10 Creative Uses for Kitchen Canisters in Your Home

The purpose of a canister or a jar is to keep dry goods fresh and sealed away from pests.

Dry goods typically do not come in the best packaging for long-term storage. Once packages are open they are not so easy to reseal (unless you can make good use of chip clips). Pests like pantry moths can easily penetrate open packaging and they are hard to get rid of.

Using canisters and jars can prevent pest infestations and it’s a great way to organize your kitchen or pantry. Read on to find creative uses for kitchen canisters to keep your pantry items fresh and moisture-free.

What to store in canisters

1. Here’s what should not be put in canisters

I don’t recommend using canisters or jars to seal up packaged goods or individually bagged snacks. That’s because we are busy and we probably won’t take food out of the packages.

Instead, we’ll put the packages right in the canister and we’ll forget about them. Items like pasta, chips, and cookies are really not meant for long-term storage. 

Sealing foods in their packaging

Snacks and cereal can easily be sealed right in their own packaging. You can save money on buying canisters that you really don’t need. If you find your bagged snacks or cereals are expiring too soon, you’re either buying too many of them or opening too many varieties at the same time.

If you need to store pasta, a pasta canister can be ideal for longer-term storage. Just be more mindful of your grocery purchases.

Using plastic bins or baskets

Individually sealed and bagged snacks should go in plastic bins or baskets without tops so you can easily grab one.

Kitchen organization canisters

Pantry organization canisters

2. Bulk goods 

Store dry goods in jars or canisters, such as nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and dried vegetables. Store nuts and seeds in smaller canisters and put them in the fridge or freezer because the oils in them can go rancid over time.

Storing food in a canister

3. Baking ingredients and grains

If you use a lot of baking ingredients, you will need many canisters. Make sure your canister or jar has a good gasket on the top to keep out all pests. 

Canister uses

Tip: If you have too much rice that won’t fit into a canister, get a rolling cart to put in your pantry where you can store the bag sealed with a chip clip.

Storing laundry detergents in canisters

4. Laundry detergents

You can store laundry detergents in canisters to keep moisture out which will keep the detergent from clumping. If you make your own laundry detergent, put each ingredient into its own airtight canister.

Storing salt in a canister

5. Salt

I don’t recommend buying large containers of spices because they often go unused and become stale. But salt is fine to buy in bulk since it’s used frequently. You can store salt in a canister to keep moisture out.

Canister organization

Storing herbs and spices in canisters

6. Herbs and spices

Mini jars are perfect for you to store herbs and spices that you make and dry. Mini jars work well for herbs and spices purchased in small bags that need storage. 

Tip: you can also organize your spice cabinet using a Lazy Susan.

Canisters with lift-off tops

7. Canisters for physical limitations

Canisters with lift-off tops can be a great solution if you or a loved one has trouble opening traditional jars, lifting large bags or containers, or taking down large packages from higher cabinets. Pretty canisters can be stored on the countertop for convenience. 

Storing coffee in an opaque canister

Tip: Coffee is supposed to be stored in an opaque container. Make sure the container has a good sealing gasket to ensure freshness, especially if you’re storing coffee. Gaskets are not necessary for storing tiny packets of creamer or sugar, for example.

Mason jars

8. Mason jars

Mason jars are inexpensive containers to use as canisters. My favorites have hinged lids.

Plastic canisters

9. Plastic canisters

Plastic canisters are not always airtight. You don’t want to use them for anything you need to store for long periods.

Glass canisters

10. Glass canisters

Small glass jars or canisters are ideal for nuts, seeds, and baking ingredients like baking powder.

Creative uses for kitchen canisters

Nicely sealed canisters can be a good investment if your home is prone to pests like ants and pantry moths or if you live in a humid climate. You’ll be able to save your food if there’s an infestation or moisture problem, and that’s a great way to save money.

Let me know in the comments below how you use canisters or jars and what you store inside of them. And remember, canisters and jars are not just for the pantry!

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 1 comment
  • PAMELA PAMELA on Aug 29, 2022

    Some good ideas. I do not put any food in plastic containers...water or anything like cereal..plastic is toxic. Toss all the plastic with exception of open storage for organizing. Children should not play with plastic toys.. SPREAD THE NEWS. Thank you for your information. Pamela James,