DIY Or DI-WHY?: Under Shelf Jar Storage

September 6, 2012

Last week, whilst assembling the post Live Simply All-Star: Under Shelf Storage, a rather curious thing happened. Rather than the typically and mass-produced under-shelf slide-on-baskets I was seeking and expecting to find, I was instead bombarded by the images of glass jars screwed to the underside of shelves.

Now, I’m no stranger to this concept. I’ve seen it done before- have probably even posted a picture or two of a jar nailed to a shelf  bottom on this very blog. But holy mason jar! Between the last time I checked in with the under-shelf region and now, this idea, like sunless tanners and cell phones, has really caught on!

The episode left me in a bit of a quandary; Does the trouble it entails to hunt down some screws, a drill, and jars and then actually complete the installation warrant the ultimate storage pay-off? Is it just a case of DIY-gone-too-enthused, a sort of “I can so why not?” The amusement of a “hey, look, you can screw a jar into the bottom of a shelf and it still holds stuff!” Or was it really just the populous taking the jar by the lid and showing their lack of storage space whose boss/ handyman?

In the end, I decided I couldn’t decide, and therefore did what any good blogger would do– resolved to poll the audience.

So now I must know, dear reader, what’s your judgment on the under-shelf-jar-storage? Niftier than nifty? Or “You must be joking, I don’t have the time to screw some lid into some shelf, only to have to unscrew and screw it back in every time I want to access the thing being held inside, I’d rather just shove a few more jars on the shelf, itself, thank you very much?

You see the dilemma, I’m sure. So please, cast your vote. Your vote counts. Lives will be changed by the outcome of this election.

Image credits: Homemade Simple, Lecker.deHouse to Home, BHGGood Housekeeping, via Shelterness, 91 MagazineOff Beat Home, Craftiness Is Not Optional

18 Comments

  1. elise on September 6, 2012 at 6:07 am

    It’s Nift to me ! I especially like the idea of the petite spools of threads . Look up and find them and pretty with the colors coordination. Clever and so cute.

  2. Crystal on September 6, 2012 at 6:38 am

    Are you joking? While they are very cute and look great, I think it wouldnt be worth it. When screwing on lids, you have to get it lined up perfectly in order for it to properly screw. With the lid being screwed to something, it limits you and can make it very difficult to get the jar screwed on especially when you are in a hurry. Cute idea, but not practical.

    • livesimplybyannie on September 30, 2012 at 11:05 am

      Glad to hear you’re also turned off by that aspect… I think organizational methods have to be easy in order to be utilized and maintained, and the screwing back on is definitely not uber easy!

  3. Jen at the Social Home (@thepapersociety) on September 6, 2012 at 9:13 am

    I consider myself a little over the top when it comes to organizing, however this is one project I would never do. I just don’t think it’s that cute nor functional. Great organization has to be easy to maintain for me, and I can see the jars being a bit cumbersome to screw on properly as commented above. And if the labels weren’t perfectly lined up, I would go crazy. But props to those who follow through and find it effective storage for their needs!

    • livesimplybyannie on September 30, 2012 at 11:05 am

      Agreed! Totally! Haha and the labels all facing the same way… we are two peas in an OCD pod.

  4. ashley on September 6, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    i have to say, i’m not a fan of this “organization” trick. i’m not sure it’s even particularly useful for organizing. i just envision myself dropping the glass on wood and it breaking, or dropping it while trying to screw it in and spilling the contents everywhere. plus it’s not a very “clean” look. i like clean lines and my favorite storage pieces have doors or drawers, so everything is hidden.

    • livesimplybyannie on September 30, 2012 at 11:07 am

      Haha love that you wouldn’t even give it the right to be called an organizational method outright, sans quotation marks. I, too, could envision many accidents ensuing involving dropped jars..little beads everywhere… etc etc

  5. mikkandme on September 6, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Hi annie! The new site looks fantastic!!! I have some magnetic pieces similar to these that stick to the side of our metal file cabinet and I love them. I’ll take any “free space” I can get.

    • livesimplybyannie on September 30, 2012 at 11:07 am

      Thanks!! So happy you like it! Magnetic– now that’s a whole different story!

  6. Melissa on September 6, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    I am not a huge fan of this. I think it is ok in an area not used heaps and only for storing small things not used much – like different sized screws or nails in the shed.

  7. Ronna on September 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Not cute. Not easy to use. Not for me.

  8. […] The Door Shelving: DIY Or DI-WHY? Given the fact that my last investigative post entitled “Under Shelf Jar Storage: Neat-O Or Veto?” garnered such fervent replies (by the way, majority rules that idea is a big fat stupid), I […]

  9. Kari on October 4, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    I have to agree that it does not seem practical to have to line the jars and lids up, however I love the magnetic idea. In fact, I might use them for spices in my itsy bitsy kitchen. That way they’ll be within reach and off the counter! Win/win in my opinion.

  10. KellyLynn on December 29, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    I’m really late to the party, here, but I gotta say … it looks like a technique that is more stylish than it is useful. I can see my klutzy self dropping a jar or two while trying to maneuver it back into the lid. No thanks.

    On the other hand, lightweight items attached via strong magnets sound like a good match for me. I love the small spice jars that attach to a metal board that some home goods stores have. Maybe that idea can translate to the under-shelf jar idea. Instead of adding magnets to the jar, you could attach one of those magnetic knife-holders to bottom of the shelf. As long as the magnetic strip is strong enough, and the items stored are light enough, it could be a great combination.

  11. […] cabot stain | 28. Upcycle Old Wood Ladder into bookshelf 29. DIY ROPE SHELVING + TUTORIAL | 30. DIY Or DI-WHY?: Under Shelf Jar Storage 31.Building GRUNDTAL wall shelf without fixing to the wall | 32.DIY SHELVES // OUR HALL NOOK […]

  12. Edith on July 26, 2014 at 6:53 am

    What on earth?! haha, well I must say is pretty and it seems ingenious but that is the end of that. When I think about it would I do it? nah, I think it is for 1. not worth the time, the only real use would be to admire the thrift and ingenuity of whoever invented and 2. I am too much of a clutz to actually handle this without breaking the darn jarn lol. Nope, I would not do it

  13. Marie on September 9, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Hello all! I have been using jar storage for decades! I use baby food jars, peanut butter jars, & mayonnaise jars. Most of the bigger ones are used in the garage but I have plenty of seeds stored in baby food and olive jars. This idea is actually far from a new, I saw it in an old man’s garage back about 35 years ago if not longer!

  14. Kim Sturtevant on January 30, 2019 at 10:21 am

    I have a tiny house rental and plan to use this method to provide greater storage without taking up a lot of space. Saw it on Tiny House Nation and thought it was a great idea.

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18 Comments

  1. elise on September 6, 2012 at 6:07 am

    It’s Nift to me ! I especially like the idea of the petite spools of threads . Look up and find them and pretty with the colors coordination. Clever and so cute.

  2. Crystal on September 6, 2012 at 6:38 am

    Are you joking? While they are very cute and look great, I think it wouldnt be worth it. When screwing on lids, you have to get it lined up perfectly in order for it to properly screw. With the lid being screwed to something, it limits you and can make it very difficult to get the jar screwed on especially when you are in a hurry. Cute idea, but not practical.

    • livesimplybyannie on September 30, 2012 at 11:05 am

      Glad to hear you’re also turned off by that aspect… I think organizational methods have to be easy in order to be utilized and maintained, and the screwing back on is definitely not uber easy!

  3. Jen at the Social Home (@thepapersociety) on September 6, 2012 at 9:13 am

    I consider myself a little over the top when it comes to organizing, however this is one project I would never do. I just don’t think it’s that cute nor functional. Great organization has to be easy to maintain for me, and I can see the jars being a bit cumbersome to screw on properly as commented above. And if the labels weren’t perfectly lined up, I would go crazy. But props to those who follow through and find it effective storage for their needs!

    • livesimplybyannie on September 30, 2012 at 11:05 am

      Agreed! Totally! Haha and the labels all facing the same way… we are two peas in an OCD pod.

  4. ashley on September 6, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    i have to say, i’m not a fan of this “organization” trick. i’m not sure it’s even particularly useful for organizing. i just envision myself dropping the glass on wood and it breaking, or dropping it while trying to screw it in and spilling the contents everywhere. plus it’s not a very “clean” look. i like clean lines and my favorite storage pieces have doors or drawers, so everything is hidden.

    • livesimplybyannie on September 30, 2012 at 11:07 am

      Haha love that you wouldn’t even give it the right to be called an organizational method outright, sans quotation marks. I, too, could envision many accidents ensuing involving dropped jars..little beads everywhere… etc etc

  5. mikkandme on September 6, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Hi annie! The new site looks fantastic!!! I have some magnetic pieces similar to these that stick to the side of our metal file cabinet and I love them. I’ll take any “free space” I can get.

    • livesimplybyannie on September 30, 2012 at 11:07 am

      Thanks!! So happy you like it! Magnetic– now that’s a whole different story!

  6. Melissa on September 6, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    I am not a huge fan of this. I think it is ok in an area not used heaps and only for storing small things not used much – like different sized screws or nails in the shed.

  7. Ronna on September 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Not cute. Not easy to use. Not for me.

  8. […] The Door Shelving: DIY Or DI-WHY? Given the fact that my last investigative post entitled “Under Shelf Jar Storage: Neat-O Or Veto?” garnered such fervent replies (by the way, majority rules that idea is a big fat stupid), I […]

  9. Kari on October 4, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    I have to agree that it does not seem practical to have to line the jars and lids up, however I love the magnetic idea. In fact, I might use them for spices in my itsy bitsy kitchen. That way they’ll be within reach and off the counter! Win/win in my opinion.

  10. KellyLynn on December 29, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    I’m really late to the party, here, but I gotta say … it looks like a technique that is more stylish than it is useful. I can see my klutzy self dropping a jar or two while trying to maneuver it back into the lid. No thanks.

    On the other hand, lightweight items attached via strong magnets sound like a good match for me. I love the small spice jars that attach to a metal board that some home goods stores have. Maybe that idea can translate to the under-shelf jar idea. Instead of adding magnets to the jar, you could attach one of those magnetic knife-holders to bottom of the shelf. As long as the magnetic strip is strong enough, and the items stored are light enough, it could be a great combination.

  11. […] cabot stain | 28. Upcycle Old Wood Ladder into bookshelf 29. DIY ROPE SHELVING + TUTORIAL | 30. DIY Or DI-WHY?: Under Shelf Jar Storage 31.Building GRUNDTAL wall shelf without fixing to the wall | 32.DIY SHELVES // OUR HALL NOOK […]

  12. Edith on July 26, 2014 at 6:53 am

    What on earth?! haha, well I must say is pretty and it seems ingenious but that is the end of that. When I think about it would I do it? nah, I think it is for 1. not worth the time, the only real use would be to admire the thrift and ingenuity of whoever invented and 2. I am too much of a clutz to actually handle this without breaking the darn jarn lol. Nope, I would not do it

  13. Marie on September 9, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Hello all! I have been using jar storage for decades! I use baby food jars, peanut butter jars, & mayonnaise jars. Most of the bigger ones are used in the garage but I have plenty of seeds stored in baby food and olive jars. This idea is actually far from a new, I saw it in an old man’s garage back about 35 years ago if not longer!

  14. Kim Sturtevant on January 30, 2019 at 10:21 am

    I have a tiny house rental and plan to use this method to provide greater storage without taking up a lot of space. Saw it on Tiny House Nation and thought it was a great idea.

Leave a Comment





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