Organized Food Storage: Restoring My Sanity in the Kitchen

reusing glass jars for food storage Cooking is really not my thing. Lane will get a play kitchen for her second birthday, and I am afraid that she will only know how to make a fried egg, since that’s all she sees me cook. I burn toast every time I make it, sometimes even setting it on fire. But I am not hopeless; I love to organize.

In my small kitchen, about half of the storage space is for dishes and cookware, and the other half is for food and spices. I guess the small size has it’s advantages. It keeps me from impulsively buying countless cake stands with sweet vintage charm, since there would be no place to put them. The lack of space does have challenges though when it comes to finding a place for storing all the food.

A lot of our food comes from the bulk bins at the grocery store. If we didn’t have a way to organize it, all the baggies of food would be piled up on one another and falling out of the cabinets. I thought about buying canisters, but when I started pricing them, it was obvious that I needed a different solution.

I decided to use glass food jars and canning jars. I like how the canning jars can be stacked. They hold nuts, popcorn, beans, rice, sugar, raisins, quinoa, chocolate chips, and whatever else needs to be contained. When the rest of my kitchen is a mess, it makes me feel better to open the cabinet and see the jars neatly lined up.

Part of the linen closet is set apart as a pantry for additional food storage. I do one major grocery shopping trip per month and load up on all the pantry items that we will need. Other weeks I just stop by the store when I need fresh milk, eggs, and produce. This has saved me so much time and work. It cuts my grocery shopping time in half, and it also lets me take advantage of sales.

I do feel better prepared for emergencies. A couple of years ago when Texas was hit by hurricanes, Doug and his friend went to the store to stock up on food. They came back with a case of tomato sauce, lots of chips, and some oatmeal creme pies. Thank goodness the hurricane never reached us! Doug ate the oatmeal creme pies anyway.

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. Love this! I use spare jars all the time, too. It reuses stuff, it’s stackable (like you said), and it’s easy on the eyes. Plus, I feel all going-back-to-my-roots when I’m using glass jars. Something very homey about that.

  2. LOVE this Rachel. What a great idea! Will you post more on your bulk buys and once-a-month shopping?

  3. smallnotebook says:


  4. Hi! I’m here from Simple Mom. Congrats on your award!
    I love this idea! My pantry is a mess. And I have a bunch of jars in the basement (that were intended to be made into those “layered cookie gifts”)
    Besides, with all of the news about plastics and leeching, glass is a great option!

  5. smallnotebook says:

    Thanks Karen, you’re right about the glass. It’s funny how as we become more knowledgeable about health, we go back to some old-fashioned ideas.

  6. I love jars – this is a great idea. I think I’ll slowly convert my storage to jars as I empty them out. :)

  7. Was just surfing the web and I came across you site and I have to say that I am greatly impressed. Thank-you! –Acumen Press

  8. This is a great article. I am going to use some of this as I just downsized kitchens.

  9. Those jars can be sealed with a seal-a-meal or food saver machine. They come with a dome cup that fits right over the top of the jar, and a hose to attach to the machine. Turn it on. suck out the air. The lid sticks down firmly. The food keeps longer for the lack of air. No bugs. no humidity. etc.

  10. I also use canning jars a ton for storage. Partly because I buy in bulk and so this way I can buy a huge bag of the staples and then store reasonable amounts in my pantry and cupboards. And I agree, they look nice! They are also great for storing your own mixes, like homemade onion soup mix, ranch dip mix, etc. It is important to be prepared for emergencies which is partly why I buy in bulk the way I do too. Aside from the fact it’s just so much cheaper all the time!
    Bethany´s last post…Foodsaver Reviews – The Foodsaver Vacuum Sealer V2840