If you are a large scale canner, storing your home canning jars can be an exercise in creativity. I can a lot but I know there are others that can even more than I do. So if I'm having to get creative... others must be too.
Before you store your jars you need to remove rings and double check that the seal is good. I lift the jar by the edges of the flats. The seal should support the weight of the jar.
Label, label label. You really should label your jar. The contents and date at the minimum. You can also record the recipe name if it is something you want to keep track of. Type of jam... will you really remember if this is apricot or peach jam in 4 months time? You will when you open it.
When you start canning again next year you need to keep the last years jars to the front so they get used. If you find some jars are lost in the very back of the pantry, you will easily know if they are older or newer if you have labeled them with at least the year.
Here are some things to consider when deciding where to store your jars.
If you are like me you have a lot of jars to store away. I don't have a root cellar. (oh how I wish!) I have what most would consider to be a good sized pantry but it is nowhere near large enough to store my jars.
Here are some of my storage solutions. I get creative. Actually it is not too creative but I work with what I have.
|First I stock what I'll need access to in my grandmothers cupboard in the kitchen. This is where all the veggies go. Extras will get packed in boxes.|
|Meat and some jams and pickled items go in the bottom of another cupboard in my kitchen.
Here is my littlest man sorting and storing. This is a different cupboard than the one in the above picture. I have 2 of this type of cabinet.
|I also stock some on shelves in my pantry. I love these shelves! I picked them up at a yard sale. They are an old potato chip bag display from the Frito guy.
Each shelf is just barely tall enough to accommodate a quart sized jar so it is a tight fit. It is perfect for pints.
|Boxes on the floor in our basement and some in our back entry/mudroom. Label the outside of the box so you don't have to repeatedly open them when you want to restock the pantry.
One thing I want to suggest if you do this... put the boxes where you won't forget about them. This food is for you to eat now, not to find 3 years from now in some remote corner of your house.
I store small jars of jam and pickled items in a small dresser. This is pretty hard on the drawers because the weight of the jars is heavy. Since I don't get in and out too often it works for me.
I did not get a picture of this one.
It is a simple, nondescript, yard sale find, smallish, 3 drawer dresser.
|My favorite place to store jams, jellies, pickles and other things in pints is this vintage record (remember records?) cabinet. I believe this also came from my grandmother originally.
This little cupboard stored records in the bottom and I believe a stereo went in the top glass portion. Perfect for pints and half pints. Looks pretty too. You can see my bread machines on top.
Before I converted one of my bedrooms to a pantry, see pictures here at Kris Simply Living, I lined my hallway on one side with wire cube storage shelves. The jars were too heavy for them, of course, so I emptied out closets and cabinets and stored the contents on these wire shelves. Towels, sheets, board games, books, music, and so forth. Before that, I had the jars in boxes under my bed. Not too creative, but it worked.
Sharon: When we lived in a tri-level, we had very little space for storage, and we had seven of us so I canned quite a bit.
This is what we came up with: We put the jars in boxes and stored them under the children's beds. We gave them a list for their room so that they would know what was under their particular bed. All I had to do was say, "I need a quart of green beans." or whatever it happened to be. Empty jars went back out into the garage; worked for us until we moved into an old farm house with a fruit cellar.
Better yet... do you have a root cellar?
I'd love it if you'd tell us what creative way you have to store away your canning jars.