This mason jar pantry organization project will help you maximize shelf space, keep food fresh, and stay stocked up on essentials you can use to make healthy meals and have on hand in case of emergencies.
I was frustrated with my pantry. I think we all reach that point sometime in our adult lives, right? There was never enough shelf space. Items were crowded together and in disarray. I thought I had “organized” the pantry with a system of labeled plastic baskets that grouped items together, but there were still plenty of forgotten and lost items.
I wanted a better way to keep track of my pantry staples. I also wanted a storage solution that would save space. So I came up with a very simple solution using containers that I already had on hand. Enter the Mason Jar.
Watch Video: How I Stay Stocked Up on Essentials | Mason Jar Pantry Organization
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What are the Benefits to Mason Jar Pantry Organization?
Maximize Shelf Space
Once I moved the bulk of my dry ingredients into mason jars, I was surprised by how much more space I had on my pantry shelves. I actually thought I might have less shelf space because some of the dry ingredients took up 2 or 3 mason jars each. But, happily, this wasn’t the case.
The original packaging that most foods come in is bulky or odd-shaped. By removing the packaging and placing your dry goods in mason jars which are all generally the same size and shape, you are streamlining your pantry shelves and saving room in the process!
Keep Food Fresh
I buy my lentils, split peas, nuts and spices from the bulk bins at the grocery store. If you’ve never bought in bulk before, then you may not know that you bring the items home in thin plastic bags. There are numerous other pantry items that come in bags and cardboard boxes, such as dry beans, rice, quinoa, pasta, nuts, seeds, flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder, shredded coconut, popcorn kernels. The list is inexhaustible. These pantry items all come in bags and flimsy boxes, most of which can’t be resealed. When we transfer our food out of their original containers and into glass mason jars with tight fitting lids, our food will stay fresh longer.
Stay Stocked on Staples
Before I organized my pantry with mason jars, I had several plastic baskets on the pantry shelves that were home to any number of items. I felt that I had organized my pantry because I had grouped items together in each basket. For example, I had two baskets for baking ingredients, one basket for sandwich making, and another basket for dinner items. The thing is…it may have made it a little bit quicker to find a specific item I was looking for, but there were so many items that I never remembered were there because they had been shoved to the back or the bottom of the basket. If I wasn’t looking for it, then I didn’t even know it was there.
This why mason jar pantry organization works! By using see-through, clearly labeled jars that are neatly lined up on the shelves, it is so easy to see what you have. And when you know what you have, you can make sure you stay stocked up on your pantry staples.
Staying stocked up on essentials means more to us now than it probably ever has before. I want our family to have food in our pantry for those times when the grocery store runs out due to a catastrophe, inclement weather that delays the supply trucks, or some other reason that we can’t predict. Having jars full of dry goods on my pantry shelves gives me a little more peace.
How to Do Your Own Mason Jar Pantry Organization
Supplies You Will Need
Quart Size Mason Jars (wide-mouth work best)
Gather Your Supplies
To make this an inexpensive project, try to buy your mason jars secondhand. You can try thrift shops, yard sales, or check on Facebook marketplace. Ten years ago, an older lady in my church was selling all her old canning jars for dirt cheap. I left her house with boxes and boxes of mason jars which have been such a blessing! I’ve used them for canning over the years, but I still had several boxes sitting unused in the garage. Until I organized my pantry, that is! I brought in the rest of the jars, cleaned them really well, and filled them with all my pantry goodies.
As far as lids go, I didn’t want to use a normal mason jar lid with a separate band. I felt like it would be cumbersome to remove and replace after use. I found metal lids that have the lid and band as one whole piece. I linked to those above. I also found white plastic storage lids at Walmart. I used both types because of course I did this project during canning season when lids are scarce. I had to use what I could find!
The next step in your mason jar pantry organization is to pick a shelf you want to tackle and remove everything. You are then going to tackle each dry good one at a time. If you have items that you removed from the shelf that won’t fit in a mason jar or don’t make sense for a mason jar, save those to put on a separate shelf (I see you lasagna noodles!)
Fill & Label Jars
Now you’re getting to the fun part of this organization project! Grab a clean quart-size mason jar and fill it with your dry good of choice. Then, fasten a lid in place. One of the first ingredients I put into a mason jar was red lentils, and it looked so pretty in a jar instead of a plastic bag! Remember to use the wide mouth funnel for easy filling. If you run out of room with one jar, grab another jar and continue to fill it with your dry good. I have several ingredients that took up to three jars. That’s actually a good “problem” because it means you have a nice reserve on hand for emergencies.
It’s time to label your jars so you don’t forget what you have. Trust me…you’re going to have a hard time telling the difference between baking soda and baking powder or table salt and kosher salt. Just use the label! I love the embossed labeler because I don’t have the nicest handwriting. These labels come out so neat and tidy.
Fill a Shelf
Once you have a jar filled and labeled, place it on your empty shelf. Doesn’t it look nice? Keep adding to it by placing the jars in rows. If you have multiple jars filled with the same ingredients, place the extras behind each other. This is the best way to keep track of what you have on your shelf. When you finish, stand back and admire your work!
Additional Storage Ideas
I bet you’re wondering what to do with all the food items that don’t fit in a Mason Jar or that you want to buy in bigger quantities.
- Bulk Local Honey – Fill a mason jar with honey (keep the rest in the bucket it came in) and use one of these mason jar tops for easy pouring
- Bulk Einkorn or other wheat kernels – Store in a 5 gallon bucket on the floor of your pantry
- Bulk oats, flour & sugar – I buy these in bulk at Costco, so I needed large containers which I purchased at Walmart and Target.
- Spaghetti – I bought this food container set a year ago and the best part is the tall container that fits spaghetti and other long noodles
- Cereal – My kids love cereal and these containers are an easy way to keep it organized
- Canned goods – I have several Shelf Reliance pantry can organizers
Hopefully you’re feeling ready to tackle a mason jar pantry organization for your home! If you have any questions or there’s anything I can help you with, please reach out and message me on Instagram or Facebook.