‘It isn’t helping anyone!’ The kitchen storage buy professional organizers hate – and what to get instead

Not all kitchen organizers are useful – here is what you should buy instead

Spices in glass bowls on a wooden chopping board
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's fair to say that there is a something of a craze for decanting all manner of dry goods into glass containers to help make our kitchens look more stylish and products last longer at the moment. However, there are some kitchen storage ideas that work better than others – and some that should be avoided altogether, experts say. 

The kitchen organization idea in question is the tiered spice rack. You know the type – it allows you to stack up spice jars on steps to help you see what you have at a glance. Or that is the idea, at least. 

Professional organizers, it turns out, can't stand them. Steer clear of them, they have told us – plus what we should be buying instead. 

spice rack

(Image credit: ProCook)

‘One thing that I hate are three-tier rises for spices,’ says Anna, co-owner of home organizing company, Orderlie. ‘They are not helping anyone!’ 

Although the risers may seem useful for seeing what is at the back of a deep cabinet, the reality is that it makes things at the back far more difficult to reach, Anna points out.

Not only do the front jars obscure what is in those behind, but reaching over them all is impractical for regular home cooks, making them one of many things professional organizers never buy

These types of organizers are more aptly used for a variety of products, with taller items such as oil bottles that are less likely to be obscured placed at the back and smaller items such as jars situated towards the front so that you can reach over with ease.

Anna from Orderlie

Orderlie home organizing is based in Kirkland, WA serving the Greater Seattle Area. Anna, along with business partner Briea, listens to clients' pain points and lifestyles to come up with organized solutions for them. They aim to show that organization can be fun and simple when you have the right system. They help families get organized and stay organized.

What to buy instead of tired spice risers 

Organize kitchen drawers

(Image credit: Life Kitchens)

When shopping around for spice storage ideas, there are plenty of other models and styles that make a little more sense, Anna says. 

‘Investing in turntables for a cabinet or putting your spices in a shallow drawer where you do food prep are both much better ways to organize spices. This way you can easily see what you have and not knock over spices when you are trying to find one.’ 

Is it better to store spices in glass or plastic?

It is always better to store spices in glass over plastic. This is because plastic containers are more porous than glass, which means that plastic containers will lead to spices going stale more quickly. If you buy spices in plastic containers, swapping them into glass with a tight, sealed lid will ensure they outlast their initial use-by date.

What is a Lazy Susan and is it a rude name?

There's much debate over the origin of the name 'Lazy Susan', the countertop, rotating tray where spices are often stored. The Smithsonian asserts that the device itself was first used in China in the 13th Century, and was then adopted by the British to make table service easier for families who found themselves without servants. No one knows quite why it is called a Lazy Susan, although some sources say that it was coined to describe a lazy housemaid.

Chiana Dickson
Content Editor

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for two years, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.