The Downside To Cabinet Door Spice Racks

Counter space is valuable real estate in a kitchen. So when you need to store your spices, which take up quite a bit of room, it's tempting to get creative. Some folks need to see what they have so they don't have a bunch of expired spices. For them, compact counter-dwelling vertical spice racks can be a lifesaver. Others don't need to see everything all at once, and for these people, hidden spice rack options are perhaps more tempting. 

On top of being less of an eyesore, tucked-away spice storage is actually better for the spices themselves. A lot of spices come in see-through containers which does little to protect the spices from sunlight. By putting them inside a pantry or cabinet, the spices will stay fresher longer. There are a few downsides to this method, though. For example, the shelves in mounted spice racks themselves tend to be shallow and more cumbersome to utilize fully. You know those industrial sized saltshakers? Yeah, those aren't going to work here. 

For those without a lot of drawer access, a cabinet door-mounted spice rack makes sense. But when you're negotiating already tight space in your home, you have to make compromises along the way. 

If all your spice jars aren't identically sized, you may have a problem

When approaching an easy project like mounting a spice rack, folks might not immediately think of the implications of the rack itself. When you're purchasing or making a door-mounted spice rack, it's necessary to consider how your spices will fit onto the rack — or how they won't. Unless you have spices that all live in identical containers, your collection might not be suitable for a shelf rack.

If a spice container is too wide, it might not fit. If the container is too tall, it's going to tumble out every time you open or shut the cabinet. Can you imagine the mess that would occur if you opened a cabinet too quickly and a bunch of spice jars flopped over, fell to the ground, and shattered? It might be wise only to use plastic containers if you're opting for a cabinet door-mounted spice rack. Or be doubly sure the shelf bar is tall enough that nothing will fall out. And as if this wasn't enough reason to second-guess cabinet door spice racks, there are other space considerations to think about. 

Cabinet door spice racks impede space

Just like with over-the-door storage solutions, there is a logic to utilizing what is already there. When you have a kitchen full of cabinets, mounting a spice rack on one of the doors makes sense. But something that people may not think about, even beyond the shallow shelves, is the difference in internal cabinet space once the spice rack is mounted. 

You have to make sure you do have shallower shelves, first, so the door shuts completely. You can make the shelves shallower yourself by cutting the excess off. That way, you'll have almost the same amount of cabinet shelf space; they don't jut out as far. Another option is to use a rack system that doesn't interfere with the shelves. If there is enough space between the spice rack holders, the rack will not impede the door shutting — this will result in a bit more work for you in the long run, though. 

If you opt for the latter, you need to account for that shallower shelf space every time you put things away in the cabinet. If the shelf remains the same size but you overstuff the cabinet, it won't shut. So, while these shelves are helpful for utilizing space, there are a few draw backs to consider before making the leap.