My Spice Cupboard

For years I didn’t know what to do with the tall skinny cabinet in my 1940’s kitchen – for a while it was the “snack” cupboard for the kids – anything in there they could eat, and it had things like crackers, peanut butter, jelly, popcorn, beverage mixes, etc.

Spice Cupboard - the "stair steps" are just boards cut to size and stacked.

Spice Cupboard – the “stair steps” are just boards cut to size and stacked.

Now I’m using it for my spice cupboard – I do keep larger quantities of spices up in a harder to reach, dark, cool cupboard. I store them in small canning jars and even Ziploc bags, but this cupboard is now my “go to” place for spices and herbs.

I simply took boards, cut them to fit, stacked them and painted them to match – and now my little jars fit and are easy to see.  (I do wish I would have cut the boards ‘with’ the grain, it would have been a little smoother.)

Cooking from scratch is really difficult if you’re reaching for spices and they aren’t easy to get to…or worse, your pot is simmering on the stove when you realize you don’t even HAVE whatever it is you need to add NOW!

I’ve noticed that a lot of older homes have these funky little cabinets; if you do, maybe this idea will help. I like this better than the lazy susan type spice rack I used to keep my spices on – they used to fall off and took up so much room.  I also like that they aren’t on a spice rack that I have to keep clean or that is exposed to light.  Most of all, I really like that this was done with scrap pieces of wood from my garage!  I’m always thinking I’ll remodel, so I didn’t want to spend very much…but in the meantime, I needed it to function better.

You can buy little plastic shelves, too, that you can expand to fit many spaces.

In a cool, empty upper cabinet, my excess spices are stored in jars.

In a cool, empty upper cabinet, my excess spices are stored in jars.

I have friends who have converted what was an old Ironing Board bay in their kitchen into a spice cupboard by lining it with shelves, which I thought was a great use of space.

Do you have an innovative way to store spices in your kitchen to share with us?

Spice Related Pages:

Saving on Basic Ingredients:

Links for The Twelve Strategies:

6 thoughts on “My Spice Cupboard

  1. I was working on topping up my taco seasoning (great recipe, by the way, so much better than the packets) and found this post. Your spice cupboard is so cute and useful looking. Love it! My spice cupboard is awkwardly placed over the back corner of the counter so I have a system with little baskets out of necessity.

    • Hi Heather, I just saw your reply here! I had a high cupboard over my stove once, not the best place, but room was at a premium, and one time reaching up to it, my sweater brushed my stove and caught on fire! That prompted me to get busy and find a real solution!

  2. This is great! For YEARS I have been trying to figure out a good way to store spices so that I can see what each spice is. This is the best way that I’ve seen yet, I might try this in my little spice nook.

    • Thanks much! I made this a rather permanent installation – I didn’t mention that I used caulk to fill in the seams…but I think this is an idea that could work on a more make shift basis for those who may rent.

      One thing I like about this is that the little jars reduce the “visual” clutter and the labels make it easy to quickly “skim” the labels to see what I have, and the clear jars make it easy to see what’s nearly empty.

      These little jars are so great. I’ve dropped them many times on the stove, counter and even my tile floor and in over 15 years have yet to break one. If I didn’t have them, though, I think I’d be tempted to soak off the labels of glass spice jars, like the mccormick ones, and use my label maker.

      I’ve also been meaning to do the same thing for the cupboard above my stove where I keep many oils, vinegars, sauces, etc. I hate that I can’t see what’s behind whatever items are in front and that sometimes I’m knocking things over trying to get to one bottle of something that has been pushed to the back.

  3. Hi Deb, I got mine at least 15 years ago – but I did do a little checking and found a place that sells them in “cases” of 12 for a little bit of a discount – between $8.00 and $12.00.

    I don’t remember what I paid for mine at the time, but I was kind of shocked when I saw the prices today!

    I will say that in all these years I’ve never had one break and because I like to cook and keep things where I can reach them at a moments notice, it’s saved me tons of time. I can also write on them with a sharpie and wash it off later, which helps until I get my label maker out. (I think you can buy premade labels, too.)

    I hate having something on the stove and having to stop because I’m digging fror an ingredient.

    Anyway, here’s that site:

    Maybe some one else knows where to find a better price?

  4. Deb Jump

    Where did you buy your nice jars? I am trying to organize my vast mishmash of herbs and spice jars, tins, packets and bags. I’d love uniform containers like yours but they all seem so expensive when you have to buy so many. Any suggestions?

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