Food Storage Containers

April 13, 2011 by  

Organize Those plastic food containers!

Having to always nest the bowls inside each other to make room…  it works but it is hard to get everyone to put those food storage containers  back where they have to go.  I mean really… actually lean down and pick up a couple bowls to put the larger one underneath? You jest! lol

This is what my “used to be organized” plastic storage containers cabinet looks like now.


food storage cabinet

The lids are the killers too.. aren’t they?  Trying to find a lid to fit that food storage container.

So let’s get started.

Step 1: (You know it don’t you)  Clean Them All Out of the Cabinet


Clean the cabinet now and if you have contact paper to put down, this is a great time to do it.

Step 2: Sort

Go through and match up all your bowls and lids.  Actually try the lids on the bowls because sometimes they warp and don’t work anymore. But what do we usually do when we are looking for a lid? We grab it…. try it… it doesn’t work. Do we toss it then? Nope, we throw it back in (as if it will at some point change and actually start working later?)


If there is something you don’t use because you don’t like it – then get rid of it! Why are you keeping it if you don’t use it and you don’t like it?  Because it was an impulse buy and you think you might use it? Give it to someone who will use it. You will gain the empty space!

I will bet you that you will end up having odd and end lids and bowls.  Here is what I ended up getting rid out of my own food storage cabinet.  I’m also getting rid of the bowl because I’ve been using it to store lids, not as a food storage bowl.

mismatched lids

Step 3: Put your organizing tools in place.

You may have to just play around and see how things will work.  I had a lid organizer and also grabbed a couple other wire organizers I had to see if they would work or not. Of course this doesn’t see like I would be able to use it does it?  It is meant to hang underneath another wire shelf. It won’t hang under a wooden one. But wait…. !

wire organizer

What about using it this way…

wire rack

I had this lid organizer from Tupperware that I had never put on a door. I used it, as it also can be free standing – but it was kind of bulky. I used the hooks and it was finally up!

lid organizer

I also had some more of the wire racks that I bought in the bundles at Old Time Pottery. I got out my handy dandy new best friends the Command Hooks to help.  I was winging this folks!  It can be a trial and error kind of thing.
I put one of them up and realized that the lids were falling through the wire racks. So… I had to figure out something to create a base.  I had it!

duct tape

A little creativity!  I created a base so that the lids wouldn’t fall through.

wire rack

But after I got it up I realized that there was another issue.  The lids could still fall back behind the rack. See that space?  So… had to figure out something else.

wire rack

I needed to make a back shelf too. So…more duct tape!

wire shelfIt is a little hard to see but I pulled a piece up higher in the back. It worked!

I did this to the three wire racks I was going to hang (although I did run out of duct tape for the last bottom rack, but that was ok.)

Step 4: Load your plastic food storage containers back into the cabinet.

I decided to try and match up the lids and containers since I had more room (with the hanging racks). I didn’t do them all this way, but most all of the smaller ones I did.  I love it. It will be so easy to just grab a container now and not have to dig for the lid.

food storage container organization On the left door I loaded the lids of the containers that I didn’t have matched up and put them into the lid organizer from Tupperware.

lid and food storage organization Then on the inside wall I had one more wire rack available, so I put it up too.  I actually first put it on the left side and before I did, I held it in place and closed the door and it closed. But loaded, it did not. So I took it down (easy enough with those command hooks) and moved it to the other side. I had to put it in a specific spot in order to close… but it worked out fine.

**  Be sure to check that everything will close when you are adding any kind of hanging racks in your cabinets!

food storage container organization This is the one I ran out of duct tape for.  I do have lime green and hot pink duct tape… but I thought that might look a bit strange. lol

Here is the rack in the back.  With these lids I grouped them together and placed them underneath for easy grab-ability! The things on the bottom I don’t use as often.

food storage organization

I’m amazed at how much extra room I have!

Here is the top shelf. I put the matching lids underneath. Then I had a couple odd ball containers that I nested inside the others and I did put the lids on those.

food storage containers

I placed half of the bowls on the left.  The strainer and the two larger bowls. I’m hoping breaking them up will help in being able to put them back away easier.

plastic bowls

In the back I put the plastic drink containers. I have one more glass one in the refrigerator, so I made sure to leave space for that. The larger plastic lids for the bowls I had to place on this side. When I put the underneath the larger bowls, it lifted them up too much and it hit the door organizer.

plastic bowls

I love just being able to grab a quick little container!

food storage containers

Here is half of the cabinet.

food storage cabinetSo are you ready to see the whole thing?

Let’s review!


messy food storage cabinet


organized food storage cabinet

OMG… I am so excited!  Just adding those racks and matching up the lids (and getting rid of a few) it will be SO much easier to find things in here!

This was a very inexpensive fix. (most of mine are).  I got the command hooks which I think I paid $6.50 for a pack of 9 of them. (I used 11 in here). I had the back wire rack, but they are not expensive (under $6 I would guess)  The lid organizer I don’t remember, it is from Tupperware and I had it from before, but I’m sure there are others similar to it. The other 3 wire racks were in a 3 pack that came from Old Time Pottery. They were $9.99 for the 3 pack. I bought 2 packs when I bought them. I used 2 of the different styles in here, and the 3rd that came with the pack was the one that you could put taller things in like I used under the sink for the spray bottles. The colored duct tape was under $5. But you could modify any of these, and I’m sure find them for less.

Hope you like it! I know I’m excited. lol

Now… I want to see YOUR plastic food storage cabinets!! The good, the bad and the ugly!

I’d love for you to link it up to my Organizing Mission Monday Link Party
It will be open until April 16, 2011. My link party is always open to any of your organizing projects, it doesn’t have to be kitchen!

Organizing Mission Monday

I Love Your Comments!

I am linking this blog post up to these lovely blogs!

A bowl full of lemons – One Project at a Time
Handy Man, Crafty Woman – Wicked Awesome Wednesday
Organize and Decorate Everything – We’re Organized Wednesday
Blue Cricket Design – Show and Tell Wednesday
The Thrifty Home – Penny Pinching Party
I’m an Organizing Junkie – 52 Weeks

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24 Responses to “Food Storage Containers”
  1. That’s really impressive! I’ll never understand what happens to storage containers – they go in the drawer with a lid, and then a few months later I have containers with no lids and lids with no containers. Where do they go??? lol

    p.s. I have two of those Orville Redenbacher popcorn bowls and we use them all the time! I have a cupboard where I keep my big plastic mixing bowls and I put the popcorn ones underneath those.

  2. Nicole says:

    That’s awesome, Sandy!

    Our designated plastic container cabinet is the dreaded lazy susan. I hate it! Yes, I nest and renest and regularly have to organize. I’ll be going through it before the upcoming yard sale to get rid of stuff I don’t like/use much.

  3. Sandy says:

    Yes… that makes it harder. I would suggest baskets for a lazy susan.

  4. Love the stylish tape on the wire shelves! I always say the plastic containers cabinet “is a couples-only resort- not a singles bar” to drive home the point.
    Great pictures Sandy!

  5. Sandy says:

    lol.. you recognized the bowl! lol I did like it and thought it was real cute, but we just weren’t using it. I thought it would be a great popcorn bowl of course, but my hubby makes the popcorn when we do have it and he ends up grabbing the bigger yellow bowl every time.

  6. Sandy says:

    Thanks Melanie!

  7. Suzanne says:

    I love your creative solutions. I’ve never seen that organizer from tupperware, I’ll have to look for it.

    I don’t like to close the containers because sometimes mine go in the cabinet slightly damp from the dishwasher still (don’t use heated dry) so I wouldn’t want to get mold.

    I will say, the one thing I’ve found that does help with putting them back in a neat fashion is having them in an upper cabinet instead of a lower one. Because they are at eye level it’s less of a hassel to take the extra moment to arrange them neatly. The hubby still isn’t *great* at it, but it helps.

  8. Sandy says:

    It would be nice to have them in an upper cabinet. I don’t have any of my few upper cabinets that I would be willing to put in the lower one though. I think I still have it ingrained in me from when my kids were little to have them accessible to the toddlers. lol It at least would keep them out of any of my other cabinets when I was cooking dinner. But that was a long time ago.

  9. Donna Gelineau says:

    A few months ago I scrubbed down and organized all my kitchen cabinets. Once I washed them, rather than shelf liner I used peel and stick floor tiles. They are easy to wipe clean and won’t need to be replaced anytime soon.

    I need to find some command hooks.

  10. Sandy says:

    really? I wouldn’t have thought of that. Was that expensive to do?

  11. Rebecca G. says:


    I love your pictures that show the before and after of organizing the plastics.

    I just love how you’ve used the white wire shelving. They are so versatile.

    I’m gonna have to show this to my husband. I have a lot of reorganizing to do.

    Rebecca G.

  12. Donna Gelineau says:

    It was leftover from our basement quick fix 6 years ago. If you have access to a Habitat for Humanity Re- Store, they always have a supply there for very little. I used my paper cutter to cut the tiles, DH may need to sharpen the blade again for me, very simple project.

    I was just thinking the other day that if I lined above the cabinets with them, it would make cleaning them easier as well.

  13. Great job! Thanks for linking up. why do those containers always get so messy, lol?

  14. Leanne says:

    I love all your great ideas. Thanks for linking to We’re Organized Wednesday. I’ll be featuring this.

  15. Carol says:

    This is a really great idea. In our current house, I have a big wide drawer & that has been truly wonderful for keeping all the storage containers organized. In the new house, however, it will be a cabinet similar to yours. So thanks for sharing.

  16. Pablo says:

    With all the natural disasters around the world, making sure your family is prepared is top priority. Adding freeze dried food storage makes being prepared easy!

  17. Want to come to my house next?

  18. stephen says:

    I’ve been working on a system of containers that would replace ordinary plastic food storage containers with a uniquely designed system of containers and racks, and I thought it would make sense to share it here. It’s called “Stackerware” still in Development (OCt 2012) but I hope to make it available to the public soon. Please, let me know what you think?

  19. Maria says:

    Nice work on getting organized. I just spent 7 weeks living in temp quarters while my apt was renovated. It took forever to get it cleaned after construction work and I wanted to move back in organized. Ha.. When I unpacked, I put like things in the same boxes and then saw what I really needed. I was able to get rid of lots of things I never use. It is amazing and feels so good. Your site inspired me. Thanks.

  20. Sandy says:

    Thanks so much Maria. I’m glad you took the time to discard or donate things you didn’t need. It is refreshing isn’t it? Hope your apartment is awesome now since the renovations!

  21. Christine says:

    Nice! I’m looking to organize my lids, and this looks amazing! I wish I had a whole cabinet, but I’ll work with what I’ve got!

  22. S says:

    Nice blog. Nice tips. I know the frustration of having a big pile of boxes and not able to find their lids . I am going to do this ASAP .

  23. Cindy says:

    Your before cupboard looks like mine! I am going to try this, although with little grandkids, it may not last when they visit. =)
    Thanks for sharing!

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