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Using Mason Jars for Decor and Practical Purpose

I have a love affair with mason jars.
I use them for everything! Mainly storing food goods, in the refrigerator and out on my shelves, but there are many other uses too!

Being a minimalist, I do not wish to spend my time decorating my house *just so*, but I do want it to look nice. And I have a few rules for my decor- one being usefulness. Especially for the kitchen. I do not want shelves of pretty knickknacks that take up my energy in cleaning and take up extra for storing or cluttering up my visual space.
Remember the look of the country kitchens in magazines? Yeah… not what we’re going for.

But mason jars do add charm and a homey feel without having to have miscellaneous clutter piled around them.

Brian built me 2 pine shelves specifically for my jars of dry goods. They are simple, with clean lines and the jars fit 1/2 gallon jars comfortably.

In them, I store things I use on a daily or weekly basis:

  1. Dried tomatoes
  2. Dried peppers
  3. 3 types of nuts
  4. 3 types of seeds
  5. Coconut flour
  6. Sea Salt
  7. Cocao Nibs
  8. Dried Fruit
  9. Homemade vanilla extract
I have some large 1 1/2 gallon and 2 1/2 gallon jars I use to store:

  1. Coconut
  2. Lentils
  3. Dry beans
  4. Rice
  5. Oatmeal
In the fridge, I use jars to store:
  1. Kimchi
  2. Sauerkraut
  3. Yogurt
  4. Yogurt Cheese
  5. Lacto-fermented Pickles
  6. Lacto-fermented carrots
  7. Lacto-fermented Chutney
  8. Bone broth
  9. Leftover soups
I have a shelf in my pantry just for empty jars, so they are easy to access when needed.
 But we don’t need to limit jars to food storage only!
Jars can be used in as:

    1. Vases
    2. Drinking glasses
    3. Storing art supplies
    4. Organizing legos
    5. Sprouting seeds, beans and nuts
    6. Making tea
    7. Making Kombucha
    8. Storing fresh herbs (set them in water, like flowers in a vase)
    9. Storing spice mixes
    10. Making kefir
    11. Food gifts
    12. Make a candle in it
    13. Fill part way with epson salt or sand and a votive for a candle holder
    14. Making into an oil lamp
    15. Storing homemade deodorant
    16. Savings jar for kids or a special vacation
    17. As your home office (pencil, pens, tape & paperclips all in one jar… don’t need more space than that, right?
    18. Mending kit (again, all one needs should fit into one jar)
    19. As a blender top
A friend  used mason
jars for lights over their island
  1. Bathroom Storage (q-tips, cotton balls, tooth brush)
The best part about using jars?
Once they are done with their job, you just put them away.
I don’t recommend hoarding them, it shouldn’t take long before you know how many you use on a regular basis. Let the rest go.
Don’t keep more than you need.
Be picky- don’t just keep all the random jars from pickles or jams, if you happened to purchase some. Recycle those if you can, and only keep the ones you know you use.

About the author, Rachel

Hi there! I’m Rachel Jones, and I founded Nourishing Minimalism in 2012 at the beginning of my minimalist journey. If you're looking for encouragement in your journey, I go live in my FREE Facebook Groups every weekday- feel free to join me there: Nourishing Minimalism Facebook Group


  1. Janet on 11/08/2012 at 4:36 PM

    That looks very neat! I like things that are handy and being able to see what is in them.

  2. Jeannie Sweeney on 01/11/2013 at 1:26 AM

    Talked my husband into making me 3 little shelves for mason jars!! Will have to show you when they get done!! 🙂

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