Storage Solutions and How to let the sunshine in on a window shelfMy 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?”
I 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.)
“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. ”
Of 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.
I 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.
I 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.
After 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 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.
Your mom totally ROCKS!! I want her to come to my house on her next visit and tell me how to organize my storage-less kitchen:) Hi to your mom!!!!
Truly genius, Mom, and your son is so darn talented to make it happen. Love this idea.
This is brilliant. The next step is to refill them before having to dust them! Somehow I don’t think that will be a problem for you. Wish I had a window like that.
Moms are like that you know! When I visit my son and his precious family in Dallas, he usually has two requests for me to make: my lasagna and chocolate no bake cookies! 😉 The window shelves look great! Your Mom must be so proud.
Diane are those recipes on your blog?
Brilliant solution for jar storage!!! Big “atta girl” for mom! YOU are my new “Walter” Tom since Fringe, sadly is no longer airing. It was the ONLY program I faithfully watched on tv! I told my husband that I just couldn’t imagine life without Walter, so you’re filling quite an important place! Somehow, you just remind me of Walter’s escapades on Fringe 😉 Plus the icing on the cake, you have bulldogs! I can relate, I have 5 that own me! In all seriousness, so very much enjoy your blog! Thanks for sharing your joy of life.
Judy, thanks for the kind words and tv tip. I just spent a ridiculous amount of time on YouTube, checking out Walter of Fringe. What a hoot; I’m flattered to be associated with such a fun, thinking, wing-nut of a man. He is certainly anything but dull. I will try to live up to the honor. 😉
Now about having 5 bulldogs, wow, I would love a house full of these wonderful creatures. Currently, two have me wrapped around their paws, but they have no patience for other dogs. So two it is. What are your dogs names?
Glad you took that as the true compliment it is! LOL Dogs in age order are Blossom (14), Stargazer (12), Kady (9), Ophelia (frenchy 8) and the latest tub of love RAMBO! He is a rescue and am unsure of his age 4-6, am thinking it’s more like 4! You can surely integrate another into your pack, just takes patience. I had to keep Rambo separate for 4 weeks introducing him to one at a time. The very one I thought would be insanely jealous is his best buddy, Ophelia the frenchy! Go tell. They’re like 2 peas in a pod. I was only going to foster Rambo, but he stuck to me like glue so what was I to do?!!! Didn’t have the heart to send him to another home. He’d had 5 in a years time when he came 🙁 It was well worth the extra effort! A good sturdy iron gate to keep them physically apart till they are accustomed to each other.
I so enjoy your including your dogs in the blog!! Makes it real! Thanks again so much for sharing your joy.
i think your mum and mine were separated at birth.
Oh my goodness…. how I wish I had a pantry window [… & the pantry too]! >w<;;
What a cool idea! and so very pretty too… your mum is quite the craft woman! Maybe next time she comes over have her do a walkthrough on bulldog coats? Hee hee hee…
[just an excuse to see more of Boz and Gracie. ♥]
Oh My Gosh, Tom! Your pantry was totally out of control! Thank goodness for your mother! 😉 I agree with Kristin. Your mother definitely ROCKS!
It will also make a lovely display for canned goods. It will be like the stained glass of pickles and jelly.
hahahahahha: your mom always has the brightest & clever ideas! She was so right here! 🙂 Lucky you to have such an organised mom!
Gorgeous! Brilliant! Amazing! (and the shelf idea is pretty cool, too) Wink.
PS. Can I borrow your mom?
Tom – what a fabulous idea! I think I need to have your mom come to my place to help with all of my canning jars!
Moms always does the best.
What a good idea!
While I applaud your efforts and think your mom’s the bomb, I found myself distracted by all the fabulous jars you have… I might have drooled.
I used to haunt thrift stores and garage sales for old jars and still have a few of them. When my own mother passed away I inherited a dozen of those quart size, square Reliance coffee jars, plus a couple of the gallon size. I also have a few pint size “Mom’s” Mason jars that were my grandmothers… and her last name was Mason. I am very attached to my jars. Now I need to find a window to build shelves into so I can look at them all the time!
Tom – a couple oyears ago I did asimilar thing for my dad’s collection of chemistry glass. light weight frames that fit inside the windoew frame in his office study. functionally beautiful.
Brion I love old chemistry glass–test tubes and beakers and pipettes, Oh My!
Very neat idea! Love the filtered light and the practical solution to your space problem.