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Friday, June 23, 2017

Storing small items in the kitchen

In the late 70s my mother gave me dozens of boxes of cupcake papers. I baked cupcakes, I used the papers for other things, shared them, and still have one box left. Finally, I mailed some to my daughter in the 90s. I may have given some to my son and his wife. The boxes were always getting in the way, falling over and opening by themselves. Finally, I was down to one box. I buy the tiny cupcake papers and those are annoying on the shelf, too. One day, several years ago I used a plastic, Miracle Whip, wide-mouth jar to store the larger papers. Then, I have added the smaller ones since there was plenty of room.

This was when Miracle Whip came in quarts not the 30 oz. containers!!!

The large box of cupcake papers fits in there along with little cellophane packages of the smaller ones. I rip off the cardboard top on the tiny ones used to fit on a peg in the store. Implementing  the plastic jar increases my useable storage space. Plus, I don't have to worry something is getting squashed and the shape ruined.

Toothpicks were another troublesome item. I always have to tape the little boxes together to keep them from distributing toothpicks all over the cabinet and counters. One day several years ago, I decided to corral them. I did! I put the various boxes and little plastic cylinders into an icing container. I rarely use icing, but when I do, I wash them out for storing something.

Since I don't use toothpicks to pick my teeth, I rarely used them and bought more for whatever. One day, little cylinders of toothpicks were on sale. This supply will last me the rest of my life since I only use toothpicks to test a cake or clean in a little crack.

Yes, I feel obligated to explain the excess of things I have.

Both these storage items have worked for the last 20 years. They did not have to be purchased. Both are sturdy enough to protect the contents from being crushed or escaping and romping where they should not. By writing "toothpicks" on the outside of the icing container, no one has to ask me what is inside or look in there if I have asked someone to get an item from that cabinet. In the clear plastic Miracle Whip jar, the contents are obvious.

OMG--I just realized my mother bought things in bulk. So, that is where I got this trait. She bought these for pennies on the dollar, a clearance, I think. She did not buy case lots of items, just bought things reduced to an unimaginably low price.

Your turn
Genius? lol Do you use items you would have thrown away for storage? What have you found to be perfect for storage without a purchase? Do you ever have epiphanies like I did about buying bargains in bulk and sharing? What is your favorite storage hack for small items?


  1. How so 'au courant' you are, you're up-cycling! I buy Smucker's Natural PB in the GLASS 26 oz jar and reuse them for all kinds of things - obviously for leftovers, but also for buttons, spools of thread, uncapped for storage of my ceramic knives that came with blade shields - 4 large ones in one jar, 5 smaller ones in another. For years hubby used glass baby food jars for screws, nails, etc and who didn't?

    Buying in bulk, not so much, as I'm trying to reduce what we have as we have very little storage space.

  2. Bellen,
    I buy Smuckers Natural PB in the glass jar, also. Speaking of glass baby food jars, does baby food come in glass jars these days? I used a friend's ceramic knives one day at her house and cut myself many times. They scare

    I store rice in glass jars. However, I only buy Uncle Ben's Brown Rice. This not for long term storage, just for the time it takes me to use up 7 pounds. The Smuckers glass jars have a rubber seal.

    No, not buying in bulk, just getting all she could of a good deal. There is just me, so buying in bulk would probably be a waste.

  3. I bulk buy some things. Right now I have about 20 pounds of butter in the freezer, because it was the lowest price I can get it and it will last through the end of the year for all my christmas baking. I also bulk buy toilet paper when it is on sale. We have a jacuzzi tub in the master bath which we never use, so it is filled with toilet paper.

    1. Anne,
      I, too, have enough butter to last me through the end of the year. I don't have a Jacuzzi full of tp. I don't have a Jacuzzi.

  4. I find empty jars good for lots of things. When I open a box of pasta the rest goes in a jar. Glass canning jars are good for broth in the fridge to get the fat off. Butter is about the only thing I buy ahead. We go through a lot of butter.

    1. I just put pasta in a jar. And, I agree about putting broth in a jar for easy removal of the fat. Since I bake less, I buy less butter than I once did.

  5. What a marvelous tale.
    I too struggle at tidy up vs. hold onto things unused. I am leaning more to getting rid of the excess than not. I bet I have spices that moved with us in 2005.

  6. Urspo,
    Thank you. Those spices may or may not be good. They won't spoil but may not be so spicey now. I would just use extra. If any of the spices are in glass jars, hang onto those. You can actually change any spices you have into the glass jars. I don't believe any of my spices are that old, but probably beyond their use-by date.


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