The Art of Organized Spices

Updated: Aug 17

We promise spice decanting is a small upfront investment with a huge payoff! First, the rainbow jumble that is your spice storage will get a breathtakingly chic facelift. Second, you have a chance to see what you use, what’s expired and refresh any of the old classics. Third, finding what spice you’re looking for in the midst of the dinner rush will be so much easier.

Follow along to spice things up!

1. Get new spice jars you love

We bought these from Amazon. They work great, look good, and are relatively inexpensive. Plus the kit comes with a wide-mouthed funnel for extra ease - no need to MacGyver one if your kitchen doesn’t yet have one. These caps have only one size of holes and might not work best for some items in your arsenal, like sesame seeds. However, we were able to reuse the caps from some original spice bottles emptied and recycled during the decanting. They fit like a charm.

2. Grab your labels

Mailing labels work great for more than just return addresses. You can print on these labels directly at home with a laser printer. The adhesive sticks on well but is not dishwasher safe. There are many great label options out there but these are great for your starter kit.

3. Prep for printing

Type the spice names and format the file for printing your new labels. We used Microsoft Word for formatting by selecting "Mailings" in the search bar, then "start mail merge" from the bar that appears, then "labels" from the list, and finally choose the type of labels you have from the pop up provided. Customize your labels with the font, size, and phrasing that works best for you. Make them fun or funky, clean and contemporary, or any combination in between. Remember to make the organization your own and enjoy the process.

We went with Helvetica Neue Light for the font, all in caps, and centered for this decanting session but again, play with it and choose what you like best. It's important to note that if you are doing a large batch of these (no judging if you have a huge spice selection and love them all, we’ll get you to whittle them down later) it will be easier to type these up in Excel and use the mail merge functions to convert your excel sheet to these labels in Microsoft word. This article has helpful step by step instructions for the mail merge function if you need it. Just note that these instructions are geared towards mailing labels so you will need to adjust the formatting slightly for the spice labels. Now print those bad boys!

4. Stick the labels on your bottles.

It can take a steady hand to get your labels on smoothly. Maybe avoid that extra cup of coffee the morning you tackle this project. But as always, practice makes perfect. We like the labels to be on the top half of the bottles for easy visibility. This is a personal preference so feel free to choose whatever orientation and placement appeal to you and your spice storage.

5. Decant your spices into your newly finished jars

The set of jars we purchased came with a funnel but I only used this for the messiest spices since it needs to be cleaned after every pour to avoid mixing flavors. We suggest putting something down under your workstation so you can easily clean up any spills, paper towels, cutting board or tea cloth will work great for quick cleanup.

6. Arrange your spices for use

It makes a big difference when cooking if you can find what you are looking for quickly. 30 seconds on high heat can mean the difference between perfectly golden and the fire alarm announcing dinner’s ready. Arrange by color, alphabetical order, or by use frequency with the highest used spices front and center. We love it all and don’t discriminate. It will all depend on how your brain and cooking space work for you!

Spice Organizers we love:

Some people have spice drawers, others have cabinets, and many are short on space and need a wall display. There are so many options when it comes to creating a system for your newly decanted spices and we have some starter options to help you keep these gorgeous babies in working order.

If you need a drawer insert, having spices in neat non-overlapping rows creates consistency no matter how many times that drawer opens and closes. We think this option and this option are solid choices.

Spice cabinets, especially for the vertically challenged, can be difficult for full visibility of your spice selection. We find storage solutions were you can pull out and down a section of spices super helpful to make sure you can see - and therefore use - all your goodies. Try an option like this one.

And for those who want to display their beautiful work for all to see, these invisible shelves will serve as a sturdy system to see and all the flavors at your disposal.

Reminder! Always measure your space, spice jars and organization item before purchase to make sure installation will be smooth sailing.

Show us your spice storage creations by tagging @SortJoy on your Instagram post, see if your work gets added to our stories.

Contact Us for More Specific Help

We hope this helped you fulfill your decanting dreams! If you are having trouble coming up with a spice system that works for you or for specific help regarding any of your space and decluttering needs, contact us at 415-592-5786 or


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