I take pride in very few things in life, but one thing I take pride in is how large I can stack dishes. My wife often gets mad at the absurdity of the dish pile, the height that breakable dishes reach, and the chance they might topple over in the middle of the night. Foolishness I say! These things are as sturdy as they come. Even though it does have a few load-bearing-utensils, this pile is strong as a rock. She volunteers to dry dishes just so I won't stack them like this, but I often refuse her help, saying they can always dry on their own. And yes, the spatula that is hanging out over the counter needs to be there, it is holding the whole thing together.