Living comfortably in a small house depends, to a great extent, on how efficiently you use all of your available space — including areas that in most houses are underused or overlooked altogether.
The back side of my basement door, which is right next to the refrigerator, was one of those underused areas. I considered custom-building a set of shelves to install on the back of it to hold jars of spices and boxes of tea, but then I remembered I’m lazy, so instead, I just went to the dollar store and bought a $6 over-the-door shoe rack.
If you’re willing to spend more, you can get similar racks with clear pockets so you can see what’s in them, but I wasn’t willing to spend an extra $5 to $10 for that feature, so I just labeled the pockets with a Sharpie, which works fine.
It’s not the prettiest storage system I’ve ever come up with, but it doesn’t need to be; it’s not as if we’re entertaining guests in our unfinished basement, and if we were, I’m sure they’d be too busy shuddering at the cave crickets under the stairs to pay any attention to the shoe rack full of spices hanging on the back of the door anyway.
Each pocket was designed to support the weight of a shoe, so keep that in mind when you’re figuring out what to store in there: Big plastic jars of spices are fine, but canned goods probably aren’t. That was fine with me, as I have a lot of spices in large containers, and sticking them in the pockets freed up shelf space for heavier items.
If you want something nicer, Pinterest has all kinds of plans for building custom door-mounted pantry shelves, but if you just want to reclaim some unused space without spending a lot of time or money, a dollar-store shoe rack will work perfectly well.