How to organise a spice rack

Find yourself fumbling to flavour your food? An organised spice rack will make things a whole lot easier.
Spices stored in labelled Mason jars on a pantry shelfChris Warnes /

If you’ve ever wondered how the contestants on lifestyle cooking shows work so efficiently, it’s because all of their ingredients are organised beautifully and ready to go. There’s so much to love about a beautifully organised pantry, and there’s no reason why your own spice rack set up shouldn’t be just as efficient!

If more than one person uses the pantry in your home, storing staples in a logical manner will help things stay tidy for longer. More specifically, having a carefully organised selection of herbs and spices in your pantry will see you spending less time searching for your cardamom pods and more time actually cooking your curry.

Here are four tips that will help you get your spice rack in order.

1. Create a dedicated space for spices

The secret to making chef quality meals at home is: seasoning. And the secret to perfectly seasoned food is keeping herbs and spices within easy reach as you cook! The best way to store spices is in a single row, so you can see everything at a glance. But, if this isn’t possible, a tiered spice tray in the pantry will help keep everything within view.

Other great spice storage options include an over-the-door pantry spice rack or, if you have the luxury of a spare drawer in your kitchen, using a spice-drawer insert to lay your spice jars down flat.

Spices will last longer if they’re kept in a cool, dark place that is free from moisture.

While it may be tempting to store them above the stove where they’ll be within easy reach, this is an area where steam and heat tend to build up, so it’s best avoided.

2. Invest in durable containers with stylish labels

You don’t need to order a new set of expensive jars to organise and store your spices, but it helps if all the jars you do use (whether they’re recycled Moccona coffee jars or jam jars) are the same size and shape.

This will help achieve the perfectly uniform look that’s been popping up all over your Instagram feed.

While you may know your dried mint from your dried parsley, once herbs are stored alongside each other, it can be hard to tell them apart. Minimalist spice labels are available from Etsy or you can pick up Kmart’s set of 96 pantry essential labels for just $3.

Keeping jars to a uniform shape and size will result in a tidy pantry you’ll be proud to show off.

(Credit: Photo: Chris Warnes /

3. Select your favourite filing system

Have an extensive collection of spices? You’ll need to come up with a filing system so you can always find exactly what you’re looking for. Take inspiration from supermarket shelves and store them in alphabetical order, or consider storing like with like!

Some of the ways you can organise your spices include: storing small items together and large items together, grouping spices together according to colour and grouping spices together according to cuisine … the options are endless!

Storing spice jars alphabetically will ensure you can always find the ingredient you’re looking for.

(Credit: Photo: Kristina Soljo /

4. Always restock empties

The key good to organisation is to make sure to replace every item after use so you can find it just as easily next time. Where many cooks come undone is by not sticking to the system.

Spices get stale quicker thank you think so make sure you open only what you will use in a short time. Buying in bulk may seem like a good idea, but only do so for often-used spices so they stay as fresh as possible on your shelves. Keep looking, tasting and smelling spices for freshness.

Spice organisation essentials

Baccarat 16 jar bamboo drawer spice rack, $59.99,

If you’re starting a spice collection from scratch, Bacarrat’s 2-in-1 spice rack (which can be inserted into a drawer or stored on the benchtop within easy reach) is ideal. It comes with 16 pre-labelled, clear glass jars.

Byron pantry bundle, $149, Seed & Sprout

Designed to last a lifetime, Seed & Sprout’s plastic free pantry containers feature a stylish food grade approved bamboo lid that allows the jars to be stacked on top of each other. These guys are also fridge and freezer safe and can even be placed in the microwave (as long as you remove the lid first).

Practa Solutions white adjustable spice rack, $26.20, Bunnings

Save room in your pantry and keep your spices stored at eye-level with this sturdy spice rack from Bunnings. The PE-coated frame is easy to wipe down and the width of the rack can be adjusted to suit your pantry.

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