Storage jars: 10 handy storage solutions for small spaces

Stylish, yet functional, storage jars make the perfect addition to a small kitchen, bathroom, and more. Be inspired by our small storage solutions

selection of storage jars filled with nuts, lentils and other dried goods on kitchen surface by The White Company
(Image credit: The White Company)

Storage jars – whether repurposed or purchased with intention – make for a stylish, yet functional addition to your home, and are perfect for storing rice, nuts and other dried foods in the kitchen; cotton balls in the bathroom and a multitude of other tiny bits and bobs in need of a new home. Plus, reusing old jars in this way is a great way of reducing waste, and is, arguably more environmentally friendly than recycling.

So rather than let them gather dust underneath the sink, put them to good use as essential extra storage throughout your home. If you're looking for more storage ideas for a small house, take a look at our handy guide. Then, for room by room inspiration, you may find the following guides a handy read:

1. Use storage jars to master open shelving 

If you are dealing with a lack of space in your kitchen, open shelving is perfect for both adding interest and creating a great storage solution for a small kitchen. 

Try mixing up different sized glass jars and using them to store dry ingredients – arrange them amongst some house plants and some nice crockery and congrats, you’ve mastered the open shelving trend. 

kitchen cupboard with blackboard paint doors and storage jars and storage trolleys full of dried food by elfa

Recreate the look with Elfa

(Image credit: Elfa)

2. Keep your utility room organised 

Even if, like the majority of us, you haven’t been blessed with a huge airy utility room, you can still make your laundry space efficient, functional and good looking. Using bins and jars to store your laundry room paraphernalia is a great way to keep them organised and accessible. You can even label your jars for your convenience.

For more laundry room storage ideas, browse our design guide.

utility room with shelves for keeping storage jars and storage tins and baskets by garden trading

For similar storage solutions, try Garden Trading

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

3. Decant your bathroom essentials into storage jars

Sure, purely functional items like cotton buds and makeup wipes don’t look all that great when they are wrapped in plastic, but stick them into some pretty glass jars, and you've got yourself a chic display.

Not only do glass jars look lovely but they free up valuable cupboard space, making them the perfect small bathroom storage solution. Find more bathroom storage ideas in our guide.

bathroom with stylish wood and marble bathroom sink vanity decorated with accessories and handy storage jars

Room by Neptune

(Image credit: Neptune)

4. Grow a herb garden in a jar

You don’t need tons of space to create an indoor garden with herbs – just an empty shelf or a neglected window ledge. Most herbs are happy in a small container, so a storage jar works perfectly, plus, they look beautiful and make your kitchen smell mouth-wateringly amazing.

For more Mason jar DIY ideas, browse our handy guide and for herb garden advice we can help too.

Mason storage jars filled with herbs and hung up to create a handy indoor garden by neptune

(Image credit: Mason Jar Crafts)

5. Create your own terrarium in a jar

If you want to bring even more of the outdoors in, storage jars make a great home for small succulents. Try using a wide necked jar, fill it half way with soil and add your plants to create a mini terrarium.

For more house plant help browse our advice piece.

Storage jar used to create a stylish tabletop terrarium filled with succulents by garden trading

Recreate the look with Garden Trading

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

6. Makeshift some outdoor lighting

Light up your garden by using glass storage jars as candle holders – just drop in some votive candles or fill your jars with a couple of inches of water and float tea lights in them. 

Try to use different styles of glass and mix large designs with smaller jars, and combine various textures – here seagrass candle holders look great paired with simple glass. 

Our guide to the best garden lighting: from fairy lights to wall lanterns provides plenty more stylish solutions that are suitable for spaces outside.

Storage jars and seagrass candle holders filled with pillar candles to create striking outdoor lighting feature by the white company

Find similar storage jars at The White Company

(Image credit: The White Company)

6. Declutter you desk with upcycled jars

If your home office is more of a makeshift nook than a full blown office, then adding extra storage without making the space feel cluttered can be tricky. Enter storage jars. Great for collating all your office bits and bobs in a way that looks great and doesn’t take up a lot of room. 

We love how blogger It All Started With Paint has organised her desk using Mason jars. Don't miss our DIY Mason jar ideas for more customisation inspiration. For more home office storage ideas, browse our design guide.

Mason storage jars used as desk organisers and pencils pots

(Image credit: It All Started With Paint)

7. Organise your garage work space

Looking for garage storage ideas? Why not use storage jars to separate all your DIY paraphernalia? You could simply label the jars and stack them on a shelf, or go even further and wall mount a Magnetic Knife Holder, like this model from B&Q, to attach them to. 

For more garage storage ideas for every budget, browse our practical guide.

Storage jars used to store nuts, bolts and other bits and bobs in a garage work space

(Image credit: Getty)

8. Keep your makeup essentials accessible

Why spend your hard earned money on beautifully package makeup just to hide it away in drawers? Get them out and on show. Kilner jars are ideal for makeup storage – use small ones to keep your favourite lipsticks accessible and narrow ones to keep your brushes organised. 

Find more nifty makeup storage ideas in our handy guide.

lust living dressing table with pink desk chair and round gold mirror adorned with storage jars used to store make-up

(Image credit:

9. Get your shed sorted 

There are few things more pleasing than good shed storage. But if you are finding it hard to face the black hole that has formed at the end of your garden, then start small – sort all the little bits and bobs that have been accumulating in corners and on shelves into storage jars.

Browse more garden shed storage ideas in our handy guide.

Storage jars used to organise a shed, pegs, twine, tags and other gardening essentials stored by the white company

Recreate the look with The White Company

(Image credit: The White Company)

10. Store your pet food stylishly in jars

Finding a pet food storage container that isn’t an eyesore can be a mission. If you don’t have room to keep your pet food hidden away, or if you want to have it readily accessible, storage jars are a great option. 

We think these containers from Garden Trading are just too cute to hide away anyway and the neutral colour won’t offend anyone's design sensibilities. Find all our other pet products, hacks and advice on our dedicated page.

kitchen with storage jars and containers used to keep pet food by garden trading

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Want even more space-saving storage solutions?

Small Spaces Month:

This article is part of Small Spaces Month, brought to you in association with the new Real Homes Travel Edition. A compact version of our hugely respected monthly magazine, Real Homes Travel Edition brings you all the same great content as the full-sized edition, but in an even more bag-friendly format that’s perfect for inner city commutes and French riviera holidays. Get yours now at WHSmith, Easons and selected newsagents.

Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer before moving to the Livingetc team in 2021 where she took on a role as Digital Editor. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration. When she isn't writing about interiors, she is renovating her own spaces – be it wallpapering a hallway, painting kitchen cupboards or converting a van.