here, Martha teaches how to, etch the content's name on the outside of the jar. smart. but too much effort.
It started out for an aesthetic-neurotic reason. Or a neurotic-aesthetic reason. Not that I'm a crazy container aesthete. No. It's just that I have very little space to call 'Pantry' and it was driving me crazy (a very short drive, some days ) to pull open the doors exposing the, 6 shallow shelves and be affronted by ugly, torn open packaging, half empty bags of pasta, top curled over and clamped with a 'chip clip'- was just too much ugly and tended to set my teeth on edge. Particularly when I was feeling a little edgy as it was.
clearly, not my own cupboard, but someone who is equally as itchy as I when it comes to organizing 'pretty'
When I'm overwhelmed I get into what my husband calls an 'anti-hoarder mode'. Everyone around here seems to know when it's about to start. Even before I'm aware of it. Sort of like that yellow stillness before a tornado. You just feel it coming. Take cover, crawl under your desks, cover your heads. Every man, child and dog for themselves.
This whole storm usually occurs when something in my life feels out of control or several things do and I haven't allowed them to surface. In some ways I find the neurosis very productive. At other times, I think it would be healthier to just give it a good cry, scream or both. Either way, because of it, I cathartictly get my home in order every few months or so. Depending on life's drama at the moment.
she does not look well. But look at her excellent organization and perfect pantry! A for effort my sister.
Back to the glass container thing. My most recent bent, as I was mentioning, has to do with, no more plastic containers. It's all very 'Joan'. But also, I'm suspicious of all of that, carcinogen leaching you read so much about. That, and they're ugly, mismatched and they add to my already chaotic mind set.
I found these containers at Crate & Barrel:
They nest. This I like. Nesting is nice- space efficiency. Design, well thought out. I bought a few sets and I'm set. They even make my fridge look a little neater.
Now on to storage. At my local Craft Store I found Ball canning jars. Cheap as can be and they come in assorted sizes. Big ones for bulk items, smaller for the above mentioned, pasta and cereal box dregs.
Sur la Table carries much nicer looking ones, but only because the lines are nicer and the embossed art is prettier, oh and the lids are one piece. Italian made. Go figure.
Antique versions with the blue glass can be picked up at any Granny Antique shop. But I'd never feel like they'd be completely sanitary for food ( no, I don't wash my hands compulsively. ) Although I do have a few that I put collections of things in- my grandmother's silk threads on wooden spools from the 30s, my Grandfather's turn of the century marble collection. ( yes, containing the family marbles)
and they come in some crazy colors -which could take the look to a Kountry Kitch-en look. At least the brown ones do. I'd do the blues, pale greens and lavenders. Those are pretty. But, maybe not empty. They need to fill a purpose.
But really, the Gold Standard, King Pin of these, glass storage jars are those made by Weck. Look how beautiful they are :
You can find these at Heath Ceramics
And sometimes, when you get really crazy and start buying grains in bulk, you get them home, dump the bags into the jars and guess what? Quinoa looks just like Flax Seed and Bisquick looks just like Flour. So then you come up with a cute labeling system like this:
Of course, for those of you who are singing along with me, this is where we all break into chorus and sing, "Hallelujah!" all praise the, MUCH published, Emerson Made, freaking, PANTRY OF PERFECTION. uh. give me a break. To this, I aspire.
And maybe, if my crazies get the best of me and I end up with a hoarder's amount of jars, I'll turn to nifty little projects like these; a chandelier made of Ball jars. cute and easy.
or this ever clever little container device made with a few things picked up at the hardware store for under $10.00
In the mean time, my storm has passed and I feel the calm. It's amazing what a little organization can do for a soul. Namaste.