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.