Country Living Series

Friday, April 8, 2016

New shelving unit

This is mayonnaise.

We buy it in gallon-sized jugs at either Costco or Cash & Carry. I seldom use mayo, but Don's a sandwich guy, so he goes through it fairly rapidly.

When the mayonnaise is used up, I clean and save the jugs, because over the years I've learned they have endless uses. Everything from holding milk (when one or the other Jersey is in full production mode)... storing water to storing nails and screws to storing cornmeal to -- well, you name it and I've filled a jug with it.

What this meant was the pantry got a little overloaded with jugs. This photo doesn't reflect it, but at one point I had probably twenty jugs, all labeled and full of useful stuff.

Now let's back up a bit. When we installed our wood cookstove, it required us to move the Hoosier cabinet to a different location.

This meant we had an open spot next to the Hoosier to sort of frame in the entryway by the door. At first Don thought he would build a woodbox (so we could load it with firewood for the cookstove), but as it turns out, a woodbox hasn't been necessary. Instead, he decided to build me a small shelving unit to hold some of the jugs overflowing the pantry.

That's one of the many wonderful things about a woodworking husband. He can make something useful from scraps.

After measuring the size of the jugs, he cut pieces of old barnwood boards to appropriate lengths.

It took him no time to frame it up.

It had to be extra-study, however, to handle the weight of the jugs. To do this...

...he installed a full back.

I think the barnwood is very handsome.

The shelves hold jugs two deep and five across, so ten jugs per shelf.

On the bottom shelf, for the moment, I have ten gallons of water stored until such time as I need the extra shelf space.

It was a small project for Don, but it's a miracle of efficiency for me. Love his skill with wood!


  1. He did a really nice job, a good looking piece of furniture, that is more than decorative. Can't be beat. Congrats.

  2. Patrice Lewis, I love your husband. :)
    And I love me some mayonnaise jugs! Those are the preferred vessel for sheep feed and a host of other things. They're perfect for filling the big pan on the wood stove with water. The big guy can get his 'size 14' hands into them and can tell what's in one just by looking.
    They're just one more advantage to having sandwich-loving husbands!
    A. McSp

  3. Very nice.....Yes love it when you have someone to build things for you. Jo in Wa

  4. You are so lucky to have a husband with such good carpentry skills and a mayo lover to boot! Just wish I had a place for such useful shelves, these modern houses lack a lot, especially storage space.

  5. If anyone reading is a boat owner, you can use one of these jugs to hold your wallet, keys, phone, etc.. If your boat trip takes an unexpected turn(over), your valuables will float.

  6. Does any of the stored food items get a mayo flavour from the jug since plastic has a tendency to absorb scents?

    1. Nope. Unlike milk jugs, which never seem to quite wash clean, these clean up beautifully with no odor. They're sturdier than milk jugs too.

      - Patrice

  7. A "prepper" use for these jugs, and other inexpensive jugs like them is to use them for long term storage. Just run a small bead of silicone caulk in the rim of the cap, and drop in an o2 absorber.