Storage Solutions: My Mom’s Bright (and Admittedly Good) Idea{20}

Storage Solutions and How to let the sunshine in on a window shelfcanning jars a jumbleMy mother is not one to sit idly by. After her last visit to my house, she pretty much had me and the place shipshape in a matter of days. When she asked, “What should we do next?” I offered, “Take a nap?”

canning jars kitchen pantryI could see the wheels turning, a suggestion was about to be set free for consideration, “Tom, you know your pantry?”

I was glad to see she didn’t shame me, by adding, “You know, the one I had totally organized and spiffed up for you on my last visit.” (Though I felt it may have been implied.)

canning shelves pantry window“Um, hmmm, ” I replied, “What are you thinking?”

“Well, you know how all of your empty canning jars take up so much storage space? You could build shelves in the pantry window and store them there. ”

canning shelves DIYOf course, this was a brilliant idea; the jars would be out of the way, but accessible, and the empty glass would allow light to still stream into the small space.

canning shelf wall bracketI was game (since the nap option was not on the table) and began by clearing a path to the window. I started by placing two quart jars on the windowsill, bridging each with a scrap of fir board, and leveling with shims. From there, I marked the ‘wall’ at the top of the temporary shelf on the left and right side, removed the shelf board, and inscribed a line at the mark, from back to front using a level and a pencil. I pre-drilled holes for two screws (to avoid splitting the wood) and  secured the quarter-round under the said line to act as a bracket for the finished shelf.

canning shelves DIY closeupI then measured the width of the window above each quarter-round bracket. (This is an old house and no two measurements are the same). A few quick cuts on the chop saw, pop the shelf into place, and let the sun shine in.

storage solutions - canning shelves DIY jarsAfter the first shelf was in, I placed the next two appropriate jar bookends atop it, measured again, and repeated the process. Four cuts and fives shelves later, organization was restored and daylight plentiful. Spacing between shelves was determined by preferred jar size.

Final count: 2 shelves for quarts jars, 2 shelves for pint jars, and one shelf for pints and smaller.

zen of picklesZen of canning: May the force (time and temperature) be with you.

Now, every time I open the pantry door I’m reminded of my Mom’s truly bright idea (and not tripping over canning jars). Thanks Mom! I’ve rested up a bit now; what shall we tackle on your next visit? (Oh and Mom, as a reminder, Washington State law requires two 15-minute breaks per every eight hours of work.)

PS- a special thanks to Shelby for the lovely note and packet of seeds.

PSS — and I promise, the Crumble Apple Pie recipe is coming shortly.