I (finally) re-organized my kitchen a few weeks ago. With 5 other people "helping" me keep it organized it occasionally needs an overhaul, and let's just say it was overdue.
For organizing, I really like the versatility of Mason jars. They come in various sizes, they are sturdy and they look really cool when you put stuff in them. If you use a lot of grains, as we do, they are wonderful at keeping those pesky little moths out of your food. (If you don't know what I am talking about, count yourself blessed. But if you have ever had to deal with an infestation, you know that sealing absolutely everything is a key to getting rid of them and preventing future outbreaks.)
With all that going for the lowly Mason jar, I knew I wanted to use more of them in my re-organization project. I set a date, raided my Mason jar stash and got to work.
I emptied each cupboard, washed it down with a Vinegar of the Four Thieves solution and placed a few bay leaves in the back. Vinegar of the Four Thieves is a vinegar tincture that repels insects and disinfects naturally. The bay leaves also work to repel insects longer term. I replace them every 6 months or so. In case you are wondering, I didn't have a bug problem, but I have had them in the past. I use these tricks to make sure they never come back. Since doing these things, I have not had another moth outbreak. If you are interested in using these tricks in your own kitchen, the bay leaves are just the ordinary ones you get in the spice section of your local grocery store. The Vinegar of the Four Thieves in made using a special herb mix (I got mine here) and Apple Cider Vinegar. Just mix according to directions, wait a few weeks for the vinegar to extract the properties of the herbs, strain out the herbs and you're ready to go. The directions are on the herb mix. Easy.
I even made myself a "tea station" with my teas in Mason jars and everything else I need to make a pot of tea right there. It makes me happy just to open the cupboard and look. Did I mention I like tea?
My Tea Station
For grains I use a lot of, I used a different, larger sized jar.
But 1/2 gallon or gallon Mason jars would also work great.
The Grains I use almost daily -- I keep them out on the counter
For the labels, I just made and printed some with my handy-dandy computer. Mine are printed on plain printer paper and cut to fit, but the possibilities are endless. The tea labels are actually cut right from the tea pouches. I attached the labels with clear packing tape. Easy peasy.
We even use pint sized Mason jars for our drinking glasses. I tell myself it's retro and chic, but in reality, it is incredibly practical. They don't break easily (important with a house full of people). If one of them does get broken, it isn't a problem to find a replacement. I never have to worry about mismatched sets or sticker shock when I have to replace the set. And if I am entertaining a crowd, I can just go to my Mason jar stash to get more matching "glasses".
If I had a sewing room, I would probably use Mason jars there, too. It would be great to organize all those tiny little sundries needed for sewing and crafting. But a few weeks ago, I took a deep breath and packed all my sewing supplies away. I haven't had time to sew for the last few years, and I have actually got even busier lately. Something had to go, and it ended up being my hobby. Life has seasons, and this just isn't a season for me to do a lot of playing. Sigh... Perhaps when all my kids are grown I will have a sunny little sewing room with lots of shelves full of sundry-filled Mason jars...
But, for now, my kitchen cabinets are neat and tidy -- at least until my household help, er... helps.