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Do You Have Canisters on your Counter?

Fun2BHere
25 days ago

In the past, I always kept all supplies in the pantry and clear counters. However, my current kitchen is short on closed storage so I was considering using canisters on the counter for flour and sugar. Please share your pros and cons for countertop storage with pictures (if you would be willing) of your set-up. I was considering these vintage wooden ones.



Comments (60)

  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
    25 days ago

    Perhaps you could get a large basket to hold containers for such?

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  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
    25 days ago

    Canisters per se, seem really dated although I like those wooden ones!

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  • Kathsgrdn
    25 days ago

    I used to but it always seemed cluttered since I have a very small kitchen not much counter space. When my kitchen was redone I put the canisters in the corner, pull out lazy susan type thing that the cabinet maker talked me into. I really like it now.

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  • mtnrdredux_gw
    25 days ago
    last modified: 25 days ago

    Outdated? those are lovely.


    I bought these Crane notes in college and have loved this pattern since.



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  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
    25 days ago

    I think canisters in general are dated but those wooden ones are lovely! And I like those florals!

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  • rob333 (zone 7b)
    25 days ago
    last modified: 25 days ago

    My mom used to hang on to clothes so long, that they were so old, that they were retro when she wore them again!

    mtn, those notes!

    Fun2BHere thanked rob333 (zone 7b)
  • morz8 - Washington Coast
    25 days ago

    I have two large enameled Martha Stewart canisters ordered in '90s - one holds AP flour and the other sugar. The hummingbirds eat way more sugar than I use for anything else. The canisters are in a lower cupboard. All else is in original packaging or tightly sealed containers in pantry, not on my counter. I dislike counter clutter and have too much out right now. Periodically I have to go through things, put some things away. A few small appliances stay - toaster, coffee maker, charging wine opener and my food processor that is just too heavy to carry in and out. Do I really need our vitamins, a standing citrus press, scale, more than one bottle olive oil, utensil container, soap for cookware, hand soap, hand sanitizer in view? No, I don't but they are out now all the same along with some fruit, onions and shallots. Sigh.

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  • Judi
    25 days ago
    last modified: 25 days ago

    Outdated makes me think I might go the other direction. My mother's, her mother's, and maybe even another generation before.

    Use them!

    I have my mom's circa 1950 aluminum canisters in the pantry. They're used. Same with some of her pots and pans.





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  • Fun2BHere
    Original Author
    24 days ago

    @rob333 (zone 7b), I like those canisters a lot!


    I’ve always been a clear counters person, but somehow this house seems to call for something different, maybe because of the lack of storage, maybe because I seem to have a newly awakened appetite for pattern and color.

  • Annie Deighnaugh
    24 days ago

    Yes I have clear glass round canisters on my counter to hold my flours and sugar. But they are off on the side, and not in a prominent location.

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  • sweet_betsy No AL Z7
    24 days ago

    Yes, I do--not enough storage. Mine are retro--my aunt's cannisters which became mine when she died. She was like a second mother so they are a fond remembrance.

    Fun2BHere thanked sweet_betsy No AL Z7
  • chloebud
    24 days ago

    Judi, my mom had those same canisters. The set included a container she kept on the stove for bacon grease.

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  • rob333 (zone 7b)
    24 days ago
    last modified: 24 days ago

    Oh, I think I said it poorly? My canisters are so old, they're new? Something like that. I probably should use them, but they're in bad shape. So they're just decoration at this point. I don't know how I could protect them.

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  • sheesh
    24 days ago

    Judi and Chloebud, I, too,still have and use my mom’s cannisters including the one for grease, plus one for coffee! They're pretty battered after probably 70-75 years and i dont keep grease in the grease can; I dont think she did, either either. I have corn meal in it.

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  • Lars
    24 days ago
    last modified: 24 days ago

    I have a couple of tall blue glass pasta storage containers (like this) on my counter top in L.A., but none for flour or sugar, which I use less often. I keep flour in old mayonnaise jars in the pantry (in Cathedral City) or on a low shelf in the storage table I bought to house my meat slicer in L.A.

    I use sugar mainly for hummingbird feeders, and so it does not need to be handy. I store whole wheat flour in the freezer and don't use much white flour.

    Basically, I do not want canisters on my counters because I have limited counter space, and I like to keep ingredients stored in jars with tight lids instead of canisters.

    I cannot think of any time that I have ever used canisters.

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  • bpath
    24 days ago
    last modified: 24 days ago

    I have a canister. We have limited storage, so I took a page from a Lillian Vernon set I once owned, and painted a coffee can the same yellow as my kitchen, and it holds coffee next to the coffeemaker.

    Other than that, we have a bunch of glass jars from our family’s church. They had a lot left over after an event, and the next year the teens’ annual chili for ”souper bowl Sunday” saw my parents receiving at least a dozen of these jars of chili! After sharing, and transferring the rest to freezer storage, we now have them. They hold grains, cat treats, cookies, dried fruit, candy, whatever, and sit on a narrow shelf, and thereabouts. (and remind me that our cabinets need painting.) Meanwhile, because we also have limited counterspace, the flour and sugar are in the pantry.


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  • lily316
    24 days ago

    Nope, flour and sugar are in the pantry.

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  • arcy_gw
    24 days ago
    last modified: 24 days ago

    Never had canisters worth showing off, never had counter top room for them. I don't think it's outdated. I think it's a kitchen function comes first!!!! I've always had clear canisters and they have their own cupboard.

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  • aok27502
    24 days ago

    I've never used cannisters because I can't get past the idea of bugs. Flour is in the freezer, everything else is in the pantry.

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  • foodonastump
    24 days ago
    last modified: 24 days ago

    My mom has those aluminum ones, too! No grease. They will be held onto for sure, too many menories. There's flour in the flour bin, sugar in the sugar, perhaps tea bags in the tea, no idea what if anything is in the coffee. Will have to look next time I’m over.

    I need to find better storage for flour. I just drop my bags into large ziplock bags and stuff them up in a cabinet, but that becomes messy. Whatever I decide, it won’t end up on the counter.

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  • morz8 - Washington Coast
    24 days ago

    aok, I've never had pantry bugs and keep a few types flour including rice flour that I like for lightly breading things . Maybe this climate doesn't really lend itself to them. My mothers sister lived her entire adult life until retirement on the island of Guam working for civil service. Everything from cereal, to flour, rice, sugar, pasta, most what would be considered kitchen/meal staples and their spices were frozen only. She needed freezers, not cabinets for her kitchen 😁

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  • jck910
    24 days ago

    @rob333 (zone 7b) Interesting


    Mine only hold teabags - They were a gift in the 80's or 90'smy brother-in-law worked for Princess House and they were a specialty item limited edition

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  • Sueb20
    24 days ago

    I don’t bake, and can’t remember the last time I used sugar or flour for anything. So it wouldn’t make sense for me to use up counter space for them. However, I do drink coffee…we have three clear glass canisters next to the Nespresso machine with her coffee, his coffee, and decaf.


    I like those wood canisters a lot.

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  • yourresidentdj
    24 days ago

    My kitchen is useless when it comes to space. I have 12 inches on left side of sink and 24 on right side.

    Have one giant sink so my drying rack is on right side. Lost one full cabinet and drawer when they installed dishwasher. Had to purchase storage shelves for dry food and miscellaneous stuff. So no canisters for me.

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  • faftris
    24 days ago

    Don't I wish I had enough counter space for canisters!

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  • Bluebell66
    24 days ago

    No. We don't really have anything that we use frequently enough to keep on the counter, plus I like to keep our counter mostly clear for easier cleaning. When I baked a lot I kept flour, sugar, etc., in glass jars. I do have a ceramic cookie jar on the counter that contains coffee because I use that every day. I grind beans once weekly, just enough for one week, and put them in the cookie jar.

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  • OllieJane
    24 days ago
    last modified: 24 days ago

    I have black canisters that blend in with my black/dark brown backsplash and counters-I keep dog food in the largest, healthy dog biscuits in the middle one, and nothing in the smallest one. I use them too much to put them in the pantry. I've been trying find a blackish/brown stoneware canister to replace mine though.

    I keep my flour and sugar in clear containers in pantry.

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  • chisue
    24 days ago

    I don't use enough flour to keep in a big canister. Sugar, coffee, cereal, crackers etc are in clear plastic containers with snap-on lids. (Remember...I don't actually *cook*.)

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  • beesneeds
    24 days ago

    I have three vintage dark brown glass jars on the counter. Dried minced onion, minced garlic, parsley flake. Three bamboo pinch cans on the shelf above. Salt, sugar, black pepper. Otherwise I have a lot of canisters in the pantry that are not counter pretty. Mostly plastic, with locking seals. And a lot of canning jars for storing some goods.

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  • Jasdip
    24 days ago
    last modified: 24 days ago

    I picked these up at yard sales or the second-hand stores. Sugar, flour and tea bags.


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  • littlebug Zone 5 Missouri
    24 days ago

    No. I have become very averse to clutter.

    I got some when we got married, and I used them because my mom used hers, but only for a few years. They were decorative ceramic and not critter-proof, so I stopped using them in favor of rubbermaid and tupperware stored out of sight.

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  • foodonastump
    24 days ago

    Hmmm, back to the aluminum ones for a sec, turns out they are one of the few things I’m going to have to fight my sister on when such time comes.

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  • HU-787167202
    24 days ago

    "I've never used cannisters because I can't get past the idea of bugs." Which is exactly why everything is in a cannister!! Mine are all air tight. No room on the coutners so not a display worthy. I did not understand the intrest in plastic containers for cereal/pasta etc. etc. until we visited Florida. EVERYTHING needs to be repackaged when you live in the tropics--or if I did anyway!!

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  • Jilly
    24 days ago
    last modified: 24 days ago

    I have my grandmother’s Ransburg canisters, c. 1950s. I remember there being four in the set; I’m not sure how the smallest one got separated or where it is.

    They’re mainly just for looks, but sometimes I’ll store non-food items in them, which I promptly forget about. I’m not a baker, so don’t have the need to store flour, sugar, etc in bulk.

    They do make me happy to see every day … she was a wonderful baker. :)



    I really like the wood ones you’re considering.

    ETA: Meant to add — my kitchen is quite small, so I have these in a corner. They aren’t ever in the way at all, plus help hide my lamp cord!

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  • bpath
    24 days ago

    Bugs, ugh. When I lived in Texas I pulled out some flour to bake, and ugh, bugs. Thereafter, here’s what I did: froze the flour for a few days. Then, I worked in a hotel and a lot of food for the restaurant came in big glass jars. Like pickle jars. So I brought a few of those home. I felt better that I could see IF there were bugs, and also how much flour, sugar, cookies, whatever, I had left. These days they are a little big for my hands to handle, so they are in the basement looking for a new use.

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  • chloebud
    24 days ago
    last modified: 24 days ago

    “Judi and Chloebud, I, too,still have and use my mom’s cannisters including the one for grease…”

    I don’t have my mom’s canisters but do have her aluminum cake cover that’s the same as the canister set with ”CAKE” on it.


    ”Thereafter, here’s what I did: froze the flour for a few days.”

    I once heard from a very good source to freeze flour for 48 hours when you bring it home, then transfer it to the fridge for permanent storage. That was a long time ago and I’ve just always done it.

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  • pekemom
    24 days ago

    Funny you should ask….just yesterday I looked at my 4 lined up matching kitty and sunflower cannisters. mostly empty, just for decor. I put one away and instead put 3 out, biggest in the corner and one on each side. Takes up a little less space but I still enjoy them. I’m trying to declutter, little by little.

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  • Sherry8aNorthAL
    24 days ago
    last modified: 24 days ago

    I did and I liked them, but had to get rid of to put the big Kitchen Aid mixer there. My kitchen is VERY space challenged!

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  • PattiG(rose)
    24 days ago

    I have these canisters on my counter. My sister bought them for me because she knows what a cat lover I am!


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  • Kitch4me
    24 days ago

    I have two glass canisters on my counter. They store coffee and rice, which we use daily.



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  • jsk
    24 days ago

    3 small canisters - coffee pods in tall one, salt in the middle small square, and sugar in the right round one for DH's coffee.

    Flour and more sugar in pantry in tupperware containers.

    I love those wood ones you show.




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  • rob333 (zone 7b)
    24 days ago

    Huh. My canisters shown above? They pretty common. I looked up the mark and they're on eBay and here's a listing on Poshmark. Actually, there was another set listed at a higher price, but like mine has three containers.


    https://poshmark.com/listing/Vintage-Metal-Tin-Container-Canister-Set-Of-4-Raised-Floral-Made-In-Holland-659b80e897b5d0cd968613b0?srsltid=AfmBOooRZu48zy_z11nFsuRDFUBa1uM7IbDvRvBkEG_qM_4vBveXkIPy0hg#utm_source=gdm_unpaid

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  • Judi
    24 days ago

    chloebud, I still have the coffee canister, but it doesn't hold anything. We use Nespresso pods.


    I don't know what happened to the grease canister, but I remember it saw a lot of use when my mom was still cooking.

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  • Lulu
    24 days ago
    last modified: 24 days ago

    My husaband is the one who hates clutter, and he is very adament about it. So far, this is all I can get away with. Tea amd rice in the small ones, pasta and coffee in the other.



  • nelliebean
    24 days ago

    I use my cannisters. They have flour, sugar, coffee and tea in them. I find it handy to have them nearby.


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  • Judi
    24 days ago
    last modified: 24 days ago

    Lulu, is that all that's on your counters? One of my uncles was a control freak and forced his wife to cover all countertop appliances. It's no wonder she drank.

    I love having the room to make cooking/food prep easily accessible in my kitchen. For 25 years I lived with a much smaller space with hardly any storage. It's so nice having a pantry where many things can be stored rather than sitting out. Still, I don't want everything out of sight. I love to cook and want my kitchen to work for me.

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  • arkansas girl
    24 days ago

    Lulu, your husband would have a cow if he saw my kitchen stuff. I would definitely have canisters if I had the room. I have a very tiny kitchen and is currently maxed out! HA!

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  • Lulu
    24 days ago

    In my dreams! And he wants me to get rid of the kettle.

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  • Judi
    23 days ago

    Does he cook?