Canning Storage and Organization

I have been hauling all of my canning supplies up and down the stairs for nearly 7 years now(at this house). This year was a struggle with my shoulder being dislocated and severe sciatic nerve pain. I was bound and determined to build some sort of storage on our main floor. 

At first, I thought I could simply put my supplies in our pantry, which is a very nice size. The problem is, it is simply too deep. The jars become very heavy and without extra support on all 4 sides of the shelves, the shelves simply cannot support the full weight.

My second thought was to put a shelf behind my door in my laundry room. This was the plan for the last couple of months, but with processing 3 deer and having a bountiful garden this year, I realized that option would only fit a small portion of my jars. 

The final and best solution was to build a full wall shelf in my small dining room. I basically had a 9′ wide section of wall to work with and up to 22″ inches deep.

I did not want any of the shelves too deep as the support would have to increase greatly with more depth plus, didn’t I mention my dining room is rather small. We walk right through it to use our patio door every time our dog needs to go out. It is the most used exterior door in our house.

I decided I could spare 12″ deep for the bottom shelf and went with 8″ deep for the upper shelf. This basically allows enough room for me to put 2 quart jars deep on the upper shelves. No need for me to be reaching my whole arm in to find something or worrying about the weight. 

I had to rework the spacing on the bottom shelf because some of my cookbooks are too thin and began to fall through the cracks. Good thing I pre-drilled, because the lil slats like to crack if you don’t.

Fully stocked! I only had 2 jars that did not fit. If you are curious what I have on my shelf, here is the list: Hearty Spaghetti Sauce, Venison, Venison Stroganoff, Beef Vegetable Soup, Jams of all kinds, Apple Sauce and Spiced apples. That is shelf #1! Chili(no beans), Venison Stew,
Corned Venison , Beets, Carrots, Green Beans and Apple Pie Filling fills shelf #2. Sweet Relish(sugar free), Dilly Beans, Dill Relish, Venison Stew(portable jars), Dilled Tomatoes, Pumpkin Chunks, Pureed Pumpkin, and Tomato Basil Sauce round out shelf #3. The top shelf is loaded with Pickles of all kinds, more Venison Stew and the remaining portion is stocked full of Beef Bone Broth and a mere 4 jars of Chicken Bone Broth. I was told I need to expand my garden next year. I love that idea but I am not sure where else to build another beautiful shelf like this for such an expansion!
Check out these beautiful grooves!

This was completely intentional, but also a complete accident that I found these boards. I wanted something that had texture. Last thing I needed was jars sliding all over the place!

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