Food for Thought:
10 Ways to Organize Food Storage Containers and Lids
If you’re anything like me, somewhere in your kitchen you have a cabinet, drawer, basket, bin, ….FULL of food storage containers and lids. No matter how many times you straighten it out or find some semblance of order, it only takes one person looking for an appropriate-sized container with a lid that matches/fits, and all of your efforts were for nothing! Aaarrrgghhhh…so frustrating, I know!
Good news: there are plenty of easy ways to keep your food storage containers from ruining your entire kitchen organization system. And the even better news is that you might have several of these supplies already at home. Which means you’ll save both money and time. (See, you’re already crushing your goal!)
For your cleaning inspiration, here are 10 ways to get those lids under control.
1. Corral with a carousel.
If the majority of your containers include tall, square-shaped containers, an organization carousel like something you could buy at Lowes or Home Depot will be just right. Plastic columns keep stacks in order and prevent them from falling, and the inner space provides plenty of room for lids.
2. Use a mesh divider for easy visibility.
Tired of searching for that exact container in your kitchen cabinet? Keep things tidy with a see-through pullout organizer.
3. Stack lids vertically in a plate rack.
Bet you didn’t know a simple plate rack could lead to organized containers! Arranging and dividing bins and lids by size makes it easy to find exactly what you need. You can buy a bamboo dish drying rack for less than $10, then just place it inside your kitchen cabinets—or on top of the counter if you want to keep it within easy reach.
4. Keep lids in check with tension rods.
Small tension rods are a smart way to ensure organized storage ware. They can help keep lids from getting out of hand since they can be extended to fit just about any size drawer. Stretch them across the width or depth of your drawer, all the way to one side, leaving just enough room to prop up a stack of several lids on their side.
5. Separate lids and containers with drawer dividers.
With the help of some drawer dividers and some smart stacking, a drawer can be totally organized—and super satisfying to look at. Any kind of tension drawer divider is going to help make sense of your mess.
6. Use a pegboard to keep containers in place.
Adding pegboard to drawers or slide-out cabinet inserts is another clever way to keep different food storage containers separated and tidy. You can pull this together with simple hardware store supplies, or buy a ready-made pegboard kit for under $20 and assemble it flat inside your drawer.
7. Store lids in a hidden magazine rack.
The cure for out-of-control lids? Add a magazine rack or file sorter to the inside of your cabinet door for hidden, easy-to-reach, and super organized storage ware whenever you need to put leftovers away. You can make it happen with any narrow wire organizer and stick-on hooks (make sure the organizer has holes big enough to accommodate the hooks). Or find a file sorter that’s designed to be wall-mounted and fasten it to your cabinet door with short screws for a semi-permanent solution.
8. Hack a cereal box.
This might be the quickest, cheapest solution (at least if your family eats a lot of cereal, pasta, or really anything that comes in a box) for better-organized storage ware. Grab a box destined for the recycling bin and cut off the top and one corner to create a magazine-style organizer practically out of thin air. If you want to dress it up, wrap it like a gift with pretty patterned paper, tucking and taping the paper around the cut edges.
9. Create a lid organizer with a drying rack.
If you’re already storing your food container lids in a small bin, but wish the solution was a little tidier, consider this: Snag a roll-up dish drying rack and unroll it across the top of your bin to give your lids neat little sections to slide into. You can buy a roll-up rack for $8 online—but they’ve been known to turn up in the dollar store or bargain sections of your favorite stores, too.
10. Buy an off-the-shelf solution.
If all this hacking and DIY isn’t your style, you should know that almost every organizing solution company makes its own version of a food storage lid organizer. Some organizers have adjustable sections and come in a few different sizes to fit whatever space you have to sort out.
So what’s the best way to organize food storage ware? It really depends — on what your collection is like, on what your kitchen can accommodate, and on you. Sometimes one system is perfect. But you may find that combining more than one can result in an even more customized solution.
Ultimately, choose what works for you, and you’ll finally win the war against disorganized food storage containers. Happy organizing from all of us at Bellisari’s!