Pantry Improvements – Label It!

Sigh, I have misplaced the camera again. We have a designated spot for “media stuff” and for some reason the camera just never ends up there. So, this post will have to be sans proof-of-life pics. But anyhow – maybe you remember me talking about getting some half gallon canning jars last summer to organize dry goods? I’m still using them, and they’re still working out great. In fact, I’m anxiously awaiting the next Menards bag sale so I can pick up a couple more cases – I want them to hold my cleaning supplies (now that I’m making my own) and they would be perfect for some of my craft supplies as well.

One thing that has been lacking has been my labeling system – either none at all, or a masking tape label. The masking tape worked, but it’s ugly. And the lack of labels was a definite problem in some cases – dry yeast and rye flour don’t look all that different at a glance. Fortunately, this is a problem that was easy to solve now that we have a printer at home again (yes, I finally broke down and bought one – but I got a good deal!).

At Hobby Lobby the other day, I was able to score some Avery Print-To-The-Edge Oval Labels (item 22814) and they are amazing. Hobby Lobby has a really limited selection of labels (oval, round and rounded-edge square) but I’d highly recommend getting them there as you can use their 40% off coupon, making a package of 90 labels just over $7.00 (aka $0.07 per label). I decided to keep it simple – black color only (cheaper on ink that way too), with a simple double-line border on the edge. I choose Garamond for the font, and set the size to 15 and bolded the text. They came out perfect!

As far as label placement on the jars, the labels I choose were glossy white because I figured they’d hold up better in the kitchen, so you have to make sure you have a relatively flat, smooth service to put them on. Otherwise they wrinkle and don’t lay flat. On the half gallon mason jars and my smaller recycled Better Than Bouillion jars this was easy. The half gallon jars have a perfect, flat space between the “Ball” and “mason” text where the label fits perfectly. The Better Than Bouillion jars aren’t embossed at all, so label placement isn’t a concern.

The quart mason jars are a little trickier if you’re using the standard design ones with a lot of embossing on the glass – there’s really no ideal place to affix the label. So I settled on the side of the jar with the metrics measurements – I was just careful to affix the center of the label and smooth it out before working toward the edges to really make sure the label adhered well around the vertical embossed lines on the jar. Overall, they came out really well.

So, slowly but surely, I’m getting my apartment pantry to a good spot with organization. It still needs another shelf to make the most of the height in there, but it’s getting better. And now I know exactly what I’m grabbing when I start cooking!