Monday, December 9, 2013

Pantry organizing with mason jars

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to containerize an unruly and disorganized kitchen pantry is with the use of mason jars.

Jar size and style
 I recommend using wide mouth mason jars for ease of filling and dispensing. Choose mason jars that are appropriate in size for the items you are storing and for the package size quantity that you typically purchase the product.  I purchase quite a few pantry staple products in bulk, so when I replenish my jars, I only buy the amount that I need.

I recommend a consistent labelling style so your pantry looks neat and orderly.  Maybe that's just the organizer in me talking. You can hand print on the labels that are included with the mason jar kit.  Another suggestion is to use a label maker.  Depending on where you are storing your jars, it might be easier to label the top of the jars so you can find jars easily at a top glance. Top labels can easily be made with your computer and home printer.  Type the label words (ie. Rice Flour) into a Word document and align centre the text.  Select the font style you like, and select the font size that will fit in the round sealing cap under the mason jar screw ring. Once printed, cut the paper slightly smaller that the sealing ring, and then insert the paper between the round sealing cap under the screw ring. You can laminate the paper for longer life if you like.

This is a photo of my own pantry shelf where I use mason jars to organize my dry goods.  I use top labels because  I see the lids more than I see the front of the jars.

Client project photos

This client was looking to organize her pantry shelves in an open concept kitchen.  The storage solution needed to be functional as well as attractive since it's on display in her home.

Before: all the spices and dry packaged ingredients were stored in large bins on the pantry shelf. Very inefficient to find what you want quickly, and difficult to know what you have before going to buy more, and not terribly attract to look at.


In progress - the first task is to sort your items. Categorize, find multiples and estimate the size of containers required to store your ingredients.

After: Small (125ml/250ml) jars were used for spices and larger jars (500ml/750ml) were used to store other dry goods such as cornmeal, specialty flours, beans, rice, quinoa, nuts, etc.


Blog post by:
Heather Fulcher
Professional Organizer for Hire
Vancouver, BC, Canada

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