6 Ways to Store Your Essential Oils
As your essential oil collection grows, the question ultimately arises—how can I store them in an organized way so that I can easily find what I need? There are several ways to organize your essential oils. Let’s look at the options.
What are the considerations for essential oil storage?
Essential oils should be stored in a cool, dark place. Cool can be defined as the lower side of room temperature (67-69 degrees F). If your house is a few degrees warmer, don’t panic. But if your house runs in the mid 70’s and higher, you may want to consider finding a cooler part of your house, or using a refrigerator.
If you store your oils in a refrigerator, they should be kept separate from food as food can absorb the smell of the oils. A separate mini-fridge would be ideal.
Most essential oils already come in dark glass. So, unless you are storing them in a chronically bright location, we have some flexibility here. A cupboard, or an area of your home that isn’t exposed to direct sunlight works well.
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One: Storage Boxes
This is one of the most popular solutions as it allows neat, organized storage of oils and is portable. Boxes can be stored in cupboards or drawers and pulled out as needed. I used a box from the craft store when my collection was small. This was really inexpensive, but it didn’t have any dividers so unless it was full, oils would topple over when I carried the box somewhere.
There are multiple options for boxes made especially for essential oils. All of these have dividers in different configurations. The most versatile ones have slots for various sized products—different sized oil bottles, roller ball slots, carrier oils, and accessories like pipettes.
Boxes come in different sizes, capacities and configurations. The best way to choose is to look at what oils and sizes you have in your collection and find one that best fits your needs. For example, I diffuse a lot and make inhalers, I have very few roller balls so I would be happy with something just to store my oils in.
Pros: Portable, dark, different configurations of dividers available and wide range of sizes
For the large collection
The Aroma Outfitters box holds 68 totals bottles (56 oil bottles and 12 roller bottles). You can use the slanted roller bottle spaces for regular oil bottles as well. It holds most brand’s bottles up to 15 ml (you may need to remove the foam insert in the lid for some 15 ml bottles). It is unfinished, so you can let your creativity run wild and personalize it, leave it as is, or apply a coat of paint.
Earth’s Gift makes a lovely pine box that provides a lot of versatility. Two trays hold 30 oils a piece, including roller bottles. They stack on top of each other, and a separate deep compartment can be used for larger bottles, carrier oils, or any other accessories. I also love that you could use the stackable organizers in a drawer, and then you have the whole box free to store larger items.
For the smaller collection (& if you don’t like unfinished boxes!)
A lot of essential oil boxes are unfinished, which is great if a) you don’t mind that and b) you want to put your personal stamp on it. If you would rather have something more finished, the RiverTree Life box has a rustic stained finish and a Celtic design on the lid.
It holds 24 essential oil bottles, up to 15 ml in size. It does not have room for any other types of bottles or accessories. This is a great option for the smaller collection. Also, if you plan on toting your oils around, smaller boxes are a worthwhile consideration as the large capacity ones can get heavy when full.
Two: Storage Bags/Travel Bags
An even more portable option than a storage box is a storage bag. Practically speaking, these work best for smaller collections with more consistent sizes of oils. This is because the divided spaces are usually just one size, and because as a soft bag, if it got too big it would get floppy.
A smaller bag is perfect for travel. These can be small enough to throw in a purse or tote, or pack in your luggage. Most have elastics to hold the oil in place, so there is a little bit of leeway in what size bottle you use, however very small bottles may slip out.
Pros: More portable (easier to carry) than boxes, pretty designs, travel bags are perfect for keeping your oils organized within a larger bag, dark
Cons: Not as sturdy, dividers usually just one size
The EVOON bag looks like the purse your grandma had (or maybe even great-grandma). This one definitely gets bonus style points. It holds 10 bottles from 5-15 ml in size with elastics on the inside. EVOON also makes a nifty travel bag that has enough extra room to be a small beauty bag.
Hard top bag
This bag solves the “floppy” problem by being a hard-top case. Foam inserts holds your bottles securely. The large case fits up to 30 bottles from 5-15 ml in size.
Hard-Top Carrying Case – Large Purple & White
Three: Wall organizers
While there are wall organizers marketed towards essential oils, a nail polish organizer like you see at the nail salon is a great way to organize a collection. The big pro of this is that your oil labels are facing you so it can be easy to find what your are looking for.
Pros: Easy to find oils
Cons: Exposure to light—should be hung in places where there is not a bright light.
This tree of life organizer is one such organizer that is marketed towards nail polish, but has been successfully used by many for essential oils. This makes a beautiful display for your oils, and would be a great option if you have limited cupboard and drawer space in your home—just hang this on the wall!
Four: Roller Ball in a Lipstick Thingy
This is an easy way to organize your roller bottles. It turns out that acrylic lipstick holders are about the right size for roller balls. These are inexpensive and will hold 5-6 roller ball bottles.
Cons: Exposed to light, only holds 6
I use this little cutey for my roller balls and love it! It holds 6 roller bottles and works with nasal inhalers too (the center compartment is too small, but would be handy for pipettes or droppers.
Five: Drawer organizers
Some craftspeople are making organizers that fit in drawers. You can find these on Etsy, or if you have someone handy with woodworking in your life, you could recruit them to build one for you. Think of these as similar to the in-drawer spice racks.
Pros: keeps oils dark, out of the way storage
Cons: not portable, if your home has limited drawer spaces you may not be able to spare one just for oils
Plant Therapy makes a great little drawer organizer. They hold five 10 ml sized bottles a piece and come in sets of 3 (so can store a total of 15 oils). I love that these come in small sets so you can expand as your collection grows.
Another lovely option is the Simply Shelf essential oil display
These are metal and have grooves in them, which helps to keep your oils from rolling around when you open and close the drawer. This is a thoughtful design. The Simply Shelf is also modular, allowing you to add on as your collection expands.
Finally, Elevated Wood Design on Etsy has some beautiful storage options, most of which would work well in a drawer. The slanted styles come in essential oil bottle or roller bottle sizes and both come in one of three colored finishes. There are also wooden pieces with round holes in a variety of sizes that could be used on a countertop or in a drawer.
Six: The Fridge
Essential oils, even in a closed bottle can “leak” aroma. If you want to store oils in the fridge you should keep them separate from food. An ideal solution is a mini-fridge. If you don’t have room for another fridge, consider a microfridge.
So there you have it—6 different options for organizing your essential oil collection. Did I miss anything? What is your favorite way to store your oils?
Photo of apothecary bottles by Matt Briney on Unsplash