home + garden

Home Organization Project 39

Organizing glass jars gallon size Go Gingham

This week’s home organization project is actually a clean and sort out that takes place every October. I call it ‘National Match Up Day‘ and am trying to get it recognized by home cooks everywhere. We need a day to take stock of our food storage containers and sort through – broken lids, missing tops, and match them up.

October is a good time of year for me to do this task because this is when my food storage container drawer is mostly empty. After roasting tomatoes, freezing berries, baking granola, making pesto, and this year – canning – my food storage containers are almost all used up and the drawer is nearly empty. It’s the easiest time of year!

Want the entire list of easy steps to organizing? Check here for β€œThe 7 Steps to Organizing Food Containers” complete with vacuuming out the drawer. How do all the crumbs get into the drawer?

If you recall, when we cleaned out our pantry (way back during home organization project week #7), we’ve been transitioning our home to glass for food storage containers. It’s slow but going well. The problem with a small, old house is there’s not much storage space. Glass is also heavier than plastic and when the drawer is full, it’s heavy and hard to move containers around.

Organizing glass jars Go Gingham

These glass jars we found at an estate sale. (Here are tips for shopping at estate sales.) We buy vinegar by the gallon and I wanted to stop storing it in plastic. (One of my many issues in life is that I don’t like my food/drinks in plastic and the acid from the vinegar had me wondering – is something going into our food from the plastic?) These jars were $1/each. I wouldn’t have bought these without asking the owners what they had stored in them. They had stored water so I knew we were safe. If they had said gasoline – well, I wouldn’t have bought them.

Vinegar jars Go Gingham
Yes, I made labels for my glass jars. It’s hard to be me – or married to me!

These gallon size jars I keep in our basement on shelves. Because we canned for the first time this year, all of our pickles, beets, green beans, and jam are going to be stored with the vinegar – in the basement. Eventually. Right now, all of those foods are sitting in the dining room waiting for me to do something with them. I need to do some rearranging, first. You know when I told Brad this he rolled his eyes. “More organizing?” Yes, dear.

Storage for vinegar Go Gingham
Is it just me or do you think it’s strange that “Roundup Co” is who this was packed for?

Week #39 done of our year long project. It’s looking pretty good around here although now that school and sports are back in full swing, the entry way looks like a disaster zone every day. Even with a place for everything, my kids walk in the door and drop everything. Oh well.

What do you like to store food in? How’s your food storage container drawer or cabinet?

Go Gingham related links:

National Match Up Day – 2011
National Match Up Day – 2012
National Match Up Day – 2013

52 weeks of home organization

As part of our New Year’s resolution, we’re cleaning out a different area of our house every week this year. Find all of the “weekly home organization projects” – or click the image below.
Home Organization in 52 weeks from Go Gingham

12 thoughts on “Home Organization Project 39

  1. We use our clean gallon Bottles for storing popcorn and dry beans of every variety and white and brown rice.

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    1. Very smart, Marian! I’d love to have these in my pantry as well but it’s too small. I do use a lot of empty peanut-butter jars for storing food and broth in. They’re exactly 4-cups/1-quart which is the same size as store bought broth.
      Thanks, Marian ~ oh, where you get your gallon bottles? I’d like to get a couple more but haven’t found a good source. Thanks!!

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    1. Thanks, Darcy! We found them at a garage sale about a week after I proclaimed that I didn’t want to use plastic for storing our vinegar. You know I like to make proclamations! πŸ˜‰ These bottles were all lined up outside of the garage at the estate sale – just waiting for me.
      Thanks for writing in, DK!

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  2. I do a lot of baking (healthy cookies and muffins for school lunches and snacks) and I use plastic rubbermaid containers to freeze it all. Whenever the drawer in which I store these containers starts to overflow, I know I have some baking to do! I’m leery of plastic as well, but I figure as long as I’m only using it for cooled baking, and I’m not using it for microwaving (to defrost, for example), then the plastic is probably okay. For all other food storage, I’ve switched to glass. This year we had a bumper crop of kale and I ended up having to buy more of the anchor/pyrex bowls (with plastic lids). (I blanch and then freeze it; I have 16 meals-worth now, and still more in the garden!)

    I like your match-up idea. The only hesitation I have in throwing away (recycling) extra lids is that I’m never sure if one of the boys has squirrelled away a lidless container in order to store special LEGO pieces!

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    1. Marian, it’s funny you say that about the lids – “I like your match-up idea. The only hesitation I have in throwing away (recycling) extra lids is that I’m never sure if one of the boys has squirrelled away a lidless container in order to store special LEGO pieces!” I just saw a small plate upstairs being used a holder for my daughter’s hair straightener! You never know how/where kitchen items might show up!
      I like your method for knowing when it’s time to bake – when the drawer is too full! Well done. And, I agree with you about the plastic for cooled items – and not in the microwave. We ditched our microwave almost 25 years ago and haven’t missed it.
      Thanks for writing in! πŸ™‚

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    1. Jeff is guy after my heart! You picked a winner.
      I just took all of our lids that don’t have bottoms or are cracked to Far West Fibers. Since we can’t recycle those curb side – FWF is great option.
      Thanks, Erin!!

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  3. Excellent timing – it’s spring here, and the Labour Day long weekend, and I will be spring cleaning my kitchen from top to bottom. I am sure to find lots of orphaned containers and lids.

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    1. Laura, sounds like you have a project ahead of you with top to bottom cleaning!
      I always enjoy my clean kitchen but it never lasts long. πŸ™‚
      Hope you don’t find too many un-matched containers and lids!
      Thanks for writing in….

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    1. Oh, Meg, there is nothing worse than that! It’s easy enough to glue items back together but not when they’re used for food storage or eating on. Last year, we broke 5 dinner plates. It was a rough year! It’s usually the tops that do disappear….do you have another food container that’s the same size? That might be a good reason to keep the top. Or, keep it for a year and see….Good luck!

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