Getting organized at home: Organizing your spice rack

Advice on several good ways to organize your spice rack and find the best fit for your kitchen and you.

The Spice Rack

A counter-top spice rack can be an attractive and appealing solution for many kitchens. However, it has some drawbacks. It takes up valuable counter-space and for many people the average rack size will not hold all of the spices they require.

A counter-top spice rack is best for people who either cook very little, using only limited selections or for people who consistently use only a small selection of herbs and spices and have ample counter space.

If you plan to keep a rack, select one that is attractive and in keeping with the décor of your kitchen, easy to clean as it is likely to catch splatters and spills and will hold the spices you most often use every week. Ensure that it is not in direct sunlight or near a heat source, as heat exposure can affect the flavor and freshness of spices and herbs.

Getting organized at home: Organizing your spice rack

The Spice Cupboard

Many people keep spices in their kitchen cupboards. This allows for flexibility in the number of spices stored and keeps the jars and cans shaded and clean. One issue with cupboard storage of spices is accessibility. It may be hard to discern within a cupboard full of spices just where the cinnamon or nutmeg may be hiding. Some solutions to cupboard spice organization include:

The pull-out tray: most home improvement and hardware stores sell pull out trays you can install onto your cupboard shelves. This more easily allows you to see and reach the items in the back.

The tiered in-cupboard rack: some manufacturers have created tiered racks that you may place in your cupboards. These raise the back rows of spices, so the labels are viewable. However, these racks take a fair amount of space, so they may not be the best solution for those with tight space constraints.

The Magnetic Spice Rack

If you are tight on space and are looking for an under-cupboard solution, the magnetic spice rack is for you. By attaching a strong strip magnet under your cabinets, you may place spice jars with metal lids underneath. The magnet will hold them conveniently out of your way and they are clearly displayed in a neat row or rows.

The Spice Drawer

A large drawer can offer one of the most convenient storage solutions for spices. Since a drawer is low and already pulls out, it offers an efficient way to view all of the spices without straining or installing additional hardware. If the drawer is deep and wide enough, it will accommodate any type of jar, bottle, tub or can, all in peaceful coexistence.

A spice drawer also lends itself to organization either by spice name (alphabetical) or by spice type groupings. For example, you may want to keep all sweet spices – the ones you use when baking, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves – in one area and the spices you use for making zingy curries – cumin, coriander, turmeric and curry powder – in another location.

Get Organized, No Matter What the Solution

Whatever approach you select, getting your spices organized will help you to cook delicious and savory meals more efficiently. You will always know what you have on hand and be able to keep your herbs and spices fresh, which is critical to getting the best flavors from them.

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