At this point in the season, you’ve worked very hard at growing and putting up the harvest and hopefully are basking in the fruits of your labor. The tricky thing about having all that home-canned goodness is finding the place to store your cans so that they are kept safe and are accessible for the winter ahead.
First things first: Store your canned goods without the rings. Not only does this make them last longer so that you can use them over and over again, if by some chance your processed food were to spoil, the jar would build up pressure inside and could burst the jar if the ring were on tight. If the rings are not on, there’s a better chance that the lid’s seal would pop off without all the mess.
Next, find your storage area. If you have a root cellar, this is an excellent place to store your canned food. If you don’t, a shelf placed out of direct sunlight and in a temperature-controlled room will be just fine. Just do your best to avoid the jars getting too warm or freezing. It’s best if the shelf you store your food on has some sort of protection to prevent the jars from slipping off and shattering on the ground. A cabinet with a door is ideal, but even a shelf with a lip will do the trick.
If you live in a small house or apartment and don’t have a lot of shelf space to store your canned food, you can get creative. Store them behind the couch, in a box in a closet, in some crates in your laundry room or under furniture. As long as you have easy access to your jars and can keep track of where they are so nothing goes to waste, any space is fair game.