Organizing Plastic Containers

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.

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

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March 16, 2007

Tips for organizing plastic storageware (i.e. Tupperware, Rubbermaid) from out ThriftyFun community. Post your own techniques here.

Organizing Tupperware in Your Cupboard

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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...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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January 18, 20100 found this helpful

Like Susan, my plastic containers go in a big bowl. However, nothing plastic goes into my oven - I might forget to take it out, lol! My DH and I compromised very well on the dishes thing: he does most of the cooking and chases me out when I try to help. (I should point out, I'm very visually impaired, but ironically enough, I burn myself less than he does.)
When it comes time to wash and put away the dishes, I chase him out, lol! If I wash and put away things myself, at least I can find them again.

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January 27, 20100 found this helpful

I use two bins to keep lids. One for circle lids the other for square lids. I keep these bins on an open shelf. It seems to work for me as I have LOTS of tupperware.

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February 7, 20100 found this helpful

I went to the dollar store and bought 2 baskets. One for larger containers and 1 for small containers. I store the containers and lids in the same storage bin. I stack the containers and place the lids standing up beside the appopriate containers. I use ziploc containers and lock and lock containers so this system is very useful for me as I have many. Any too large to fit in basket I stack by size beside the baskets and the lids go on the other side of the basket between the cabinet wall and basket standing up. This saves alot of room and alot of seaching time.

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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January 13, 2010

I would like suggestions for storing Tupperware.

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Organizing StorageOctober 14, 2011
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