I had tons of different bags of bulk foods, boxes open and half full crammed onto my shelves and precariously perched on top of each other. It. was. ugly. No, there are no before shots (you don't really want to see them anyway).
But the after is so nice. Everything has a place and most things have a label:
My favorite labels, of course are the pretty, swirly ones on the top shelf (which is actually the second shelf...the top shelf just has cereal boxes and a large jar of oatmeal). All I had to do was trace the template shapes onto the back of some white contact paper from the dollar store, cut them out and label them with a permanent marker.
Where'd I get all the jars?
I started using just extra quart size canning jars. Anything that was in a bag in the pantry but could fit in the quart jars went in. I also saved all of my glass jars from store bought foods for several months to build my collection. I just soaked off the label, gave it a good scrub and gave it a new home in my pantry. I did eventually purchase some large 1.5 gallon and half gallon jars but most of the jars are re-purposed food jars.
Why not chalkboard labels?
With chalkboard stuff everywhere, there was a temptation to try and make these chalkboard style. I'd seen a tutorial online of someone who had just painted contact paper with chalkboard paint to make chalkboard labels. And I thought about it. But at the end of the day, it was just a lot more work than I wanted to put into this project.
What if I change what's in the jars?
That's the beauty of contact paper! The contact paper just peels right off. I actually cut out a small stack of extra labels so if I switch out the contents of a jar, I can just peel the old label off and put a new one on. Tracing and cutting out the extra labels was way less work than painting a whole roll of contact paper with chalkboard paint (plus, no need to worry if it will flake or chip off later).
(if there was extra contact paper not big enough to make a label, I cut it into a square or rectangle to copy down things like cooking times or instructions and put it on the back of the jar)
If you're itching to organize your pantry, too, save some time and download my free printable label template instead of having to find the shapes yourself. There are a whole range of sizes so you can pick one that's the right size for your jar.