My Favorite New Organizing Hack Involves a Mason Jar and Orange Juice Container
Like most of the world, I’ve been rethinking the systems in my home and kitchen since the pandemic hit. My whole family is stuck inside these four walls just about 24/7, so taking the time to make things more efficient — and, of course, more aesthetically pleasing — just makes sense. (Plus, I’m bored.)
That’s one reason I’m suddenly obsessed with decanting everything. From rice and beans to cereal and oatmeal, I’m no longer interested in unsightly, cluttered-looking bags and boxes cramming up my pantry.
The point of decanting, in my eyes, is twofold: to save space and create a cohesive look. There are lots of ways to do it, too: pretty amber bottles in the bathroom, convenient cereal dispensers in the pantry, and, my favorite, Mason jars. Why, you ask, do I love them? Mason jars come in tons of sizes (from tiny salad dressing-sized jars up to 64-ounce, wide-mouth ones). They also have a vintage-y, simple look, which makes them fun to display. Plus, they’re glass, so they’re easy to clean — you can just throw them in the top rack of the dishwasher! — and you can see what you have at a glance.
The only thing I don’t like about my Mason jars? The lids, which come in two separate parts: the actual circular lid and the twist-on portion. Because Mason jars were originally made for canning, the design makes total sense. But for dispensing dry pantry staples, it’s a little bit tedious — especially when it comes time to dispense (you have to take off two things instead of just one). Not the end of the world, obviously, but still annoying. And then I came across this viral hack on TikTok, a simple and surprisingly effective way to add a dispenser to a Mason jar.
It’s super easy to do, and all you’ll need is something you likely already have in your fridge: a carton of juice or milk with a twist-on lid. Once the carton is empty, clean it, and open it up to expand the surface area of the top. Then, set up the ring to your chosen Mason jar so that the carton’s spout is in the middle. Trace the ring’s outline onto the cardboard and use scissors to cut it out. Then, pop the cardboard circle into the ring of the Mason jar. (I had to trim the cardboard a bit to get it to fit snugly, but that’s a good thing because you want a tight seal.) An instant dispenser for whatever your heart desires!
I thought long and hard about what I wanted to keep in my jar, and I ended up choosing something I use frequently: sugar. I add sweetener to my coffee and tea, but I’m embarrassed to admit that I usually dispense it straight from the giant bag.
Now, I can pour just as much as I need for a drink straight out of the Mason jar and rest confidently that my sugar is actually sealed (as opposed to the half-open, rolled-up bag I used to keep in my cupboard). It’s super convenient to store in the cabinet above my espresso machine, too ― and as with all my decanters, I just add more when it’s getting low. (I like that it’s easy to see, since it’s a clear jar).
If I can get my hands on some larger Mason jars soon, I’ll probably upgrade my pantry and try rice, quinoa, and dry beans next. Time to buy some more orange juice!