Households have been collecting plastic containers of every conceivable shape and size ever since Tupperware first launched in 1946 and revolutionised food storage.
Tupperware-style plastic food containers are brilliant. They’re convenient, versatile and economic.
They keep our food fresh, allow us to save leftovers in the fridge or freezer and let us carry our food about for snacks and lunches.
Food container storage woes
Yet for all the good they’ve been they can be a pain to store. No matter how neatly you try to keep them that kitchen cupboard inevitably descends into container chaos.
It can quickly become a regular source of frustration, especially if there’s several of you who do the washing up and putting away.
Lack of organisation only adds to your irritation. It’s easy to see why, with overflowing shelves, lids going AWOL and smaller containers getting pushed to the back of the cupboard and forgotten about.
Top organising tips
Here are some top tips to get that container cupboard organised.
- Take out all boxes and containers and lids you can find.
- Sort through and get rid of any broken containers – try recycling them if you can. Stained containers or those without lids can be reused…
- These containers (minus lids) come in very handy for keeping small items together such as herb / spice packets or cookie cutters. They might be useful elsewhere- keeping kids craft bits and bobs tidy, or sponges and cloths in one place under the bathroom sink for example.
- Have a container amnesty for those ‘borrowed’ boxes! You know the ones – those containers with the yummy home-baked biscuits that your aunt or friend popped over with and then forgot to take home. Now’s the time to give them back.
- Once you’ve had a good container declutter, re-stock your cupboard or shelf. Put the most frequently used items at the front and least used towards the back.
- Stack like-shaped boxes where possible and try to store everything without the lids on. This keeps the air circulating and prevents containers from taking on a musty smell when opened.
- Keep lids in one place. Either re-purpose a larger plastic box or use a storage basket and make sure everyone knows that the lids are now kept here. No more scrabbling around at the back of the cupboard!
Still struggling for space?
If you’re struggling for space and have lots of containers that don’t stack together nicely, then consider using stackable shelves. You should be able to stack several items on each shelf and maximise that dead space at the top of the cupboard.
Time to consider a new look
Finally, if your plastic isn’t so fantastic anymore it might be time to explore other options. When your storage is attractive as well as functional you’re more likely to put things back in their place. Think about switching some of your plastic containers to glass caddies or jars to keep on the counter-top. This looks good and will free up much needed cupboard space.