The trick to organizing with reused jars for storage, and not make them look like you are a pack rat, is repetition. It makes it look very polished.
Have you ever watched Monk? No? You should, it's one of my favorite TV shows of all time. It's a smart mix of the classic whodunit, a lot of subtle humor and the great acting of He of the "Fabulous Perm", Tony Shalhoub. What makes Monk different than most of the other brilliant fictional detectives is not his mental illness, most brilliant fictional detectives are, erm... "special". What makes Monk stand out is that he's the first with a raging OCD. But what does Monk have to do with anything? Well, I am a lot like Monk. Except without the genius. Or the fabulous hair. Or the raging OCD...
Well, not a lot, just a bit obsessed with order and balance. Combine the fact that I care about the environment, and that I am a very
cheap frugal person, and it's natural that I've come to keep most of the jars we buy, and use them as organizing tools. If you believe that reused jars are, or have to be any uglier than the ones you buy at the store, think again.
This is several years worth of tomato sauce that I have been saving. We try to buy most of our food fresh, so we don't come across that many jars.
I have used them to organize some of our dry food (soy "bacon bits", legumes, cracked corn, sesame seed, "soy meat", etc.) It protects them from bugs, keep them fresh longer, they take less space in the cupboards and they certainly look better than a bunch of plastic bags.
These jars come with mixed nuts. We eat a lot of nuts ("You are what you eat". Hmm...), so I have a lot of them. They are excellent to keep bigger items (like pasta), and things that need measuring, as I can get the measuring cup through the opening.
I keep pasta, sugar, oatmeal and other foods in them. They are made of a very sturdy, clear plastic, and stack very well.
You've seen some of these already. These are the jars in my sewing room. Let's see what I have in them.
These are salsa and dip jars, several years worth of them (I have a few empty ones for when I have more buttons), and I used some to make lanterns. To cover the ugly lid I used scraps of fabric and tiny rickrack.
And these are some more nut jars, which also got the ribbon treatment. I use them for storing some of my handbag-making hardware. They are perfect for the job. Some of the same jars (the ones on the first picture) are used to keep my mismatched collection of reused beads.
The trick to using jars for storage, and not make them look like you are a pack rat, is repetition. It makes it look "intentional". An open shelf with colorful foods in glass jars are a fantastic way to decorate, add color and storage all at once, and only for the cost of what comes inside the jar. How's that for frugal?
Do you have any jars you use for storage? What do you store in them?