Food storage containers are great for packing up leftovers for later use and taking lunches with you, but they sure can fill up cabinet or drawer space quickly. Here's how to keep your collection in check.
Recycle any containers you can't or don't use. Discarding is always a good first step toward organizing because it means you will have fewer left over to organize and store, and because items you can't or don't use aren't in the way of the ones you do.
Sort through your set and recycle any lids or containers that don't have mates. Put them together, if it helps, so you can see exactly where something comes up short.
File the lids. Make one or two stacks of lids at the side of the space. If you can place them vertically, as you would with papers in a filing cabinet. Place them in order at least roughly by size. Freezer bags (like Ziploc or Glad) are also a easy way to keep lids together and in order. Another really effective way to store them is in a rectangular basket screwed on the back of the cabinet door. This way, they stay vertical and won't get in the way of the containers.
Corral the small stuff. If you like to use miniature containers for leftover dabs or for single-serving portions of toppings or trail mix in a lunch box, put them all in one larger container.
Give containers with long-term jobs permanent homes elsewhere. If a particular container is the one you always use to store flour in the pantry or cheese in the fridge, you might never need to store it with your other containers. Let it have its normal place in the pantry even if you're out of flour.
Make a habit of restacking containers back where they go every time you put away dishes. If you start sticking "just one thing" in edgewise, it will all be chaos again soon. Get your family's help, too. If others do thedishes, explain the new organization system and ask that they replace items in the stacks you have arranged.
Get containers that will last a few years and reuse them. While some of the semi-disposable plastic containers can last quite a while when cared for appropriately, they tend to be best for sending food home with family members who don't bring back containers.
Avoid collecting containers that come as packaging, such as margarine and sour cream tubs, unless you have a specific purpose for them and regularly use them up.
Store less frequently-used containers somewhere else. The pie or cake carrier that only gets used on special occasions could go in the garage, on a high shelf, or under the corner of the counter where it's hard to reach. If you use it infrequently enough, get rid of it.
Last edited:February 20, 2009 by Lillian May
Categories:Featured Articles | Clutter Busting | Kitchen Cleaning
Recent edits by: Maluniu, Jonathan E., Mywildcrow (see all)
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