Last week, I wrote about how how though my “Unbranding” experiment, I stopped focusing on brands, and instead look to the source and quality of the food and merchandise I purchase (or make). As I started out on this project, I realized that as much as I appreciate good design, the look that I prefer in my own home is one of simplicity without logos and labels. I buy in bulk because it’s better for the environment to take packaging out of the equation, but I found that a lovely and humble aesthetic was a welcome side effect of this new lifestyle.
All you need to do is to save jars from food that you’ve purchased or that you’ve been gifted, and remove the labels. You don’t have to buy a box of perfectly matching mason jars, but rather just collect them over time from anything you’ve bought that comes in a glass container– pasta sauce, jam, mustard, olives, maple syrup, etcetera. You can also ask your family members or friends who live nearby to save their used jars for you if you want to build your collection more quickly. Removing the labels can be a trial-and-error process, as not all labels are affixed equally. Sometimes it takes a good soaking in hot water, or scrubbing with steel wool, or using soap or lemon oil to remove the adhesive. Once the labels are removed and the jars are free of any lingering scent of their original contents, it’s fun to think about how to repurpose them and how to label them. To create the labels, you can use a chalk marker like I did, make labels using a label maker or washi/masking tape with a permanent marker, or your can simply leave the containers label-free if you prefer that look. The marker I used has a slight tendency to smudge, but therefore it is also easy to wipe off and re-label if I want to change the contents of the jar.
One caveat is that while I’ve switched to the package-free method with a lot of my groceries, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. What you don’t see in this photo are the dried papaya slices and pretzels in the plastic bags, also in my cupboard. Nobody’s perfect. You don’t have to be rigid– just do what you can with the resources you have and continue to improve as you have the time and new options become available in your local stores.
If y’all like this Beauty in Simplicity idea, I’ll plan to show you other areas in my house where I’ve followed this same principal, such as the medicine cabinet, skincare, and cleaning supplies.
Where in your home have you found ways to simplify?