7 Sweet Tips for Packing Spices While Moving

C.E. Larusso
Written by C.E. Larusso
Updated March 30, 2022
Woman holding a jar of sugar in her pantry
Photo: Valeriy_G / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Everything you need to know about moving spices, from allspice to za’atar

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

Your kitchen contains some of the most fragile items in your home, with many of them housed in the spice cabinet. Packing fragile items requires extra care and consideration so you don’t end up with a mess on moving day. Those little glass containers filled with alluring flavors are also central to your cooking, so keeping them safe is worth the effort. 

Discover the best ways to seal, pack, and label your spices before your big move so you can rest assured the turmeric you use almost every night will arrive unharmed.

1. Get Rid of Old Spices First

Man holding a jar with pepper checking expiration date
Photo: zoranm / E+ / Getty Images

Move like a pro by minimizing boxes and only moving what you actually intend to keep. Spices lose their potency and freshness about one year after opening, so toss any beyond that 12-month mark. If you have no idea how old a bottle is, it’s probably too old to keep. 

Tip: After your move, start labeling your spices with the date you open them, so you know when they’ve gone bad.

2. Seal All Your Containers Well

Check each bottle or container and make sure the lid still fastens. Be sure it is screwed on tightly to prevent any spillage. For added security, tape the lids shut and place the jars inside resealable plastic bags in case any cumin leaks out in transit. 

The holes on salt and pepper shakers can be covered with a few layers of tissue paper, then sealed with tape. We advise placing these in resealable plastic bags as well.

3. Wrap Them in Padding

Woman packing fragile object with bubble wrap
Photo: Portra / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Now that you’ve securely sealed your spices for the journey, wrap them in bubble wrap, packing paper, or dish towels for added cushion. Not only will this help keep the jars from breaking, but it can also take packing kitchen towels off of your to-do list.

4. Properly Seal Oil and Vinegar

All oils, whether olive, avocado, or coconut, should be sealed properly, along with any vinegars you have. Remove the lids from the bottles, and place a piece of plastic wrap over the opening before resealing. 

You should wrap these bottles in bubble wrap and towels (to absorb any leakage) and then place them in a resealable plastic bag. From there, pack them upright and be sure to label the box accordingly (i.e., with arrows) and indicate that the contents are fragile. Any oils or vinegars that require refrigeration should be given away to a neighbor or local food pantry.

5. Place Them in a Strong Box

Line a strong box—both the bottom and the sides—with packing paper or bubble wrap before placing your spices inside. Damage can happen when the spices and their glass containers get a chance to move around in transit, so once you’ve filled the box, place newspaper or additional bubble wrap in any gaps between bottles or bags. 

Don’t forget to label the box so you can get right to cooking your favorite bolognese recipe as soon as you settle in your new home.

6. Pack Them Inside Other Kitchen Items

If you don’t have enough spices to warrant their own box, consider placing them inside pots and pans. Make sure to line the pots as you would the box and add newspaper to fill in any space. Place the lid on the pot and tape it shut with painter’s tape.

7. Hire a Moving Company

Some local moving companies will pack your items in addition to moving them. If the fear of losing your herbs de Provence is just too much to bear, contact a few reputable movers to get some quotes.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.