January 10, 2023

Organize Using Simple Vintage Glass Refrigerator Dishes

a vintage glass dish full of seed packets on a wooden table

Rescuing lidless vintage glass refrigerator dishes is not only a great way to “reduce and reuse”, it’s a beautiful and simple way to organize your home.

old glass dishes on a wooden table holding various things like measuring spoons and cups, biscuit cutters, tea bags and cookie cutters

Storage for Anything

I love organizing, but I’m not necessarily good at it. I think a lot of people must be like me, because it’s reflected in American stores everywhere I go. Lots of different organization products and systems abound. There are some great ideas out there. But many of them are expensive and most of them are made out of plastic. That’s never really appealed much to me. Enter: vintage glass refrigerator dishes.

I’m not sure when the idea struck me, but one day at an antique mall I found a pretty, clear glass dish. It was from an earlier pre-plastic obsessed era when glass was king. That’s just how they stored food in the fridge. The dish I found was without its lid. This might seem like a disadvantage, but to me it had a whole new purpose. I could use it for anything.

And that’s what I did! Taking it home, I filled it with my measuring spoons and cups. It was perfect and I was perfectly thrilled with my find.

There are many benefits to using vintage glass refrigerator dishes, but there are a few disadvantages too.

Here are the reasons I think you should opt for adopting these lovely lidless glass refrigerator dishes:

micron markers in a green glass dish sitting on a wood table

The negative aspects of these dishes are just a few.

a vintage glass dish holds packets of seeds while sitting on a wooden table

My friend Amy at Mid-Atlantic Homestead has the great idea of using sewing machine drawers to organize her seed packets, which you can read about on her blog. I thought I’d see if one of my wider refrigerator dishes would work for that purpose. And it does! It’s not big enough to organize all of them, but it holds some of them. I guess I’d need a lot more dishes for organizing.

Other ideas for storing:

There are lots of other ideas for ways you can use your lidless refrigerator dishes:

A couple more creative ideas:

Things not to do OR what I’d imploringly suggest not to do

Once you have your vintage glass, to keep it in tip top shape, it’s best to treat it with care. Maybe I’m more paranoid than some. Or that I feel the age of an object more strongly than others. The historian in me dies a little when a piece of glass that has stood the test of time for 80+ years ends its life at my (or my child’s) hands.

Like I’ve mentioned before, these resources are finite. There’s no one going back in time and making these pieces again. Even if they were mass produced, these glass pieces are still works of craftsmanship and history that deserve some measure of respect. They have value, and it’s fantastic that we can show them that respect and value by putting them to work again in our homes.

Some things I suggest not to do with your vintage glass:

Well, that’s it. There are so many great advantages to using those orphaned, lidless vintage glass refrigerator dishes. I love them so much! Anytime I come across a new one for just the right price, I can’t help but adopt it to help me better organize my home even more.

Happy hunting and organizing! I hope you discover some really cute dishes. I know they’ll add that special, unique sparkle that only vintage glass can bring.

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