently used spices and keep them together.

        I have attached six shallow shelves to the back of my pantry closet for spices. Elfa basket types that attach with a discrete over-the-door hook. I can add more if needed. All found at the Container Store.

        1. How space limited? You could borrow an idea from Alton Brown (who I'm sure wasn't the first) and use magnetic jars. You could put them up either decoratively ( or by putting the magnetic strips inside cabinet doors like Mr. Brown does.

          In my own kitchen, I purchased a stainless steel bar and two hanging spice racks from Ikea that I mounted to a wall.

          1. How much do those empty jars cost at Penzy's or Container Store and/or similar places? When I had this same issue I refused to spend ridiculous amounts to get a bunch of empty jars and wound up buying a case of water in small wide-mouth bottles and using those. But I'm cheap.

            Look around your grocery or other places--you might find something you can use sold in jars that are the right size, so buy that and save yourself some money. OTOH, if you plan to keep them out, and as you say they need to look pretty, you might have to spring for something more costly.

            2 Replies
            1. re: johnb

              I was on a POM Tea kick for a while and collected their glasses. (A market in my area sells them for $2.48 each, but I have seen them priced at $3.99.)

              The jars/glasses are tall and do not have a wide footprint. For me, they make a good, inexpensive storage container for larger amounts of spices, small portions of dried pasta or dried beans.

              1. re: johnb

                $1.19 to $1.59 for most, $2.29 for a 32 oz. size. Black plastic lid is utilitarian, but it does come with several labels and in shaker and wide-mouth varieties. They are really not expensive and you have the flexiblity to choose different sizes. There are tons of other options out there, as other posters have pointed out, but you can always find these and they all look similar, so if looks are somewhat important, this may be one possible answer. I just happen to be ordering on line anyway, so I buy jars while I am at it.

                I just hope you air dried those water bottles for a long time :) Novel idea though -- good for travel to the beach house, I suppose.