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DIY Pantry Organization

Updated on February 24, 2014

The Problem with Kitchen Organization

Have you been continually trying to find the ultimate kitchen organization system but you keep ending up with the same problems?

  • Loose lids (they never seem to fit!)
  • Cheap plastic containers (because you were trying to save money by going to the Dollar Store)
  • Pantry item packaging stuffed into your cupboards.
  • You still can't find the items you need, even though you JUST organized everything.
  • Not enough room in your cupboards to hold your non-perishables.

The problem with kitchen cupboard organization is that we are creatures of habit and unless the system is flawless, us humans retreat to our cave-like tenancies and we just can't be bothered to make things orderly, especially when we have absolutely no time for anything.

To preface this DIY, I don't own my home, nor do I have the capabilities to add extra cupboards or shelving, let alone the freedom (or money) to overhaul my entire kitchen to make it more functional. The rental unit I live in is far from fancy, but I love that I beat the system and found a way to make my kitchen work for me. It only took years of living in several rental spaces and hours of researching on pinterest the "best ways to organize my pantry".

DIY: Organize your Pantry

DIY Jar Light Tutorial

Mason Jars

I've always been crazy about Mason jars. Growing up canning local fruit and always having access to Mason jars, I just never thought that Mason jars could serve so many purposes. Just do a search on pinterest for "Mason jars" and your mind will be blown with all the possibilities. You can make a Mason jar chandelier, Mason jar candle/vase, Mason jar soap dispenser or even a Mason jar herb wall. In this era of do-it-yourself (DIY), Mason jars are the perfect accent to your kitchen. You can even get coloured Mason jars now!

What makes Mason jars the perfect home for your pantry items are the stability (hard glass) and structure (easy to screw on/off lids). Also, the fact that you can create a cohesive décor for your cupboards with Mason jars of all sizes makes your cupboards functional and fashionable at the same time. The larger Mason jars are perfect for beans, flours, sugars, grains ect, while the medium and small Mason jars are perfect for items like baking ingredients and spices.

Before and After

All I needed was a 12 pack of mason jars, some chalkboard sticker paper and pens.
All I needed was a 12 pack of mason jars, some chalkboard sticker paper and pens. | Source

Mason Jar Therapy

DIY Pantry Organization|A Step by Step Guide

In order to make your Mason jar system come to life, you feel need the following materials:

  • A pack of large quart sized(64 oz) Wide-Mouth Mason Jars
  • A pack of pint size Mason jars (Medium)
  • A pack of half pint Mason jars (Small)
  • Repositionable chalkboard roll
  • A set of chalkboard pens
  • Scissors
  • White glue
  • Sticky notes (optional)

Mason Jar Pantry Supplies

The ready-to-cut grid lines are helpful for making labels but I opted for tracing and cutting out circle labels.
The ready-to-cut grid lines are helpful for making labels but I opted for tracing and cutting out circle labels.

Step by Step Guide

  1. Take all your non-perishables out of your cupboard or pantry
  2. Organize your pantry items with the Mason jar and decide which items need to go into a large Mason jar, which items need to go into a medium Mason jar and which items need to go into a small Mason jar.
  3. Dispose of that nasty packaging. It feel good doesn't it?
  4. Look at how much space you have in your cupboards now. Mason jars will give you more space!
  5. Fill up the Mason jars with your dried goods and secure all the lids. If you can't remember what some of the items are by looking at them, you might need to write it down on a sticky note and attach it to the appropriate jar.
  6. Choose a shape to trace on the back of the repositionalble chalkboard roll and cut out the shape with scissors. Often there will be lines provided that you can use as a guide for straight labels.
  7. Peel off the paper and add a dab of white glue to ensure that label sticks to the glass securely.
  8. Take your chalkboard marker and write the names of all the food items, adding decorative lines or swirls if you feel like it.
  9. Line up all the Full Mason jars back into your cupboard/pantry and enjoy all that extra space and the lack of food packaging.

Organizing your Labels

Because my mason jars row are sometimes 3 jars deep, I use a strip of chalkboard sticker paper to label what's in each row.
Because my mason jars row are sometimes 3 jars deep, I use a strip of chalkboard sticker paper to label what's in each row.

In Conclusion

To sum it up: Mason jars are delightful and can be a helpful tool in the kitchen (not just for canning). Using Mason jars to store your dried goods not only looks great, it also save you a ton of cupboard space.


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    • Cre8tor profile image

      Dan Robbins 

      4 years ago

      These are good ideas and well explained. Unfortunately, this won't work for me. You see, I have 3 teenage you think you could write a Hub on how to keep food in my cupboard so that I can then use this Hub to organize my food?

      Thanks for sharing your tips!


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