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Canning season is usually the busiest time of year at my house. There is constantly a pile of jars in the sink, canning utensils all over the counter, and boxes and buckets full of produce in stacks on the kitchen floor.
Staying Sane During Canning Season
It’s a busy time of year, but at the same time, when I reach the end of each batch of home canned foods, I can’t help but feel a sense of pride and accomplishment that I’m able to do this great thing for my family.
Since canning season is just about ready to start (or already has started for you lucky southern states!), today, I thought I would share some tips on how I stay sane during this time of year and come out the other side with my head still firmly in place.
Make sure you have all your supplies in advance.
Nothing stresses me out more than having to make last-minute trips to the store for canning lids when I’m ready to put a batch of produce in the pressure canner.
Make sure to stock up on as many as you think you will need. (Count how many jars you did last year and add or subtract to that number what you should need for this year, and then buy a few extras just in case.)
With all of the chaos in the past couple of years about getting lids and jars, it’s smart to start stocking up early on what you think you might need. If you end up with a few extras you can always use them next year.
Here’s an article of mine that you might want to check out on Preparing for Canning Season to make sure you get what you need.
Make space for all the new canned goods.
If you didn’t do an “Eat from the Pantry” challenge earlier this year, now is the time! Eat what you can to clean up your shelves a bit and make room for more.
Also, make sure that your shelves are clean and secure once you’ve got them a little more cleaned off. It’s good to check those things while you can and when they aren’t so loaded with stuff.
I like to move canned goods from my storage area under the stairs into the main working pantry. Check out my latest video below and see what this part of my pantry looks like!
Start canning with a plan.
It doesn’t do much good to can jars upon jars of jelly if your family really doesn’t each much jelly.
Before you canning, sit down and sketch a rough estimate of what you think you will need. If you canned last year, you could go off of what you ran out of too quickly and what you had more than enough of.
You don’t want to give yourself extra work if you don’t really need to do it! In your figuring, don’t forget to include home canned goods that you may want to give as gifts later.
Put together the recipes you want to use.
If you have several bookmarked recipes you plan on making or trying, print them off now and keep them all in a binder together so they are easy to find.
Also, this will help you for next year so you can remember which recipes you made and whether or not you want to make them again.
Of course, you can find all the Little House Living canning recipes on our Canning and Preserving page to print. 🙂
Figure out when the best time to can will be.
For you, it might be on the weekends if you work outside the home all week, or maybe you are blessed with an air conditioner and staying at home so you can can any time of day!
Either way, figure out if certain times or days of the week will work best for you and make sure others in your household know about your “schedule”.
This will help ensure that you are able actually to do that canning that you want to do!
Since we do not have air conditioning, I personally plan on canning at night when the hubby can be home with the kids, and it’s a bit cooler inside. 🙂
No matter if you plan to can up just a few batches of goods this year or if you are planning on preserving food for your family for the entire winter, it’s always good to head into canning season with some plan. Then at the end of the season, you can look at your pantry shelves and feel accomplished instead of just feeling like you never want to see another canning jar again.
We are all in this together; you can do it!
What are your best tips for staying sane during canning season?
Merissa has been blogging about and living the simple life since 2009 and has internationally published 2 books on the topic. You can read about Merissa’s journey from penniless to the 100-acre farm and ministry on the About Page. You can send her a message any time from the Contact Page.
This blog post on Staying Sane During Canning Season was first published on Little House Living in July 2014. It has been updated as of May 2023.