Organizing Kitchen Storage – Canning Jars



I have been reorganizing my kitchen storage system lately to maintain a more clean, simple, and organized layout of all my baking products, grains, legumes, etc. I have so many different varieties of containers that are just taking up a ton of space.

I have also been researching lately on the harmful PVC toxin that is added to most most plastic and vinyl products/containers, etc. It seems that plastic can be very harmful and migrates from the storage container into your food. An additive called BPA that is used to harden plastic in baby bottles, storage containers, water bottles, etc. may cause a wide range of health problems including cancer, brain damage, infertility, and other issues. It is especially dangerous for infants, they are discovering. Read more by following the links below.

With this in mind, I have decided to begin to gradually fade out my plastic storage and switch over to glass containers. I am using simple glass canning jars of different sizes, but mainly wide mouth quart canning jars. The reason I am using wide mouth jars is that I can easily pull in and out a measuring cup or spoon. These are easy to come by at your local Goodwill, and Craigslist. I bought several at Goodwill for 20 cents each. Not bad at all. It is wonderful! They are all uniform and my cupboards look greatly improved! See pictures below. I am still in progress…on the lookout for some larger glass jars (1/2 gallon and 1 gallon sizes for larger quantities for my lower cupboard). Any ideas of where to find these at?




Here are a few interesting articles on possible harms of plastic. Please use your own discernment when viewing these sites, as I cannot recommend or agree with everything presented:

Scientists Fear Chemical in Plastic

Chemicals Used to Harden Plastic

PVC: The Most Toxic Plastic

PVC: The Poison Plastic – a cute little video helping to identify what products in your home have PVC

Visit Kitchen Tip Tuesdays for other Kitchen tips and ideas! 

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

42 Responses to Organizing Kitchen Storage – Canning Jars

  1. Luxury June 28, 2013 at 6:56 am #

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  2. pożyczka pod zastaw nieruchomości February 6, 2013 at 2:00 am #

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  3. Julie November 24, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    Thank you, I really like this post! It reminded me of a picture I found on Pinterest (originally from this blog post about dressing up glass jars with cabinet knobs on top.

  4. Becky October 30, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    Realize that I am a bit late to the party, but we had some fun with our standard jar lids that has been a big help in labeling. We painted the canning flats and other lids with chalkboard spray paint. Now we can label with chalk what leftovers, spices, etc. are in each jar. Fun, cute, and inexpensive. We are enjoying it. I would recommend lightly sanding metal lids first to help the paint’s adhere better.

  5. Michelene October 17, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    I just ordered the gallon and 1/2 gallon with lids (maybe some were plastic?) can’t remember. But I ordered them from Azure Standard. Can’t wait to organize my pantry!

  6. childrens storage bins September 29, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

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  7. sally September 26, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

  8. Janine August 8, 2011 at 8:16 am #

    If anyone wants the plastic storage lids and can’t find them locally, they also have them at the they come in regular and wide mouth sizes.

  9. Cheryl Rector July 15, 2011 at 6:34 am #

    I get my half gallon size canning jars at any Ace Hardware. They come in a 6 pack for only about $11, and if your Ace Hardware doesn’t have them, they will order them for you. I have bought several boxes of them.

  10. Jessica r June 24, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    Where do you buy your spices, flour, oats?
    Thanks :-)

  11. Autumn January 28, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    An excellent and FREE way to find large jars is to go around to a couple restaurants and ask if they have any empty pickle or cherry jars. If they have none available ask when a good day to come back. Most places will give them to you because it saves them time and money in recycling them.

  12. Boxes Crates April 15, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

    This is cool! And so interested! Are u have more posts like this? Plese tell me, thanks

  13. Kathryn March 9, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    If anyone is still looking for the 1/2 gal (64oz) canning jars.

  14. Holly M February 9, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    I love how neat & organized your spices are! Esp. the various colors & textures… I’m curious – what spices are in the jars pictured – in other words, what are the primary spices you always have on hand & use day-to-day?

    • Lindsay February 9, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

      Oh…I’m not sure all that I carry. Here are the ones that come to mind: italian seasoning, paprika, garlic powder, dill weed, parsley, oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage, ground mustard, nutmeg, cinnamon, ground ginger, and of course sea salt and pepper. Those are the ones I most frequently use.

  15. teresa December 1, 2009 at 4:36 pm #

    I get the 1/2 gallon wide mouth ball jars at my local Michaels craft store for $2.99

  16. Anna C. November 16, 2009 at 3:25 pm #

    If your husband enjoys quality beer or if you enjoy quality brewed root beer, you can try McMenamin’s. A lot of their locations offer personal quantities you can order and go pick up and they store it all in Kerr Jars. You can get many different sizes. I have a few of 1/2 gallon and 1 gallon Kerr jars from them. They also have a pretty label on them to make them more decorative ;)

  17. elaine June 27, 2009 at 10:49 am #

    I love your blog! Thanks for sharing all the great information. I am a little late on this post but have been having fun catching up on all your topics.
    Can someone answer a Tupperware question for me … is it ok?? I’ve had the Modular Mates for at least 20 years and I love them in my pantry for all of my staples – they are square and store so easily. But, with all the new info about plastics coming out I’m beginning to wonder. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Lindsay July 1, 2009 at 6:30 am #

      I believe I heard that Tupperware is a #5 plastic, which is safe according to the Smart Plastics Guide.

      • elaine July 1, 2009 at 7:52 am #

        Thanks for the link. I appreciate you taking the time to let me know about this!

  18. Amy Lynne February 11, 2009 at 6:55 am #

    I have been buying 1/2 gallon Ball glass jars at Michael’s Craft Store. In California they are about $2.99, but I signed up on their mailing list and received a coupon for 20% off my entire purchase. I wiped out my store and have been using them for pasta and dried goods. Good luck and happy organizing!

  19. jodean September 24, 2008 at 11:15 am #

    I have open shelves in my kitchen, and using canning jars to store grains, beans, etc…makes everything look so much neater. My favorites are the old blue/green canning jars that belonged to my great-grandmother.

  20. Cheryl Harrington July 27, 2008 at 8:17 am #

    Find large glass jars at school cafeterias.

  21. Melissa July 12, 2008 at 1:00 pm #

    Just searching for glass jars that come with a hanging apparatus to hang craft tools– we have several different types of markers, colored pencils, sand pends, blow pens etc. I would like to hang them and have the kids lift them out of a hanging system to use at the table (so flat bottom jars) and be able to put them back. We have them all sitting on a shelf but there are too many and they are jumbled up. I also have changed over from plastic and transitioned to glass — I love the difference in organization and getting rid of the PLASTIC too. IKEA has GREAT prices on their glass jars, there are so many different shapes and sizes — it is fun to mix and match them all. The colors, textures, shapes, and sizes of the foods in the pantry are pleasing to the kids when they can see through the container–fun for me too!

  22. shannon July 10, 2008 at 12:15 pm #

    i think you can get old, emptied large jars from restaurants and places like that. they use huge jars of mayo and stuff…

  23. Amelia June 28, 2008 at 8:21 pm #

    I have bought gallon-sized square glass jars at Target–I think they’re sold as cookie jars. I use mine for rice, flour, baking mix, etc. I also have wide-mouth quart jars–I use those for brown sugar, confectioners sugar, leftover canned tomatoes, etc. I would love to find some plastic lids for my jars–we wind up replacing the metal lids and rings periodically due to rust, even though I wash them by hand.

  24. Eryn Kesler June 4, 2008 at 11:08 pm #

    Have you ever looked into the plastic storage lids for your jars? They come in an 8 pack wide or narrow mouth for around $2.50. I like them because they wash up so nice in the dishwasher and dont’ rust like the rings and lids, and are less peices to keep track of. We have recently started using the canning jars for leftovers and dry food storage also…I’m loving those lids!

    • Lindsay June 5, 2008 at 9:35 am #

      Where did you find the plastic lids? I like that idea. My metal lids have not had any rust issues though. I love using them for food storage and leftovers as well!

    • Eryn Kesler June 6, 2008 at 12:22 am #

      I think I got some of mine and Fred Meyer and some at WalMart (which has a suprisingly good section of canning supplies) They are made by Ball/Kerr. They are so great!

    • Donielle @ Raising Peanuts July 9, 2008 at 10:01 am #

      I second the plastic lids! I picked up a box of them from my local grocery store by the canning supplies and love to use them! (as long as the stuff inside isn’t touching the plastic I’m ok using it) I’m going to pick up another box or so because it’s so much easier than fighting with the 2 pieces of the metal lids! I use them for my dry stuff and for my canned stuff as well once I break the seal.

  25. Eryn Kesler June 4, 2008 at 11:05 pm #

    Here is a guys on craigslist who always has a ton of canning jars of all sizes, often some larger 1/2 gallon and gallon size in portland. Here’s a link

    I was going to ask, what do you use for a grain mill?I’m looking into it.

    • Lindsay June 5, 2008 at 9:33 am #

      Eryn, that’s the same source I purchased several of my large jars from. Great prices. The man is a little odd, so I wouldn’t recommend going alone.

      As far as grain mills, I have a Nutrimill and love it!

  26. Jennifer January 12, 2008 at 6:07 pm #

    Wow! What a great idea. When we bought our house a year ago, I inherited in the dungy old root cellar about 150 old Crown canning jars. I didn’t want to get rid of them but couldn’t think of what to use them for (I have enough Mason jars for canning and think I prefer them than the old ones for canning)… but you gave me an excellent idea so today I dug them out, cleaned them up and moved most of my stuff over. It looks so quaint and organized – I love it!! Plus, the plastic thing is not impressing me either, so this hopefully will be long term healthy. Thanks for passing on this idea!

  27. rachel January 9, 2008 at 4:06 am #

    You can often get gallon sizes glass jars from businesses like a deli. They get pickles, peppers and various other things in them and just throw them away. I know one person who asked a Subway to save a couple for her and they did.

  28. Mrs. Taft January 9, 2008 at 1:38 am #

    I am also concerned about plastic containers (and toys!). So I am moving toward glass as well. Thanks for the idea!

  29. Ana January 8, 2008 at 8:03 pm #

    I love the look of glass containers. I purchased a couple at Wal-Mart. They had the ingredients to make cookies.
    Like you I heard a lot about the dangers of plastic. I had a hard time finding glass bottles for my little one.

    • Tia January 13, 2008 at 10:02 am #

      I found glass bottles on ebay. Hundreds of them.

  30. Amy January 8, 2008 at 6:41 pm #

    I love the look of the glass containers. They are lovely! I bought some big glass storage jars at Target on clearance after Christmas. They have a snowman on one side, but I figured since they would usually be full and be inside the cabinet, it wouldn’t matter. I couldn’t pass up such a good deal!

  31. Steph Garvey January 8, 2008 at 1:28 pm #

    I bought a bunch of glass canisters from IKEA that I really enjoy using. They work perfectly for me, because they are tall and slender and alleviate my cupboard for more space to store other items. They are also very easy to open and close because they use a latch lock.

    • Lindsay January 8, 2008 at 1:33 pm #

      That is very true. I enjoy their containers as well. I store some of these on my shelfs for oats, rice, etc. Things I use on a daily basis…I just keep them out on my counters. They are attractive to look at as well!


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