10 Organizing Tips for Controlling Plastic Storage Container Chaos

When helping clients to organize their kitchen cabinets, they often complain about how difficult it is to keep their plastic food storage containers organized.  Questions often asked include:

  • Do I nest the containers?
  • Do I store each container with their lid?
  • How many plastic containers should I keep?

Organizing plastic food containers can be a challenge, especially if you are short on kitchen cabinet space.  There are several different options for keeping your food storage containers organized.  Here are a few organizing ideas and options that you might try:

  1. Stack all lids together.  For easy retrieval, organize lids by size, i.e. keep similar sizes together and stack vertically inside another container, or store-bought lid organizer.
  2.  Always return lids to the same place and in the exact location on the shelf or inside drawer.
  3. Store lids inside large gallon sized storage bags and stand upright.  Keep similar sizes together.  Flat bottom storage bags would work well for this option.
  4. Store lids inside a lid holder that is attached to the inside of your cabinet door.
  5. Nest containers, whenever possible and train other family members to do the same.
  6. Donate some.  If you keep more containers than you need, sometimes the problem is that you simply have too many containers than you have the space for.
  7. If you have the space, instead of storing on a shelf, try storing the containers in a deep drawer.
  8. Avoid storing containers too high.  You will have more difficulty keeping them organized.
  9. Avoid using random containers, like margarine tubs and containers from take-out restaurants, because you will eventually run out of space, unless you purge regularly.
  10. Go through your storage containers and lids periodically, and get rid of what you don’t need.

Finally, if you stick to one brand and type, it will be a lot easier to keep them organized, since they generally nest well and have similar lids for easy stacking.  Check out the “Swirl Around Carousel Organizer“, pictured above, from Amazon.com.

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9 steps for decluttering and organizing your bathroom

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About Jacquie

Jacquie Ross is a professional organizer, a Certified Life and Family Coach and award winning owner of CastAway the Clutter! A busy person's expert, Jacquie works with professionals, seniors, empty nesters and families to develop strategies to reach their goals, identify any road blocks, and find more meaning in their lives. Learn more about Jacquie’s life coaching and parent/youth/family coaching here at the CastAway the Clutter Blog, and for organizing services, visit CastAway the Clutter! Jacquie can also be found on Facebook
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29 Responses to 10 Organizing Tips for Controlling Plastic Storage Container Chaos

  1. That’s really neat. I have way too many containers & they are a mess.
    Ellen Christian recently posted..Carton Recycling – Choose cartons an evergreen packaging solutionMy Profile

  2. Great tips! We have a ton of plastics containers, and they are so disorganized. Especially the lids, I can never find the right ones!

  3. I love this, what a great idea! Better than how I have mine stored! Thank you for sharing!

  4. melissa says:

    These are great tips. You should see all my containers. They are all over the place. Thank you!!
    melissa recently posted..Aquaphor and $50 Visa Gift Card Review-GiveawayMy Profile

  5. I love anything to do with organizing:)
    Our Hope Is In The Lord recently posted..Tiger FaceMy Profile

  6. Kelley Johnsen says:

    Great tips. I have to go through mine every couple weeks and re-organize. It is so frustrating. Thank you for sharing these tips.

  7. I love organizing tips! Thanks!

  8. Natalie Z says:

    Thanks for the tip! We are getting ready to move and I keep throwing out mismatched tupperware. I needed a new system 🙂
    Natalie Z recently posted..June Flash Giveaway #5: Diamond CandleMy Profile

  9. Flora says:

    My little guy is sure to get into the plastic containers once he learns how to walk! Thank you for the helpful advice!
    Flora recently posted..7 Free Kindle Books 6/20My Profile

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  11. Betsy Rubendall Barnes says:

    My lids and containers are everywhere, this article will make me organize 🙂

  12. Lisa says:

    I love the tip about not storing containers too high! Seems like I’m always terrified to open that particular cupboard door because I know that every container we own is going to come flying out at me!! LOL

  13. Jayde Ann Shrew says:

    that sounds like what i need for my household to keep all bowls and lids in one place! J Wresh

  14. Marlene V says:

    I would like to figure out the greatest mystery to keeping tupperware organized. Where do all the missing lids go??? where are they???

  15. Sherrie C. says:

    I love the storage bag suggestion. I recently got rid of several plastic containers due to the fact they were spread throughout my cabinets. Somehow, I ended up with a small collection of random containers and they were taking up all of my cabinet space.

    Thanks for the organizing tips 🙂

  16. Rebecca says:

    Great thoughts – I am overflowing with storage containers…I needed these tips! Thanks!

  17. Carrie says:

    I always have a hard time keeping my container and tupperware neat and tidy…these are good tips!

  18. Joanne J says:

    Thank you for posting this. My food containers are always lying around in the kitchen 🙁

  19. Eliza-Ligia says:

    You’ve got some good tips here!

  20. Christy Maurer says:

    These are great tips! Now if only I could get my kids to abide by putting the containers where they belong after unloading the dishwasher! I do put the lids together, but they can’t seem to fit the bowls in the right spots!

  21. Alicia Ponce says:

    I like this article, I have a huge pile of plastics and I hate it, but if i get organized they maybe they will become my friends, thanks for posting tips.

  22. Emmy says:

    #10 is crucial!! Throw out mismatches!
    Emmy recently posted..Over You by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola KrausMy Profile

  23. Michelle F says:

    all great tips. I love storing the lids in the cabinet doors because I always loose them.

  24. Rose Wendy says:

    Great tips!

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  27. Ana Cláudia says:

    nice 😀

  28. Amy N. says:

    Great tips!! I feel like I have lids and bowls scattered everywhere!

  29. Peggy Greco says:

    All of these are good suggestions and tips;thanks much!