Have you ever found yourself scrambling to round up canning lids, jars or bands on preserving day? Learning how to organize your canning supplies will help cut back on the stress and hustle that comes with putting up food at home.
When I first started canning, it wasn’t uncommon for me to run out of lids in the middle of a project. Or let something bubble over on the stove while I was searching for a few more small mouth jars.
You could say organization was slightly lacking when it came to my canning equipment! 😉 But I have learned a few things over the years.
Now I try to sort and organize my canning supplies every spring, before the first new produce of the year comes in! Simple though it may be, here are the things I try to address so the canning year goes much smoother.
Sort and Collect Last Year’s Canned Food
One of the first things I do when organizing my canning room? I like to gather up all the remaining jars of preserved food and I store them all in once place on the shelf.
There are a few good reasons for doing so.
- I know nothing is hiding behind empty jars on the shelf.
- Last year’s canned food doesn’t get mixed in with the new food.
- I can be sure to use up all of last year’s preserved goods before tapping into the fresh stuff.
How to Organize Canning Jars
After my filled jars have been set aside, I like to sort all my empty jars! I don’t want to be scrambling to find the right sizes on canning day, so even though it sounds a bit OCD, I usually make time in early spring for organizing my jars.
Tip: flipping jars upside down on the shelf helps keep tiny bugs, spiders, webs and dust out!
I sort my jars according to size (quart, pint, half pints, etc) and also according to the mouth size (wide or standard).
Grouping jars according to size lets me know when I’ve run out of quart or pints.
And grouping jars according to mouth size helps me know what my canning lid count should be for the year.
Because that’s also an important part of being prepared for preserving season! You can’t buy the right amount of lids if you don’t know how many wide or standard mouth jars you have.
Need help in this area? Check out my free printable tracking chart!
How to Store Mason Jar Lids
Because mason jar lids can rust, be sure to store them in a dry place. If you have a canning room, they’re easy to stash in a drawer, basket or cupboard.
Sort lids according to size (wide or standard mouth), so you can easily take stock of what you have and also see what you need for the upcoming canning season.
I’ll often buy canning lids in late winter, when they go on sale. I have a shallow cardboard box that sits on a shelf in my canning room. And in this box, I like to store my unused canning lids.
Learn How to Store Canning Equipment!
How to Store Canning Rings
When it comes to storing canning supplies, I used to get quite annoyed with my canning rings. They’d end up all over the kitchen, accumulated quickly and would rust if stored improperly. But then I found a system that worked well for me and I now it’s the only way I store them!
Here are my best tips for keeping canning rings organized.
- Have a specific “home” for your canning rings, so they don’t get spread all over the kitchen.
- Sort your canning rings every year and don’t keep more than you’ll use in 1 day of canning.
- If you have space on your canning room wall, string your bands on a wire and hang, so they can properly dry and so you have easy access to them on canning day (see video above for more details).
How to Store Your Pressure Canner (and Waterbath Canner)
Wondering where to store your canners when they’re not in use? Here are the key things you should think about!
If you have a stainless steel waterbath canner, you’ll probably want to keep the stockpot and lid in your kitchen, so you can use it for making large batches of soup or broth during the winter months. Stash the rack in a box with other small canning accessories and tuck it away on a shelf in your pantry or canning room.
Suppose you have an enamel canner you just want to store until next canning season? Make sure the pot, lid and rack are dry. Tuck the rack and any canning accessories inside, then store it on a pantry shelf where it’s out of the way.
If you have a pressure canner, the process is similar to storing a waterbath canner. Make sure everything is dry and be sure to place the accompany racks and weight inside.
When storing a pressure canner, be sure to to flip the lid upside down and nestle it on top of the pot, so the dial doesn’t get bumped while in storage.
Tips for Storing Miscellaneous Canning Supplies
Last but not least, it’s great idea to store all your little canning accessories in one place. Things like a jar lifter, a lid lifter or a headspace measuring tool can easily go missing during the “off” months.
You can store these items in a special drawer, in a box in your pantry or (something I like to do) is pop them inside one of my canners, so I have everything in one place!
That’s how I like to organize canning supplies!
If you have any tips or suggestions that other readers could benefit from, feel free to leave them below in the comments!