This post is sponsored by Ball® Fresh Preserving.
Among my family and friends, I’ve long been known as an organized person (when I was a kid, my idea of a good time was to organize my doll accessories). But between last year’s book tour and birth of my twins, many of my orderly systems have broken down.
One spot where entropy had hit the hardest was my pantry shelves. This storage area exists at the far end of my kitchen (remember, my kitchen is just 80 square feet, so we’re not talking about a vast room) and is a space we use and access constantly.
More often than not, things got shoved in wherever we could find room. The lack of order meant that I never knew when I was out of critical ingredients and when I had more than I needed (during this reorg, I found three bags of chickpea flour. I like a chickpea crepe as much as the next home cook, but even I admit that this is more than I need).
So when the folks from Ball® Canning asked me if I might be interested in participating in a pantry makeover featuring their Ball® Leak-Proof Storage Lids, I said yes. I’m cooking at home more than ever right now (like so many folks) and I desperately needed to create some order. Plus I love those leak-proof lids (seriously. They’re so great).
In my pre-child life, I would have been able to knock this makeover out in a day (two, tops!). However, in my current parenting life, it took me more than a week to get these shelves in order. I worked on it section by section, moving things out of the motley assortment of containers and rehoming them in the new jars from Ball® Canning.
I used Regular Mouth Smooth-Sided Jars for a lot of my items, because I find that they pour nicely and the unembellished sides allow me to write the contents with a Sharpie (it comes right off with the scrubby side of the sponge).
They also sent me a number of the Amber Jars, which are great for things that degrade with light exposure (I always stash my coffee beans in them).
My plan with this makeover was not only to get everything into fresh, clean jars fitted with those Ball® Leak-Proof Storage Lids, but also to create zones. Instead of having lentils shoved next to the brown sugar, I wanted to get all the legumes in one place (though I’ll confess right now that I have a bean annex in our front hall closet. Early on, I channeled some of my pandemic anxiety into a very large order from Rancho Gordo). Same with the flours, sweeteners, grains, etc.
Investing this time into redoing these shelves has already yielded a great deal of relief and pleasure. Knowing what I have and where I have it makes it so much easier to cook for my family, particularly during this time when each day is inherently stressful.
That is one of my goals while we have “time”. It looks great!
Always exciting to see a pantry makeover, congratulations! I too have a legume collection that is huge. A Rancho Gordo Bean Club shipment went to neighbor by mistake and replacement shipped before confusion corrected. Copious beans in our neighborhood! Haha. Not clear the benefit of these new black lids. How are they different from the white plastic ones? And first look on Amazon shows price of one lid at nearly 5 dollars. Is that correct? Also a shocking review that hollers that they leak! I’m confused.
Hooray for beans! And how strange that the reviews say that these black lids leak. I have found them to be really tight fitting and leak-proof. And they are sold in boxes of six. Over on Target.com, they are $3.89 for a box of six (though the listing doesn’t make it clear unless you read all the fine print that you’re getting a box of six lids). https://www.target.com/p/ball-reusable-regular-mouth-food-storage-lids/-/A-54314565
Great Ideas. May I suggest that a person should also write the expiration date too. While cleaning out my cupboards I found expired food. Have fun and stay safe.
Its really great but if Ball isn’t sending us the jars they are hard to find on store shelves! I live outside Spokane Wa and all I’m finding in jars is out of stock, so I’m wondering what I’ll do with my vegetable garden this summer & fall.
Have you looked at Target? I also often use the ship to store option at my local hardware store (both Ace and True Value do it).
Yep. Doing the same here. Not everything is going in Ball, I just bought some new rubber gaskets for my vintage clamp jars and am putting pasta in those. I’ve already got some Tupperware cereal canisters labeled for the Legumes. But my rice, Cream of Wheat, flaxseed, bran, wheat berries are in the Ball jars. What I love most is that should I stop buying whatever was in the jar or downsize after this is all over I can still use all of those jars for canning. Which I may need to do if the tomato plants are heavy with tomatoes. I have 11 Roma seedlings that survived and I’ll be starting some others and basil too. If my parents’ fruit trees do well this year, I’ll be canning them as well. It will be a few years before my newly planted apricots bear more than I can eat.
I don’t use a Sharpie. If I’m going to all this trouble, I use my Brother label maker.
LOL. Today I found a box of baking soda that expired in 2018. I had just bought a new one so lucky me. Still looking for baking powder. Just now checked and it expired in 2013. Well, that explains a lot.
Need canning jars? Check with the Dollar General Store. Their brand is Golden Harvest, made in USA. I prefer Balls only, they aren’t always available in my small community.
Pandemics certainly lead to organizing and decluttering! I re-did the cupboards in my kitchen, putting like with like, and did the same in my back-up storage in the basement. Most importantly, everything now has its expiration date writ large on the label in magic marker and the oldest items in each category are to the front of the shelf. I am determined to stop feeding my compost pit with food we never ate. Your shelves look great, Marisa. Quite an accomplishment with two babies on hand!
Does the jar method extend life of products? Or is your essay simply for reorganization purposes?
It’s primarily for organizational purposes. Though storing things in jars with airtight lids can help keep out pantry moths and bugs, if that’s an issue you run into.
Drilling down…and came across you site and I hope you can help. I bought 60 Heritage Hill (Anchor Hocking) jars in three sizes to refurbish my pantry. Only, they are not air-tight…nobody sells corks large enough for the 7″, 5-3/4″ and 4-78″ openings. These jars don’t have threads…I need lids that fit into the opening with a food-grade silicone seal (?)…or some other idea. Anchor Hocking does make a Montana jar with an acacia wooden lid…but I cannot find a source for lids only and I really would hate to replace all those jars. Do you have any suggestions. I try to keep my food entirely separate from plastic…so the zip-lock solution is really less than idea. Boy, I hope you have an answer…ongoing problems, I am trying to tackle again. Thank you!!!!
That’s a tough one. I don’t know of any lids or seals that work with these jars. I wonder if Mason Jar Lifestyle or some other company like that would be able to help with ordering silicone seals? https://masonjarlifestyle.com/
What size mason jars did you store your Rancho Gordo beans in?
I don’t typically decant Rancho Gordo beans from their packaging.