Organizing Plastic Containers

Tupperware Stacked
With all the convenient sizes and shapes they come in, Tupperware and other plastic containers have become very commonplace in the kitchen. However, all those different sizes and lids can make storage a nightmare. This is a page about organizing Tupperware and plastic containers.

13 Solutions

Share on ThriftyFunThis page contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

March 16, 2010

Once, when I was younger I was having a small dinner for a few friends and didn't have time to wash all of my storage containers, so I stuffed them into the oven out of sight. The dinner was a success and everyone was happy with the spaghetti and salad.

A week or two later I wanted to bake a casserole and turned on the oven and set it to 350 degrees F. Well, as a little time went on I smelled something strange and saw a little smoke coming from the oven. Well, you can guess what happened. Luckily, I worked for a pizza place and had a large pizza pan underneath all of the plastic.


To this day, forty years later I have this really colorful plastic platter to remind me to check the oven first.

By cecile marie buteau from Oroville, CA

Comment Was this helpful? 9
Read More Comments

March 16, 2007

Organizing Tupperware in Your CupboardTips for organizing plastic storageware (i.e. Tupperware, Rubbermaid) from out ThriftyFun community.

Dishpan For Lids

We have a dishpan that we keep all of our lids in. We haven't really figured out a way to organize all the bowls/containers themselves, but it does help keep the lids well organized. We store them sitting up on the lid edge, so that we have them in rows sitting in the dishpan, which we keep in a cupboard.

By Ann

Organize Brands Together

I stack all my Tupperware together, then all the Rubbermaid, and other brands, i.e. Zip-Loc and Glad Loc. I keep lids for each specific brand in its own basket. This really helps when looking for a lid. You don't have to dig through all of them to find the right one, just the ones of that specific brand.

By Connie

Stack Same Shapes Together

Put all the same shaped items together. Put round containers all nested together, without lids, square containers all nested together, large ones with smaller ones inside and so on and so on. Do the same with the lids. It will be easy to find the lid for the container if all the square lids are sorted and lined up together, small to large. They will nest a bit too, saving room. All Tupperware and similar items should not be stored with lids on, it takes too much room and may trap odors.

By Denise

Corral Tupperware In Large Pot

I have huge pot for lobsters under one of my cabinets. I throw all my tupperware in there with the lids on and it works for us. Tupperware also sells lid holders that are great for holding tupperware lids and you can stack the containers in each other.

Create a Cereal Box Lid Organizer

One way to keep your lids in one place is to use a cereal box or anything similar. Measure 5-6 inches from the bottom, now cut on a diagonal to the top corner, do same on other side so both sides match. Now place lids in by letter, tupperware uses a lettering system. If you look under the bowl, there is a letter (ie: cereal bowl is a "C" bowl, so there is a "C" on the tab) lid fits on it. etc. You could decorate the boxes to match the kitchen, I use them to keep my crafts magazines in order, soft covered cookbooks, and I used leftover wallpaper to cover the boxes.

By Diamondee

Deep Drawers

Several people I know have designed their kitchen cabinets to include large deep drawers for their Tupperware. Although I hope to someday do this as well, until then, I am considering using a Rubbermaid and storing it at the bottom of my pantry.

By Tawnda

Too Much Tupperware

Have you ever thought that if you have a cupboard full to bursting with plastic containers, you may have too many? I would think the first thing would be to consider your needs. What do you use these containers for and how many do you have in use at any one time?

If you use them for leftovers, lunches and dry goods storage, most of these containers should be in continuous use, therefore not cluttering up a cupboard most of the time. If you only use some of them intermittently (e.g. in autumn for freezing produce), do they need to be stored in a kitchen cupboard? Box and label "autumn freezing containers" or whatever and store somewhere else. Are there any containers you never use - get rid of them. Are there any stained ones, one's with missing lids or bottoms, warped ones - get rid of them.


When you have weeded out the extras store lids, graduated from small to large, in lidded plastic container(s) and bottoms 'nesting' in each other in another plastic container(s). This keeps them dustfree and makes wiping out the cupboard shelves much easier - you don't have to remove every container individually. When you need a container you can take out the whole boxful and search for it at work top height - saves poking around in the back of the cupboard.

By Jo

Keep Lids In Ziplock Bags

I keep the round containers on one side of the cupboard, and the square/irregular-shaped containers on the other side, smallest in front, most frequently used on the shelf that's best within easy reach. For each side, in a large ziplock bag for each shape, I store the lids, round in one baggie, square in the other. The lids that won't fit, along with the baggies themselves, are stacked between the round and square areas/middle of my cupboard.

It helps to put the container away in the same area after unloading the dishwasher, instead of cramming them in the cupboard to "sort out later."

Also I try to store the containers upside down, which looks funny in the cupboard, but it's in case any dust settles or the dishes aren't quite dry, etc. It all drains off the containers or doesn't affect the inside of the containers where the food actually goes.

By Angie

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 1
Read More Comments

Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 107 Posts
October 16, 2014

I like to freeze many of the vegetables from our garden, however I don't have cabinet space to store the empty containers. My solution to this dilemma is wash and dry the empty containers...

Comment Was this helpful? 5

November 19, 2011

I keep the lids with the containers. This is just one shelf, the others are similar. Although it's not Tupperware, this system should work with any group of containers.

Shelf with plastic containers stored with lids.

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 3

August 19, 2009

Use a large square basin to put plastic storage container lids into in your kitchen. You can then stack your containers inside each other. When you need a lid, you go right to your bin and find what you need.

Comment Was this helpful? 3

October 20, 2004

I have a file cabinet in my pantry. I got it from a pal for planning her yard sale and I use it to store my Tupperware lids. No more lids falling out of my kitchen cabinets when opening the doors or unsightly, unorderly cabinets for someone to look in while visiting.

Comment Was this helpful? 1

May 8, 2014

I have many glass lids. In order to save room, I cut a dish drainer in half, just big enough to fit in my cupboard and line my glass lids up in the slots. This way I can stack my glass bowls and save lots of room. I also have extra lids to cover all sizes of plates with.

Comment Was this helpful? 2


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

January 13, 2010

We are seniors and my dear husband has agreed to put up the clean dishes. Good yes? But, haha isn't there always a but. When putting up plastic storage containers he just throws them in the area without putting the lids on. Some of the lids I'll never find again. Where do they go? (Like the socks, yes.)

Some of the newer plastic containers we can buy now have the lid snap on the bottom. A good idea, but boy are they expensive. How do all you gals keep track of the lids. It's always something isn't it.

By Nancy from Lewisville, TX


January 13, 20100 found this helpful

I stack the containers (all the same type together) and stack the rectangular lids vertically, secured between the rectangular containers and the cabinet wall. For the small, circular lids, I stack them together and store them in an old, thin icemaker box that fits just right in the cabinet next to all the containers. The larger boxes are stored similarly in a lower cabinet.

Picture: There aren't many boxes in the cabinet since I made and stored soup today. As you see, the lid box is labeled - for my husband!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 147 Feedbacks
January 13, 20100 found this helpful

I store mine in the pantry where cans of food is stored with lids on each one. They stack very easy, good luck.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 205 Posts
January 17, 20100 found this helpful

I store my lids in a separate containter next to the stacked "bottoms". This way everything is together. I don't ever store the lids ON the container because sometimes it takes longer for the little ridges & places like that to dry on the contairner or the lid. By storing them separately, they have a chance to air dry before use.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 205 Posts
January 17, 20100 found this helpful

Also, about once every other month or so, I go through and make sure I have a lid for every bottom and a bottom for every lid. Any leftovers get trashed. The majority of my containers are butter tubs, yogurt tubs, cream cheese and sour cream tubs. These are the ones I use for leftovers in the fridge.

But I do have others that I have bought for specific reasons. I have some nice square ones with tight fitting lids. I use those for freezing soups, chili in the winter. After the winter season and the soups and chili have all been eaten, I wash them up and store them in a separate part of the kitchen till the next winter.

And finally I have a lot of the Lock & Lock storage containers. Those are used every day to store things in on hte counter. In these I keep flour, sugar, tea bags, coffee bags, noodles bread crumbs, cereals, marshmallows, coffee creamer, stuffing mix, brown sugar, rice, mashed potato mix, hot cereal mixes, hot drink mixes, chips, instant soup mixes, all sorts of things. I also use them to store dog and cat treats. And I found one that will hold a full bag of cat food. Still looking for one for the dog food.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
January 17, 20100 found this helpful

I use a plastic bin with the basket weave side's to stack my lid's. I put the smallest in front and they graduate to the largest in the back. This way I can see them and find the lid I need quickly.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 337 Feedbacks
January 17, 20100 found this helpful

My son puts the dishes away for me, but we solved this "tupperware" problem by him leaving it on the counter, and I do it. Less fuss in the long run.

I stack/nest my assorted pieces on a shelf and put the lids in a box alongside. It is the stacking that my son can't handle, and often the plastic stuff is wet, so it dries off on the counter, and then I deal with it.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 472 Feedbacks
January 18, 20100 found this helpful

I have a huge bowl that I keep all my lids in. I keep the bowl in my oven. It's close, but out-of-the-way. Whenever I need to use my oven, I just take the bowl out. Everything's together and easy to find.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Answers

July 19, 2015

I'm having a tough time trying to control storage containers that I use for food. Now I have to have three bags and boxes to put them in and this has to cease.

Anyone have suggestions? This is in my small kitchen and has given me frustration each time I have to look at this mess.

Read More Answers

February 6, 2012

I have a very small kitchen about 5x6. I have absolutely no place to put my plastic lids. I don't have room for a file cabinet; I barely have room to walk around. Please help me with any suggestions you might have.

Thank you.

By Jill from Sioux City, IA

Read More Answers

January 9, 2015

I have too many plastic containers and a very small cupboard. Every time I organize it, it still ends up in a mess. I need advice on what to do.

By Mariya

Read More Answers


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

August 13, 2009

Does anyone have a good way to store and retrieve these little necessary evils? I'd like to reuse yogurt, butter, and other plastic containers with lids, but inevitably lids become separated from containers, and the storage shelf is a disaster. I just can't justify keeping these items if I can't figure out a good way to organize them. Thanks!


Organizing Tupperware and Plastic Containers

I nest my containers, and keep lids next to them in a small loaf pan. It works for me : ) (03/24/2004)

By Doggy

Organizing Tupperware and Plastic Containers

I agree about the suggestion for storing them. One more thing:

When the storage area is full, that's enough. (06/04/2007)

By Carrie

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Comments

January 13, 2010

I would like suggestions for storing Tupperware.

By marina from Great Falls, VA


Organizing Tupperware and Plastic Containers

I keep one cabinet for small to medium size bowls stacked as neat as possible, another for big bowls. Then I have a deep sliding basket in my rolling island and all my lids go in there. Might not be neat as bowls, but they are all there together and easily accessible.

I have tried numerous methods and for me this works. I like it better other ways, but my guys put up dishes and this has been the only way they follow my plan. I like putting lids back on the bowls, but my guys wouldn't do that and I ended up having to reorganize every couple of weeks. If you have room for it try stacking them on their sides in an old dishrack. (08/18/2009)

By christi

Organizing Tupperware and Plastic Containers

I have two baskets that each fit on a shelf of a narrow cabinet. One holds the round containers nested with the lids on the sides of the basket, and the other holds the square and rectangular containers with their lids. Many years ago, my daughter who is now an engineer, organized them and added numbers and letters to each piece with matching cover, which is now done with some companies. I also go through the baskets occasionally to make sure that all bowls have a lid and discard the orphans. (08/18/2009)

By Eileen Santos

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Organizing StorageOctober 14, 2011
Christmas Ideas!
New Years Ideas!
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2022-12-08 05:11:37 in 2 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2022 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.