Cleaning and reorganizing my spice shelf using a whole bunch of Ball® Mini Storage Jars has left me with a storage solution that is beautiful and easy to use!
This post is sponsored by the makers of Ball® home canning products.*
The week before Scott and I got married, my dad cut a hole in my kitchen wall and built a massive spice shelf into the space he carved out. As soon as he put the final shelf into place, I filled up those shelves with jars of spices and never looked back.
That was a little over 12 years ago now. I’m embarrassed to admit that in the intervening years, I’ve never taken everything down, purged spices, and thoroughly cleaned the shelves. I’ve spot cleaned on an as-needed basis, but it was just never a priority. However, lately I’ve been trying to tackle these small projects. It gives me a sense of accomplishment in season of life where there’s not a whole lot of that.
I started by pulling every jar, tin, and bag down so that I could see what I had. Once the shelves were empty, I took the boards down and scrubbed them in the sink. I wanted the cleanest slate I could get.
I discovered that I had three jars of oregano, another three of turmeric, and two of ground nutmeg (which is particularly weird, since I typically use freshly grated). Once I purged and grouped the various spices, I started decanting and consolidating. I used more than a dozen Ball® Mini Storage Jars for my smaller quantity spices. They hold 4 ounces and look like mini pint jars. They aren’t safe for canning, but they do a great job of keeping herbs and spices neatly contained and easily to hand.
I keep some spices in larger quantities than fit into those cute Ball® Mini Storage Jars, and so I also used a some Ball® Smooth Sided Pint Jars and a handful of Ball® Wide Mouth Quarts. I love how uniform everything looks. It’s a big step up from my previous hodgepodge of jars, boxes, and tins.
Having my spices cleaned, sorted, and organized feels amazing. I feel like holiday cooking and baking will be much more pleasant and satisfying this year than it would have been otherwise.
Do you have a cleaning project that leaves you with a similar sense of satisfaction? I’ve love to hear about it!
*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post that is part of an ongoing partnership with the Fresh Preserving Division of Newell Brands. They have provided jars, equipment and monetary compensation. All thoughts and opinions expressed remain my own.
Do you use lids + rings or a single-piece lid in these cases? I always end up with too many lids because most can’t be reused for canning, but for storage I find dealing with the ring very fussy.
This is how I store some things too, but I had never seen the mini jars.
The mini jars come with one piece lids. For the larger jars, I just used the lids and rings. I might swap them out for one piece storage lids later, but I didn’t have enough during this overhaul to make it uniform.
This is the one thing I don’t use Ball jars for. I just don’t use spices often enough to justify storing that much. I use the small and large Tupperware spice containers with the flip top lids that allow shaking and pouring. They fit perfectly into a small cabinet built into my 1949 kitchen. I find by the time I use up what is in that jar they are old enough they need to be replaced anyway. I don’t buy any spices or herbs in large quantities any more. I’ll do the bulk buy that allows me to just buy a small amount, enough to fill either the small or large containers.
I’m trying my hand at growing my own. I have a dehydrator now and a sweet bay laurel tree so will be doing oregano, basil, majorum, sage, dill and a few others. Some I will still have to buy like salt, peppercorns, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc. I’m not even buying vanilla extract any more but making my own.
I have found the small ball jars perfect in my sewing room, though. I use them for buttons, snaps, hooks and eyes, beads and miscellaneous whatnots.
Happy holidays Marisa!
I am a longtime reader of your books and blog and an urban canner, too. I follow a fun blog called Hola Jalepeno and the blogger, Kate Ramos, posted a terrific recipe for sour.cream orange cookies that incorporates marmalade in the batter. Just thought I’d share. Thanks for all of your amazing recipes and inspiration over the years.
That’s very fun! Thanks for letting me know!
This is such a cute idea! As a fellow canner I have a special place in my heart for mason jars. I also use them for other things but I didn’t know about these adorable tiny jars. I will be on the lookout for them at my local shops! Thanks for sharing! I am sharing this to my Pinterest.
Thank you! So glad you like it!
Looks great! What did you use to label your jars? I have a similar kind of shelf with slightly different jars and a mix of white paper labels on the lids, and labeling directly on the lids with a china marker. I don’t love either solution so I’d like to find a better labeling system, either waterproof stick-on labels or a better marker.
I wrote on the jars with permanent Sharpie marker. The Sharpie cleans off with rubbing alcohol.
I use mason jars for EVERYTHING. Especially spices. Love them.
Good luck finding replacement lids 🙁 quite a few of mine rusted.
It is true that they don’t sell replacements. I haven’t had an issue with any of mine rusting, though.