How to Easily Open a Tight Jar

Trying to open a tight jar can be a real pain.  I’ve seen a lot of fancy gadgets and dubious tips for opening tight lids, but there’s an easy way to do this.  And, you don’t need to go out and buy anything either: no neoprene, no appliances.

All you need is something you probably already have in your kitchen: the humble bottle opener.

My grandma taught me to do this long ago, and it works easily every time, no matter how tight the lid.

First take the bottle opener and slide it under the lid of the jar (see photo below)

open tight jar


Then, push down on the handle of the bottle opener, pushing up the pointed end (sort of like the downward motion of a see-saw).  This will break the vacuum seal and loosen the lid.

open tight jar

Once the seal is broken, you should be able to open the jar easily.  If it’s still stuck, turn the jar around and repeat the process on the other side.

open tight har


More Kitchen Organization Hacks and Tips

Kitchen Organization Hack: Oxo Peeler

Small Kitchen Storage Ideas: How to Store Everything You Need to Cook in a Tiny Kitchen

Easily Break Apart a Head of Garlic

Kitchen Organization Hack: Oxo Peeler

I love my Oxo peeler; in fact, it’s one of my favorite kitchen gadgets.

However, it’s black. The trouble with that is that most of the other gadgets are also black (and much taller than the peeler).

To make things worse, my gadget holder is black, or at least mostly black. It’s also quite deep, in order to accommodate tongs and spatulas and other long tools. But, the peeler is relatively short.

I have the other gadgets and tools sorted, and can easily find them, but every time I put the peeler back in the gadget holder it would get swallowed up. When I wanted to use it again, I had a hard time finding it. Not good when you have a small kitchen, not much counter space, and kitchen organization is critical!

After a bit of thought, I figured out the perfect “kitchen organization hack”: nail polish!

I dabbed some red nail polish on the bottom of the peeler. Now, when I put it back in the holder, (bottom-side up) the red is easy to spot in the midst of all those black gadgets.

When the polish wears off, I simply reapply it. Voilà!

More Kitchen Organization Hacks and Cooking Tips

Small Kitchen Storage Ideas: How to Store Everything You Need to Cook in a Tiny Kitchen

How to Easily Open a Tight Jar

Top Kitchen Gadgets

Easily Break Apart a Head of Garlic

Quick Soak Beans in an Hour

Small Kitchen Storage Ideas: How to Store Everything You Need to Cook in a Tiny Kitchen

Working and cooking in a small kitchen can be a real challenge.  My kitchen is soo small (how small is it)? It’s so small, that only one person can stand in it at a time.  Since, I live in New York City, space is at a premium, and kitchen organization hacks are critical.

The storage space is minimal. There’s practically no kitchen storage at all. My counter is the size of a sheet of paper. No drawers. There are two standard size cabinets, and two half-size cabinets. And that’s it.

With a space this tiny, clever kitchen storage ideas are a necessity. Here are some of the kitchen organization hacks I use everyday so I can find what I need, and still get food on the table. Yes, I do cook in there!


Look at organizing with a fresh eye; use a sock organizer for small jars and container lids.

Sock Box – Clear Drawer Organizer – Set of 2

This is supposed to be for socks, but I use several in my microwave cart in the kitchen. They’re great for keeping smaller items in one place. One has plastic container lids, another has small cans of tomato sauce and tomato paste. A third has small bottles (like sesame oil and rice vinegar), and a fourth one has boxes of tea. No socks in sight.

SE – Storage Container Set – Plastic, Round, Screw Top, 6 Pc

I stole this idea from my mom. I think she got them in a marine store (they were supposed to be for fishing lures). However, they’re also great for storing spices. They can be stacked, labeled, and stuck in a drawer or a cabinet, without taking up a lot of space.

Ten Easy Small Kitchen Storage Ideas

If your space is small, then you need to think a bit creatively.

  1. Limited floor space? Look up! Hang things from the walls. I’ve got my spice rack, wire shelving, teaspoons, and paper towels on the wall.
  2. Use wire racks to double your shelf space. I put wire shelves in my microwave cart, giving me two levels instead of just one.
  3. Get pots that stack! If you’re really stuck for cabinet space, try a marine or camping store. They’ve got sets of pots that stack into each other, so they take up less space.
  4. Measure appliances and space before you buy. Not every toaster oven or blender will fit. Take a tape measure when you go shopping, or measure (and write down) your counter size before you buy online.
  5. Look for double (or triple) duty appliances and furnishings. My microwave cart is also a cabinet, a towel holder, a knife block, storage for silverware, and counter space.
  6. Move cookbooks to another room. Since my living room/dining area/kitchen is all really one big space, the cookbooks are on a shelf over the TV. I only have to walk a few feet to get the one I need.
  7. Store plastic bags in an old tissue box. Thumbtack or nail it to the inside of a kitchen cabinet door. Or, for a more elegant solution, try a fabric plastic bag holder.
  8. Use wire baskets to separate your cleaning supplies, or keep all your pots together.
  9. Hang small appliances (like microwaves or toaster/ovens) under your cabinets.
  10. Get slide-out drawers for more storage.

Use Your Kitchen Door

An over-the-door spice rack saves counter and wall space.

Organize It All 3-Tier Wall-Mounted Spice Rack – Chrome
Keep all your spices organized and easy to reach. This spice rack is very sturdy, and big enough to clear out an entire cabinet of spices.

Shelf on Rails Pantry Pull Out Shelf

Wire storage shelves are essential in small kitchens. You can use them to create an extra shelf (and get twice as much space in your cabinets), or just to keep your food, ingredients, or cleaning supplies all in one place.

ClosetMaid  Two-Tier Cabinet Organizer

These stacking shelves give you split level cabinets. I used them to create extra space in my microwave cart. There are more in my kitchen cabinet, which let me stack sandwich size plates on top of larger dinner plates.

Stack Everything

Get bowls, containers, and even pots that stack. They use less space.

Stansport Stainless Steel 7 Piece Cookset

The pots nest inside each other, so they use up a lot less space than standard pots. If you’re really, really stuck for space, this set includes 4 quart , 3 quart, 2 quart and 1 quart pots, 10 inch fry pan, a universal lid and a detachable handle. The whole set fits in a small box (so you could even use it for actual camping if you wanted to).

Add a Rail

small kitchen storage tips
small kitchen storage tips
Source: wiccahwang on flickr cc 2.0

Here’s an easy kitchen storage solution: hang your utensils, potholders, and extra shelving.

More Storage Solutions for Small Kitchens

This old house storage tips– a pegboard drawer (like turning a workshop board on its side
Not Martha– 
Do it yourself storage projects
Creative storage solutions
– Storage outside your cabinets, clear shelves in the windows, or open shelves under cabinets.
Kitchen Storage Solutions: Pantry Storage Tips & Cabinet Organization Tips
A spring rod tension shelf (for spices), a cookware organizer, and an instant plastic bag holder (use an old tissue box).

Multipurpose Storage/Furniture

A microwave cart (like the one below) is counter space, pantry, and towel rack.

Winsome Wood Single Drawer Storage Cart, Natural

This compact cart is made of real wood (not particle board). It’s got a counter top for extra workspace or small appliances, plus a towel rack, and a drawer for silverware. The cabinet underneath has a built-in shelf. Add more storage with wire baskets and shelving. Since it’s small (19×25, 34) you can push it out of the way when you’re not using it.

Whitmor Supreme Cart

This holds my recycling (on the bottom shelf, with bags tucked into a repurposed Amazon box), cat supplies in the middle, and coffee and tea supplies on the top.

It’s pretty easy to assemble, and you can adjust the shelves up and down to whatever height you like. And, it has wheels, so you can roll it out to get easier access.

It’s only 13″ wide, so it takes up very little space. If that’s too wide, there’s a smaller one that’s only 9″ wide.

Got a small kitchen? What are your best storage ideas and tips?