Non-Consumer Photo Essay — Drool Worthy Storage & A Groovy Kitchen Clock

by Katy on May 8, 2013 · 36 comments

Remember my antique card catalog coffee table? Well I finally got around to addressing the dried out wood issue yesterday, and look at what a difference a coat of Restore-a-Finish makes! It supposedly needs a finish coat of Howard’s Feed-n-Wax, but for now I’m really happy with how lush the wood looks.

I didn’t take a full picture of the coffee table, as it deserves its own post. Also, because it’s currently enjoying time on the porch to off-gas. And yes, this drawer is where I keep my maidenhead. Thank you for noticing.

Dry:

Dry Wood

Finished:
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Winco grocery store gets a bad rap when it comes to produce. I bought this spinach a week ago, and just used up the last of it this morning. The key is to store your perishables properly when you get them home. For spinach and lettuce, I wash and prep them almost immediately, and then store them in a salad spinner in the crisper drawer. (Why a crisper drawer? Because it fits, no other reason.) Any moisture pools under the basket, so nothing ever gets slimy. This change in practice will rock. Your. World!

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I’m a sucker for thrifted glass storage jars, and I wanted to share how I recently labeled mine. Remember the gold paint pen that I used to freshen up a dull picture frame? It occurred to me that it could write on glass, and so I did.

Write on glass.

I am lacking the nice hand writing gene, but my second grade cursive did the trick.

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And this tip is not just aesthetic, as I dare any one of you to differentiate between glass jars of baking powder and glass jars of baking soda. It cannot be done. That empty glass jar? It’s for overflow rice, of which we have none.

Labeled glass jars

I wanted to share the perfection of my six matching $1.99 glass storage jars that I scored from Goodwill last week. Not too big and not too small, they’re the Goldilocks of the food storage world.

And if it’s wrong to get an endorphin release when looking at functional yet attractive food storage, then I don’t want to be right.

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I somehow forgot to share my thrifted groovy kitchen clock. It looks totally wrong in my kitchen, but I love it anyway. And at $2.99, there wasn’t a moment’s hesitation of whether or not to buy it. I’ll probably sell it,  but for now it’s funk-i-fying my kitchen, and for that I say:

“Outta sight!”

Groovy kitchen clock

And no photo essay of mostly kitchen stuff could be complete without a photo of drying Ziploc freezer bags. They are a constant presence in my life and have each been washed out at least a bajillion times.

Seriously.

Drying bags

Am I the only person who drools at the sight of thrifted storage solutions? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Joy @ Joyfully Green May 8, 2013 at 10:00 am

I think it’s great that you want to reuse the plastic bags, but I think I’ve read in a few places that the plastic degrades over time and can leach chemicals onto your food (if that’s what you’re using them for). I’m pretty sure I read it in Beth Terry’s book called “My Plastic-Free Life.” Better to stick with your glass storage systems for health reasons. (Cute tip with the gold markers, BTW). If you’re using the baggies for non-food items, go for it!

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Katy May 8, 2013 at 1:59 pm

I only use the plastic bags for dry foods, and for buying bulk food which I immediately transfer into glass jars when they get home.

Katy

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Alison May 8, 2013 at 10:14 am

I love all of my thrifted canning jars! No need to ever pay full price, there are always plenty to be found at my local thrift stores. And, like you, I love using my salad spinner to store my greens in the fridge once they have been washed and chopped.

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Karen May 8, 2013 at 10:24 am

I’m a drooler, too!

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Kaylen May 8, 2013 at 10:28 am

In my house, I can always tell the baking soda from the baking powder because I buy lots of baking soda (and keep it in big jars) since I also use it for cleaning whereas I only fill a small jar with baking powder at the health food store since I’ve read that it can lose its effectiveness over time. I like the gold paint pen right on glass, though!

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Beth B. May 8, 2013 at 10:33 am

A few years ago, I made a plastic bag drying rack by putting some rice in a small jar and then sticking chopsticks in it. Wet bags go on the chopsticks to dry. It works great.

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Rebecca May 8, 2013 at 10:43 am

Suprising to see that I am the only one to notice that the drawer label below “maidenhead” is “longfellow” Ha!

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Karen May 8, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Thanks for the laugh, Rebecca!

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Linda in Indiana May 8, 2013 at 11:10 am

Loved the gold writing on the glass jars…I’m totally stealing that idea! I also have been sold on a salad spinner for a long time.

Beth B….thanks for the neat idea of how to make a baggie dryer…it will happen here next time I wash baggies.

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Heather May 8, 2013 at 11:13 am

Do you need to tell the difference between a glass jar of baking soda and a glass jar of baking soda? Aren’t they both just baking soda? Powder and soda, that’s a different story!

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Katy May 8, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Oops . . . I guess my copy editor missed that one. 😉

Katy

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Yvette May 8, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Must feed copy editor more chocolate.

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Katy May 8, 2013 at 7:08 pm

YES!!!!!!

Katy

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Tina May 8, 2013 at 11:14 am

I am a drooler and a giggler! My pantry is full of nothing but thrifted glass containers from Goodwill, and antique quart and 1/2 gallon canning jars (from Grandma’s basement). It makes me happy everytime I open the pantry door, and see my jars full of bulk food items all lined up. Winco is my favorite grocery store. We just had a new one open in our city a couple of months ago. I love their produce deals, and I am sweaty palm in LOVE with the bulk section! Hello spices for pennies. Thanks to Winco’s bulk section I can keep my grocery budget under control, and still splurge on farm eggs and local meat.

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Sharon May 8, 2013 at 11:35 am

Groovy clock, Katy. Really far-out.

Found a gallon sun tea jug with plastic spigot for my water kefir experiments. And a gallon without for my kombucha experiments. Who knew I’d get so excited about such a little thing?

Just picked up a $1 set of plastic and heavy aluminum popsicle molds. Going to experiment with popsicles for ME this summer. Until now I made them for the boys, but they have outgrown them. I, however, have not. And I am going to try some grown up flavors this year: pina colada, strawberry-orange yogurt, and suchlike. Mwuahahaha!

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Karen May 8, 2013 at 1:07 pm

We also reuse Ziploc bags multiple times. Got tired of them just laying around all over the place so I strung up a little “clothesline” for them that runs almost vertically along the side of the upper cabinet, tied from adjacent window trim to bottom hinge. A bonus is it not only keeps them off the countertops but they’re hidden from sight behind the cabinet so you can’t see them unless you’re actually in the kitchen. AND it’s right over the dish-drainer which catches any drips. Puts those few random clothespins, binder clips or bag clips you have laying around to work too. It’s honestly my favorite DIY project to date.

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Yvette May 8, 2013 at 6:44 pm

I would always see those little racks with clips that are suppose to hang in the shower to dry lingerie at Goodwill. Seems they didn’t work well for that, but the Red Octopus I brought home for 2.99 works great for air drying bags, vacuum cleaner filters, etc.. Like Karen, I hung it over the drain board and it always has a smile for me (yes, it has a face).

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Michelle H. May 8, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Love the gold pen! I just use a black sharpie on my mason jars, but the gold looks soooooo much more classy.

I picked up 2 boxes of old mason jars with glass lids for a few bucks at a yard sale eons ago. They are all over the house – holding change in the laundry room, fossils and legos in my son’s room, food in the pantry, cotton balls in the bathroom, etc.

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Megan May 8, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Keep the clock! We all need more funk-i-fying! It suits your personality! I have been coordinating Teacher Appreciation Week and decorated the teachers’ lounge with things I had around the house … spending zero dollars but getting lots of compliments.

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Bonnie May 8, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Laughing about the easy misidentification of white powdery kitchen staples! My ex — admittedly not all that familiar with the kitchen anyway — once dredged some catfish in powdered sugar instead of flour. Not recommended!

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Katy May 8, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Blegh!!!!

Katy

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John Benton May 8, 2013 at 4:37 pm

I love the clock. If you ever want to sell it, email me.

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chris May 8, 2013 at 6:14 pm

i reuse most of my plastic storage bags and was glad to see you dry yours like i dry mine; i have to say though that if i put meat in them (for the hubby) i won’t reuse them; i do love your storage jars – especially those really large ones that you stored your sugars in; i would love to find some of them in one of our local thrift shops as when i have seen them in stores they are quite expensive; by the way – i love your posts

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Katy May 8, 2013 at 7:09 pm

he bags do occasionally hold a sandwich with deli meat. but I give them a good scrub and dry them inside out. So far, no fatalities.

Katy

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Kate May 9, 2013 at 3:33 am

The gold paint pen looks so much classier than my masking tape/black sharpie thing I have got going on. Now if I could just find bulk food I could put directly into my glass jar- my local bulk foods store sells the bulk food in plastic bags! Eek!
Kate

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Roberta May 9, 2013 at 6:08 am

Kate,
Can you bring your own bags in to the bulk store? I made a bunch (5?) of bags out of an old sheet, and I use them to store my bulk rice/granola/beans. My store used to let me put them straight into the glass jars, but they won’t any more. 🙁

Katy,
I love the gold labels! Much nicer than black sharpie (yes, another sharpie user here!). Does the paint come off easily if you change the contents? (Sharpie does come off nicely with a touch of rubbing alcohol.)

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Katy May 9, 2013 at 6:10 am

I only wrote on the jars that will stay the same contents. And I could always use a bit of nail polish remover to clean it off if necessary.

Katy

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Diane C May 9, 2013 at 5:10 am

Have to giggle about the plastic bags. At yard sales, I have found two foldable racks designed for baby bottles. They are perfect for drying freshly washed bags. Also, recently had my new family over for dinner. Someone noticed the fully adorned rack and asked what it was. Then they asked the inevitable (and non-frugal), “Why?”. I responded that if I didn’t wash and reuse I’d need 1380 bags a year just for hubby’s lunches. Happy to report their tune changed entirely.

Not sure how I feel about reports that the bags break down over time. I just wash and re-use until the seams give out or they simply don’t look clean any more. I don’t use them to store meat at all. I’d like to get away from bags entirely, but husband has a favorite lunchbox that has a perfect home in his work truck, so it’s rewashing bags for now. Maybe when he gets his next truck…

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cathy May 9, 2013 at 6:42 am

There are several companies that make small storage containers. You can get plastic, glass, or metal. Also there are companies that make reusable fabric wraps for sandwiches. I found great reusable fabric sandwich bags (they Velcro shut). I use a combination of storage containers in lunchboxes and have almost eliminated the need for plastic bags.

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Katy May 9, 2013 at 7:28 am

I do have a few reusable fabric wraps that I use, but I have found that they’re not good for things that dry out, like sandwiches. I use them for cookies, pretzels, etc. Also, they don’t work for fruit like orange slices and strawberries.

Katy

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Maureen May 9, 2013 at 6:56 am

Katie, I think you should do a photo essay on how we all dry our ziploc bags. I’m sure you could get quite a few pictures for that one.

I never reuse bags that I’ve frozen meat in as I defrost the meat in them too. But I will wash out the others put them over large cups in the dish rack to dry. I’m sure my husband would not approve of me hanging them else where in the kitchen.

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Maureen May 9, 2013 at 6:57 am

And I always mis-spell your name. Sorry K A T Y!

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Denise Arneson May 9, 2013 at 11:10 am

If my ziplock bags are still wet after spending time in the dish drainer they get thrown on top of the refrigerator and stay there until they are finished drying. Do you know if Winco has a directory of their bulk bins including prices.? The closest Winco is 58 miles and almost an hour’s drive from my house. Which means the only time I will go is if I am in the area for something else or if I am passing through to somewhere else. Most of our vacations are road trip type and the cost savings would be worth stopping on the way back home. Minus the cost of a few beers, which is the only way that I could convince my husband to stop so that I could shop. I would do the driving back home of course.

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Lori from Michigan May 9, 2013 at 8:40 pm

Thank you so much for the picture of the drying baggies. I reuse mine too, but I never knew just what to do with them as after rinsing them out. Clipping them to the cupboard handles to drip-dry over the sink is perfect.

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Betty Winslow May 11, 2013 at 6:37 pm

I clip my washed out bags on the cabinet handles, but I like the rice/chopstick idea…. will have to find a cute vase for this. I love my gallon mason jars full of rice, beans, and other bulk foods. Personally, I drool over baskets. I have a huge pile of them stacked on the table behind the living room couch, and I use them for all sorts of things. Classy storage and attractive to look at as well!

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