Thursday, August 12, 2010

Trouble with Tupperware

This is my collection. Yes, it's slim. But, me and my family of 5 never run out.
Here are the lids.

Even the most organized people have opened their cabinet to plastic stuff falling out on them. Yes, I'm pretty sure that even Martha Stewart has had this happen to her. So, what's the best way to tame your tupperware? 

Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all solution. It depends on how much you have, where you keep it, what kind you have, and probably some other factors. Here are some tips to 1. keep you sane, 2. help you not get hit in the head anymore when opening your cabinet, and 3. help you actually find the size you need.

  • PURGE!!!! Take all your plastic food storage containers out of your space. Make sure the bottoms have a lid that matches. If not - throw it away! Don't keep a lid or a bottom in the hopes that you'll find it again. It's not worth the stress and space. And while you're at it, be honest with how much you really need. Chances are you don't need that much at one time. If you notice that there are some pieces that you never use...toss it (recycle it, give it away, you get the picture). Toss any that are melted, stained, broken, or smell bad. Come on, you can do it.
  • Make your space work for you. If you have a deep cabinet or drawer that's hard to reach, install a pull out drawer so it's easier to get to. If you are getting frustrating every time you get out food storage containers, your space is not working for you.
  • As for the lids. For the containers that are obvious which lids go with them, I nest the containers and store all the lids separately. I have some containers that look similar, but the lids don't match both. So, for those, I store the lids on the container they go with. See pictures above.
  • Nest, nest, nest!  I think most of us probably have that one container that doesn't fit well with the others. (Insert the tune: "One of These Things is Not Like the Others"). If there is one piece that doesn't nest with the others...don't keep it!
  • DO NOT ADD TO IT!!! If someone is sweet enough to make you a meal, do not keep the containers. If you ordered take out, do not keep the plastic container it came in. Keeping your food storage space in check is as simple as putting things back where they belong (yes, our mothers taught us that when we were 5) and not adding to it. Recycle them or return the favor and cook someone else a meal. You gotta know when enough is enough. And be sure to not keep every yogurt container or peanut butter jar. You can feel just as good about recycling them as keeping them and cluttering up your space.
  • Do it right the first time. I know it's so easy to throw the containers in the cabinet or drawer when you are pulling it out of the dishwasher. Fight the urge, people! Put the lids on the appropriate container right away. Nest the ones that nest right away. It really will increase your time and energy when pulling them back out. 
  • Keep your give-away containers in a different location. I keep containers to give away to others in my laundry room. NOT with my every day containers. That way, my tupperware cabinet stays simple and tidy and I am able to get the right container to give away just by walking into the laundry room.
  • Don't sweat the small stuff. We all have those small containers...which are really handy. Instead of letting them either clutter up your cabinet or get lost, put the lid on the corresponding container and put them in the big container that holds all the other lids.   
  • Just because it's plastic, doesn't mean it goes there. Yes, the cake carrier is tupperware. But, don't store it with the everyday food storage. Keep it somewhere else; otherwise, your food storage cabinet will get overrun with things you don't use often.
  • Don't be so square. OK, actually with food storage, you can. Think square, not circular. Square stuff takes up less space than circle.
  • Learn portion control. Avoid leftovers. If you are cooking just enough for your family, you won't need a lot of food storage containers. This one you'll have to learn HOW to do elsewhere. I just tell you that it will help.


  1. Looking forward to new posts! Organization IS NOT my strong suit, so I'm glad there's someone around to tell me how to do it. I added your blog to my feed reader.

  2. Thanks Julie! I was inspired to tackle my own tupperware cabinet and am loving how organized it is now.