Challenge #14: Tupperware

Plastic Food Storage Containers. Plastic food storage is the topic of the day. Are you ready to get organized?

Plastic food storage is the topic of the day. Are you ready to get organized?


Today we have a challenge that will be easy to work on, even if you have children underfoot. It’s time to dump out and review your plastic food storage containers.

Begin by taking all of your containers and putting them on a clear sorting surface.  Wipe out the drawer or cabinet where you keep them. Pair each container with its matching lid. Actually put the lids on to see whether they fit well.

Throw away (or recycle) any container or lid that is:

  • cracked or broken
  • warped
  • missing its match (e.g. a container with no lid or vice versa)
  • stained

Now stack similar containers (the ones that can easily “nest”). Stack the corresponding lids and put them either in or under the containers they match. If you have some tiny containers, use one of your larger containers to hold them. Put the lid for this larger container either underneath or behind it in your storage area.

Once you are finished with the sorting, it is time to reload.

This challenge is a classic example of the importance of “living within your space.” While it is wonderful to have containers, it is a burden to have too many. Deciding how much space you can allocate to storing these containers will determine the limit for how many you can keep. If you can’t fit all of your containers back into your area, you need to let go of a few. It might seem hard, but it is better to get rid of some and have breathing room in your cabinet. And remember, you might be able to repurpose a container by using it to hold small objects in a drawer or on a shelf.

If you like, you may want to add some structure to your space to hold your various containers & lids. It is usually helpful to nest like-size containers. The lids can be stacked next to or under the containers they fit.

Another option is to get a product specifically designed to keep your lids organized.

If you have an old CD rack, you could repurpose it as a lid holder in a drawer.

You can even slide an old cereal box into a cabinet.

Plastic lid storage

You may have some extra large containers that you only pull out when you are cooking for a crowd (e.g. at the holidays or when you host a party.) Since you rarely use these, move them to a less prime location, such as up on a high shelf or to the back of a corner cabinet.

Well, how did it go? Were you able to free up some space with this project?

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If you are new to the challenge, here’s a review of the process we are using all month:


1. Gather your supplies: (you can reuse these same supplies each day)

  • Boxes or bags labeled with “Donate”, “Elsewhere” and “Store”
  • Trash can and recycle bin
  • Damp rag/wet wipe

2. Remove everything from the area (yes, everything) and wipe it clean with a damp rag.

3. Sort the items into these categories: (The Seana Method’s R.E.D.D.S. system)

  • R- Restore: these are the items going back in
  • E- Elsewhere: these are items to keep, but that don’t belong in this space
  • D- Donate
  • D- Dispose: trash or recycle
  • S- Store: items you want to keep for sentimental reasons, or perhaps for a long-term future use, but which you don’t regularly use. These items will eventually need to go into a bin/box in an attic, basement, or closet.

4. Keeping the “Restore” items out, and put all other items into the boxes/bags you prepared.

5. Move items to their final destination:

  • Put the “Restore” items back into your designated area.
  • Carry the “Elsewhere” box/bag around your house and redistribute its contents.
  • Move the “Donate” box/bag to the car to be donated.
  • Trash/recycle the “Dispose” items.
  • Put the “Store” items into a container and move it to a remote location for future access.

16 thoughts on “Challenge #14: Tupperware”

    1. I’m a big fan of using recyclables, especially inside a closet or cabinet where it is more about function that form. I’ve gotta say you are the quickest commenter out there, Janine. I appreciate your consistent thoughts and comments:)

    1. Big smile over here…you are going to feel so good when you are finished. It’s pretty easy, but it makes a huge difference. You go, girl!

    1. If you have the chance to buy “fresh,” I love those too! You never lose the lid with them:) I think manufacturers have come out with some wonderful products that have storage in mind. It’s the old ones, of varying sizes, that often create the struggle, right?

  1. I just pinned this post. I needed some new ideas to prevent the plastic container avalanche that happens when I open the cabinet. I also need ideas for convincing my husband that we have enough of these containers. Maybe if they were organized he’d see that, huh? Thanks for all the great ideas!
    Jean recently posted…Projects for TodayMy Profile

    1. Does your husband resist your throwing them away and/or keep bringing in more? Maybe a few tired items could be disappeared when he isn’t looking:) Anything to avoid the avalanche!

    1. I wish they would teach lid stacking in kindergarten– and then again throughout life if you aren’t learning the lesson! Nesting and stacking are beautiful things. Alas, not everyone in my family agrees. A misfit container is the perfect tool to hold loose lids!!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and reading! Organizing doesn’t need to cost a lot of money – I like starting with what we have lying around:)

    1. Sarah, you are really getting it done! I’m so thrilled to get these feedback and to hear about how good it is making you feel. Putting a big smile on my face:)

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