I’ve been working hard to live my belief that if something doesn’t have a function–be it sentiment, beauty, or purpose–it needs to go because it only clutters my focus and stands in the way of doing things I really want to do.
It stands in the way of living my life the way I truly want to live it.
It’s a process, though, and perhaps an eternal one. I’m getting closer with the clear out and renovation downstairs. I’ve done away with a lot of things upstairs, too, over the past year. And I still have a long way to go.
Wait, was this supposed to be about baby food jars?
Just some of my vast baby food jar stockpile. I had them on the floor of the living room while I was sorting and counting what I had in the different sizes.
Baby food jars are fantastic for all sorts of small storage–craft and office doo-dads–as well as many uses in the kitchen (herbs and spices, small batches of things like horseradish, etc), homemade beauty products, candles, storing seeds, gifting various things, and on and ON. Baby food jars are next to canning jars for their versatility and re-usability. You can often find baby food jars at garage sales or in the penny papers, but if you make a habit of letting people know you want jars, you might happen on a stash for free. My friend Faye is helping to raise her granddaughter these days and has masses of baby food jars. She offered them to me, knowing I was a likely suspect for taking them off her hands. I jumped at them, but then had nowhere to put them. They were in plastic grocery store bags (numerous bags) and some ended up on a table on the back porch (where the cats got into them) and others on the bottom landing of the back porch steps (where the dogs and chickens got into them).
My baby food jar mess is a perfect example of why you need to get rid of stuff you don’t need so you can take care of what you do need.
Amazingly, only a few of the jars were broken, and now I have dedicated jar storage space downstairs. (Yay!) Currently, I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 jars, in 2-ounce, 4-ounce, and 6-ounce sizes. Believe it or not, most of these jars are going to be used in the next six weeks. That’s because we’ll be using them at the CITR Retreat in homemade beauty product classes and candlemaking classes. It’ll take me the next week or so, off and on, to get all these jars ready for students at the retreat.
It won’t be long before I’ll be shoring up my soon-to-be depleted baby food jar collection as Faye has been gathering more bagfuls for me. She told me the other day, “Every time I wash a baby food jar, I think of you.” Now there’s a friend who knows what you like!
Anyway–if you neglect something for awhile, you get to do about 20 times more work cleaning it up. These jars had been outside and gotten dirty, so they needed washing, but not only that, there was still label goo to remove. I’ve tried every “homemade” way to get that sticky label stuff off jars, and sometimes you just gotta turn to a product, especially if you’re dealing with a large number of jars. Baby food jar label goo seems especially resistant to removal. I used Goo Gone.
It dissolves the goo and makes it easier to scrub away. It doesn’t completely take away the need to scrub and even scrape a bit, but it makes the job a lot faster and the longer you let it soak on the jar (you spray it on there), the better it works. It’s the best thing I’ve found so far for easing the goo removal.
Free of sticky goo, the jars just take a trip through the dishwasher and they’re sanitized. They stack nicely for storage in paper boxes (the kind that reams of paper come in), sorted by size.
But what about those lids?
Not horrible, but. Who needs Gerber on there? I took the lids outside and sprayed them with a fast-dry chrome paint (labeled for metal).
Now this isn’t a baby jar…..
It’s a jar with style, baby!