Today we are talking about the dreaded area of the kitchen that no matter how hard we try always seems to resort back to chaos – the Food Storage/Tupperware drawer. That’s right, those little plastic food savers are the weak spot to kitchen organization. SO, how do we tackle it?
Start with taking everything out of the drawer or cabinet and match all the tops to bottoms. Throw away the following: Any lone tops or bottoms, stained or cracked containers, or any that you never use because they always seem to leak in your lunch box. Right away – Throw. Them. Out.
Next, separate into the different styles. Glass, plastic, certain brands, etc. Do you have a favorite? Least favorite? Determine which ones are your ‘go-to’ food storage containers and keep those. I like to have both a plastic and glass option. I personally like the Rubbermaid brand for plastic and Pyrex for glass. Be honest with yourself as you’re going through yours. For all the others, set aside if they are in good condition. Don’t feel guilty for putting aside the multiples of certain styles. Avoid keeping them ‘just in case’. The chances of you needing ALL ten of the same size containers at the same time is slim. Part ways with the ones just taking up space.
It is important to look at the type of family/person you are. Some people cook perfect portions and never have leftovers (if that’s you, share your secrets!), needing less Tupperware. Some people prefer to cook a little more to have lunch ready for the next day, so they need a few options. Some people simply don’t eat leftovers, needing zero to none Tupperware. Honor your habits! Look at your situation and food storage habits and have your drawer or cabinet reflect those.
Don’t forget to take inventory of what containers you have in the fridge and dishwasher. Before taking the next step, you want to make sure you know all that you have and know how much room to leave for those to be put away.
So now, we have your mismatch/leaky/rejects pile (in the garbage), your ‘Go-To’ pile, and your ‘In good condition but not ‘go-to’ ’ pile.
If you don’t want to throw away perfectly good Tupperware, but they are in your ‘In good condition but not ‘go-to’ pile, there are other options. In my family, my parents have always hosted Thanksgiving dinner. It is one of my favorite holidays to this day. Everyone gathered together, laughing, watching football and enjoying the fall crisp air. Mom is a rock-star and makes everything from scratch – pies, stuffing, vegetables, you name it. And despite having an average of 25 people, we always have leftovers. She would send our extended family and guests home with food using the ‘in good condition but do not technically need’ Tupperware. For now, put that pile in the Thanksgiving storage bin downstairs, or another holiday bin that acts as your Thanksgiving equivalent, and use them as doggy bags for your guests at your next holiday or party.
As for the keep pile, stack similar types. Avoid stacking unlike containers, especially if they are to be stored in a drawer like shown in the pictures. This eliminates digging through the stacks looking for a particular side. Arranging them can be the tricky part, but it's just like a big puzzle. I advise to keep it simple and just have tops stacked onto their correlating bottoms. This cuts down time looking for the matching top and bottom if they don’t “live” together in the drawer or cabinet.
The big question is: How do we keep it this way?!?
I also use emptying the dishwasher and putting away the food storage containers as a continuous check point. As I put them away, I count the number of tops and bottoms making sure that everything is accounted for.
As you can see in the 'after' picture, there are clear designated stacks. Each of the stacks is a different size varying in height and length/width.
Before I reorganized my own personal Tupperware drawer, it was expanding into two drawers; plastic in one and glass in the other. Now, everything is in one drawer, happy to have each top with its bottom and stacked in the same sizes 😊 Give it a try!! Share your progress with me in the comments below or via email!! No more getting stressed out each time you open that drawer or cabinet. Happy organizing all 😊
Emily has a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University. There she learned how valuable organization can be in being productive. She chose to use this knowledge and help others achieve this productivity and optimization in their homes and small businesses. Read & Enjoy and as always, let us know if you have any questions!