What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Labeling Canning Jar Boxes

I do a lot of canning which means I use a lot of jars.  As a result of the amount of canning some filled and empty jars must be stored in the original boxes.  I'm rather protective of my boxes because they are perfect for storing jars waiting to be put onto the pantry shelves.  I don't like writing on the boxes because they are used over and over until they fall apart.  That means the contents are constantly changing.

labeling canning jar boxes
Pictured is 2 of the filled box stacks when I started organizing.  Part of the top is cut off so there were actually 15 cases of 12 jars each (180 jars) of food.  I previously had been using a post-it note method for labeling (right) then changing the numbers with respect to content as the jars moved to the shelves while filling the empty spaces with empty jars.  While the system made a lot of sense to me what ended up happening is I would have part cases of food and occasionally a jar or two would be missed so would go beyond my 2 year comfort level for storing home canned foods.  Even worse is in trying to maximize space jars of food from 2 different years sometimes got mixed into the boxes.  So with the help of my husband we came up with a better plan.

In the lower right hand corner is the black shelf unit that was were the boxes are now stacked.  It is now holding the few plastic containers I still use.  The Tattler reusable canning lids (full review) I was testing out presented a labeling issue.  Since I could no longer use my method of writing on the lids with a Sharpie and writing on the jars wasn't working for me I rummaged through the utility room where I found a roll of painter's tape.  That solved my lid labeling problem but then I thought it would be a low cost way of labeling the stacked boxes as well.

My husband moved all of the empty cases of jars to the other side of the pantry.  They he started stacking the filled cases.  I'm now using painter's tape to label the boxes (left) which should pull cleanly off the boxes without damaging them.  This method gives me a good visual of what is in the box and what needs to be moved to the shelves.  I like that it is neat, tidy, cheap and effective!

Garden Gnome