Turns Out, Mason Jars Make Great Drawer Organizers. Yes, You Read That Correctly!

updated Nov 5, 2020
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Credit: Ashley Poskin

When Chicago was shut down due to COVID-19 this spring, my family went to the country for an extended stay with my folks. It felt good to be with them, the small town was comforting, and we were able to help out quite a bit. While it was nice to be cooking in a large kitchen with lots of prep space, the utensil drawer situation was intense. There were gadgets and gizmos aplenty (20 percent of which actually got used), and they were all stuffed into three differently sized drawers. Something needed to be done, so I poked around their basement until I found the perfect solution for reorganizing the drawers: Mason jars!

Credit: Ashley Poskin

The jars were too big for the slimmest drawer, but made perfect sense in the drawer that held large spoons and spatulas and other items that could easily stack on top of, or next to, the other. My mom loves her spatulas and ladles, and wanted to keep no less than six of each (yes, I asked … they all brought her joy!), so I nestled them in and made it work. The ladle jar was a bit more packed than the others, but it didn’t take a lot of effort to hold the jar and grab the one she wanted.

After heading back to the city I wondered if she would keep the drawer as I’d left it. I had written about the DIY makeover and some readers had some concerns. So I waited a few months and called to check in recently and this is what she had to say.

Me: “Mom, I have 60 seconds, can you answer a few questions for me?”

Mom: “Sure, whats up? How’s your day going? What did you have for lunch today?”

Me: “Is your utensil drawer like I left it? With the Mason jars and such, keeping everything organized?”

Mom: “Yes! I love it!”

Me: “Really? Awesome! A few of our readers were concerned that the jars would roll around when you opened the drawer, do they?”

Mom: “No, not at all.”

Me: “They were also concerned that the utensils would slide forward and out of the jars when you pulled the drawer open, do they do that?”

Mom: “No. They stay in the jars. Is this for an article? Am I going to be online?”

Me: “Thanks, Mom, gotta get back to work, love you.”

Okay, so even though it sounded like things were copasetic, I thought of a few tips to ensure you won’t run into any issues when using jars to organize your drawers.

Credit: Ashley Poskin

1. Use wide-mouth jars.

The canning jars I found in my parents’ basement were Kerr wide-mouth quart jars. They aren’t a perfectly round jar, each side is sort of flat, which help to keep the jars from rolling around in the drawer.

2. Use as many jars as you can.

Another way to keep the jars from rolling around is to use as many as will fit across the width of your drawer. If you have space left over, place a utensil in the open space, or a smaller jar to hold smaller utensils.

3. Don’t overstuff the jars.

The wide-mouth jar is large enough that you’ll be able to place at least five or so utensil handles inside. Some utensils have larger handles than others, so be aware of that when you’re organizing. Try to keep like with like, so that the utensils can stack neatly next to each other. The point is organization, but you also want to be able to easily access the utensils when cooking!