Create a Home Canning Pantry That Works for You

Create a pantry with sturdy shelves to hold all of your home canning jars of delicious garden produce from your garden.

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Jenny Underwood

If you’re anything like me you might be somewhat limited on your space. We have six people and live in a 1,500-square-foot home. I’m not complaining one bit about its size but sometimes, I do need to get creative when it comes to storing home canned foods and my canning supplies. If this is the case with you then keep reading to find out how I make room.

Think Creatively

That’s right. The first thing you should do is sit down and list the different storage options you have. These might include cabinets and shelving but it also might include a seldom used closet, under beds or in cubby holes. As long as the space is dry and kept above freezing and isn’t exposed to excessive heat then you’re good.

I do stack my jars in unconventional places however I never double stack them or stack them on an angle. It’s also wise to store full jars in easy to access places so you don’t need to move half your house to get to a jar of beans. If you must store items in hard to access spots then store empty jars, canners and other supplies there.

Think sturdy

Yes, canning jars whether full or empty can weigh quite a bit so whatever foundation you choose make sure it will hold heavy items. I store many jars on the floor in one of my cabinets and bottom shelves of store-bought plastic racks. I do not stack full the upper shelves on these so that I don’t risk collapsing the whole shelf.

A great option is to build the shelves yourself from simple lumber. My shelves in my pantry are just the right height for quart jars with just a bit of empty space on top. They will hold 2 rows staggered.

Never stack jars on top of jars. I have heard of some who lay a thin board between layers and stack them that way but I personally don’t feel comfortable with that. One reason I don’t is because it would make it much more difficult to keep an eye on my seals.

Make certain if you have young children who like to explore cabinets that your jars are out of reach or blocked in some way. There are few things more discouraging that a Mason jar of home canned food getting broken by an exploring toddler.

Some of the areas I utilize are a bit unusual. For example, I store one of my canners in a tote in our laundry room closet. My other canner is stored under our toddler’s sidecar bed. The important thing about canner storage is that they are kept dry and out of reach of exploring children.

My lids are stored under a cabinet out of reach and my canning rings ae in a basket hung up high.  Children just love playing with rings and lids so be diligent to put these away. If you don’t have young children you won’t have to take all these precautions.

Remember: Get creative, make sure your storage is sturdy and make sure it’s convenient. Canning foods at home is such a worthy investment of your time so be sure to plan good storage and make your investment last!

Jenny Underwood
 is a homeschooling mom of four who lives on a fifth-generation homestead in the Missouri Ozarks, where she gardens, forages, hunts and preserves food for her family. Connect with Jenny at Our Inconvenient Family.

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