If the words “Tupperware storage” conjure up memories of fighting with a drawer that won’t open thanks to a stuck container or never being able to find that one lid you need, you’re not alone. This is the one kitchen area that always seems to be chaos for everyone, but I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way.
When you boil it down, there are only two places in your kitchen where you can store all those containers: a drawer or a cupboard. For either area, the organizational principals are the same, and all you need is about an hour and a few small items from the dollar store.
Here, the definitive way to organize your food containers once and for all.
1. Match container bases with lids
Gather up all your bases and lids and lay them out somewhere (your kitchen counter or dining table are good places for this). Now match lids to bases. Doesn’t have a pair? Toss it. Haven’t used it in several months? Toss it. Being ruthless is the name of the game here.
2. Group containers by brand and size
For the most part, each brand of storage containers is designed to nest, so sort your collection into groups based on brands. Now, organize the bases in each group by size and stack same sizes together. Do the same with the lids—they will often snap together.
3. Nest same-size containers together
Starting with the biggest size, start nesting the stacks of bases like matryoshka dolls. How much you can nest depends on the height of your storage space. (For drawers, you want to make sure you can open and close the drawer without it getting stuck. For cabinets, it depends on the height of your shelves.) Tuck lids into any gaps or spaces in the nest.
4. Store stacked containers in larger plastic baskets
Plastic baskets (inexpensive ones from the dollar store or Ikea work great) are the key to keeping everything organized and not falling to pieces, literally. Storing the stacks of bases and lids in larger baskets prevents them from shifting around when a drawer is opened or closed, and makes it easy to grab what you need from a shelf — just pull out the basket, take out a base and lid and put the basket back.
5. Create extra shelves in cabinets
If you’re working with a cupboard that doesn’t have many (or any!) shelves, shelving inserts will change your life. These maximize your space and allow you to further refine your how you sort your containers, like organizing the baskets based on usage frequency or size.