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BEYOND THE COOKIE JAR: Organizing With All Kinds of Jars

By April 11, 2016 15 Comments

What organizing item have I used the longest and most often? Without a doubt that would be glass jars of all shapes and sizes. My children grew up seeing glass jars as canisters for pantry items as well as treats. We may have lived in many different houses, but the kitchen counter always looked the same with my consistent assortment of jars. I have collected and repurposed Mason jars, pickle jars, apothecary jars, jelly jars, and old fashioned canning jars with glass lids. I’m always on the lookout for unusual jars in all shapes, sizes, and colors.  And I will admit that my choice of spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce usually depends on the usefulness of the empty jar!

Here’s how I have used and  repurposed  jars to organize different areas of my home:



Spoons, Forks, Knives, Utensils,

Drinking Glasses, Dessert Dishes,

Straws, Matches, Birthday Candles





Leftovers, Cut-Up Veggies, Nuts



Flour, Sugar, Rice, Beans, Pasta,

Tea Bags, Coffee, Cereal, Crackers,

Baking Chips, Snacks, Treats, Cookies




Pens, Pencils, Markers, Stamps, Binder Clips,

Paper Clips, Rubber Bands, Sticky Notes, Tape


BeyondtheCookieJar- Pin



Soap, Toothbrushes, Cotton Balls, Band Aides,

Emery Boards, Lip Balm, Hair bands, Hair clips




Necklaces, Bracelets, Earrings, Charms, Pins



Buttons, Coins, Key Chains, Rocks,

Match Books, Shells, Ticket Stubs




Batteries, Light Bulbs, Candles, Cords


Repurposing jars has been a fun and creative way for me to organize my home.

Once you start thinking of all the possibilities, you might enjoy it too!

P.S. It is OK to fill the cookie jar with something besides cookies!! ☺
Please let me know your favorite way to organize with jars in the comments below!

Olive Wagar

Author Olive Wagar

More posts by Olive Wagar

Join the discussion 15 Comments

  • Jill Doble says:

    We are kindred spirits Olive! I do all those same things with jars! Love your articles!

    • Olive says:

      So nice to hear from you, Jill! Glad to hear that you like the blogs. I forgot to mention that I even have a flattened mason jar that I use as a spoon rest! I bought it at the Troy Strawberry Festival.
      And I remember when your family came many years ago!!

  • Cynthia Newcomb says:

    Good idea. I also use jars for candies and dog or cat treats

    • Olive says:

      Thanks for adding that additional idea about pet treats, Cynthia! It is nice to see exactly how much you have and when you need to buy more.

  • I actually don’t use jars very much, but you’re making me think I should! You can see what’s in them, they’re sturdy, they don’t absorb food stains and odors like many plastic containers, they’re generally free, and reusing is even better than recycling! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Olive says:

    The jars are especially great for leftover soup–put it in the freezer, heat it up in the microwave, and eat it from the same jar! And they just look so nice lined up on any shelf!! Thanks for offering this topic for the Professional Organizers Blog Carnival, Janet.

  • I love these creative ways to organize with jars! Thank you for this post, I will share these ideas with my organizing clients.

    • Olive says:

      Thanks for reading and sharing, Nancy! It has been fun to think of different ways to use such a common item!!

  • I use them to store instant beverages at my beverage area. Besides hot chocolate packages, I have a wonderful instant Russian Tea mix. Glass jars mix and match so well, don’t they?

    • Olive says:

      Would you mind sharing your Instant Russian Tea mix, Debbie? I would be like to add it to my lineup of choices!!

  • I wouldn’t have thought about using jars in the utility room, but you make some good points! Great ideas, Olive!

    • Olive says:

      It makes me think of an old-fashioned country store to see everything in glass jars. Just a nice touch! Thanks for stopping by, Sarah!

  • Stacy Morris says:

    I have buttons in an old jar. The jar helps make it easier to find a close match.

  • Janie Cunningham says:

    This article supplied so many ideas which I immediately used. I had many empty jars in storage and was able to use them in my decluttering plan for my desk!

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