They're everywhere – in every kitchen, pantry, and cabinet. The dreaded food storage containers!
Plastic bins, glassware, lids of every shape and size – sometimes it seems like they really are invading your space and leave piles of chaos in their wake (I use Tupperware as a generic for all food storage containers).
And they reproduce themselves somehow – lids without bottoms, bottoms without lids – ever ask yourself “where did they all come from”
No, not outer space – the phenomenon of the invasion is entirely of our own making. Because we want to store leftovers and not waste food – but the problem is, we buy them usually a few at a time, and they end up mis-matched and unstackable. Few people actually invest in a complete set of all-sizes of food storage containers of a consistent style, color and shape.
Here are some tips to battle your Tupperware Clutter Monster:
Step #1 - Haul out ALL of your storage containers. Yes, ALL of them! Put them on the table and sort – immediately get rid of orphans without matching tops or bottoms. Be brutal – and realistic. How many containers of which sizes do you really need or use?
Once you know the shapes and sizes it’s time to consider how to store them.
Step #2 – Organizing Ideas.
- Dishdrainers. These are great to store lids neatly, stack by size and then color. Then get another clear bin to stack the bottoms, by size. Depending on how many you have, this might only take up one cabinet.
- Office Mail Sorters. This one from Joss &Main holds lids in graduated levels, good for seeing different lid sizes at a glance.
- Drawer Dividers. You can get adjustable and customizable drawer dividers – try these expandable ones from Bed, Bath and Beyond, interlocking ones from Container Store or bamboo wood adjustable dividers from Amazon.
- Box Organizing. Use boxes - either pretty cool ones from BB&B or Target, or re-use empty boxes of pasta shells, cereal, rice or other square and rectangular pantry items. Put like sizes together - lids can either stack in the box with their bottoms or in between boxes. Measure your drawers/cabinets, and then take a trip to the dollar store for boxes to stack containers in, for a truly low-budget solution.
- Designer Storage. This white mesh organizer from the Container Store is a nice one and you can mount it onto a pull-out glider base. Or this beautiful customized drawer from Wayfair making everything easily seen and accessible.
If you do decide to invest in a set of containers, think rectangular, not round. Yes, those cylindrical glass containers look lovely, but square or rectangular boxes are actually more space-saving and utilize every bit of available space. They're stackable, too.
Conquer the Tupperware Clutter Monster for easy food storage systems!