Equipping a kitchen with all of the necessities can be a never-ending task. The more you cook, the more items you’ll end up needing. But when space is limited, storage needs to be smart. And when it comes to kitchen design and easy access, spice storage is one area that is often overlooked.

You may have already figured out the perfect placement for your pots and plates, but let’s talk spices, salts, herbs and more. Dedicating an entire drawer or cabinet to your spices can be challenging – sometimes there are just not enough slots for your culinary collection. It often ends up being a jumble that will leave you rummaging through different bags and tins to find what you need.

If your spice rack selection is simple, keeping it close to the oven (or any other appliance that lets off heat) may be a mistake. Spices shouldn’t be exposed to heat, light, moisture or excess air. If they are, they’ll lose their potency over time.

If you’re redesigning a kitchen from scratch, reconsider the (usual) placement of narrow pull-out cabinets that flank the cooktop. Your best bet is a wall-mount rack – something neat and simple that can even be installed on the inside of a pantry or cabinet door.

Tiered organisers will also mean that the labels on your spices are easy to read – looking into a sea of black lids can be frustrating if you’re working with a limited cook time.

And if you have a curious toddler or small kids coming over, remember to place your plastic and metal containers on the bottom, and glass higher up.
Another option is a magnetic spice display. Both functional and beautiful, here tins magnetically stick to a sheet mounted on your wall. It’s a nice display option – especially if you go with plastic windows on the lids for easy reference – but not always the most practical if you need to add more spices later on. It can also get expensive quickly.

Do spices spoil? No… but they do lose colour and flavour over time. To prolong freshness, make sure you place your most-used additions front and centre. Spices should always be in airtight containers (glass is your best bet) and, if you have the space, consider refrigerating red-coloured spices such as paprika and cayenne pepper. This will prevent infestation and colour or flavour loss.

Image: iStock

Image: iStock