Being good at unpacking is a handy skill when it comes to moving, but here’s one thing universal about unpacking every kitchen—the plasticware drives me crazy.
Since my plan is to always deal with the everyday dishes, glasses and flatware first, the plastic gets set aside. It doesn’t take long before I’ve unpacked a mountain. I’m never surprised there are so many tubs without lids and lids that don’t seem to fit anything. In many kitchens, leftover dishes seem to grow and grow. After all, so many foods now come in reusable containers that we add more to our collections weekly. Pretty soon, they can’t fit in a cabinet without tumbling out each time the door is opened.
Here are the best ways to keep your plasticware corralled and still have them be handily accessible:
Sort It Out
No matter if you are moving, cleaning house or remodeling the kitchen, get food containers organized by decluttering. Open every cabinet and pull out food storage containers, no matter if they are made of plastic or glass. Include the freebies that you washed and saved from foods such as margarine or cold cuts. Match lids with bowls or containers and get rid of those without mates. Sort the rest by size so you can really see how many of each size you own.
It’s unlikely you’ll have enough leftovers or refrigerator space for 40-50 containers. Select an appropriate number from your growing collection. Donate the extras.
When reorganizing your kitchen or planning a remodel, consider food containers in your plan. Along with the basics of cutting boards, knives, pots and pans, plastic food containers are often used daily. Choose a cabinet layout that provides easy to access and organization.
Part of the problem with plastic containers is finding what you want. Kitchen placement can remedy this. There are a couple of great options. A corner cabinet with a turntable works well. You won’t have to dig in the back to find a lid, as you can simply spin it around. Or, make use of a deep lower drawer. They’re roomy enough to keep things contained and an avalanche of plastic won’t happen like it will if your collection is on a shelf.
• Stick to one kind of container. This way, no matter which large lid you grab, it will fit the large container.
• Two sizes, large and small, are usually enough.
• Choosing only one shape can maximize storage. Round bowls and square tubs will not usually stack with each other.
• Organize the lids. Use a container to stack lids in so they can be stored vertically in the drawer.
• If you keep your containers in a cabinet with a shelf, add an organizer to hold lids on the inside of the cabinet door.
• Donate free containers from food products so you don’t waste them, instead of collecting them. Your local animal group and other charities will put them to good use.
With these tips, you can help keep your collection of plastic containers under control. All it takes is a roomy kitchen cabinet, a few organizers and a little determination.
Lea Schneider has advised many a happy homeowner on how to better organize their kitchens and cabinets in order to enjoy their everyday surroundings. Lea writes on her experiences as a professional organizing expert for The Home Depot. To review kitchen cabinets that might fit into your own kitchen reorganization plan, you can visit the Home Depot website.