Answering a Reader

Recently, a reader submitted this question: 

I want to organize my plastic containers and I have a very small kitchen; lids never match the bottoms. What can I do with all those extra lids that don’t have bottoms? Is there a way to repurpose them?

These are great questions. I struggle with keeping all my plastic containers from toppling and getting all jumbled up too. Here are some suggestions. Hopefully, they will give you new ideas. If any of you readers have suggestions please comment below. 

1. If you have drawer space in your kitchen, store your plastic containers in a drawer. A drawer creates walls and a boundary to how much you keep. It also prevents the lids from getting lost on a shelf or in the back of the closet or pantry. 

2. I don’t have the luxury of having a drawer, so I use a cabinet shelf. To keep it organized, I nest containers by shape. All my square ones are nested. All my circular containers are nested together and my rectangle ones are together. All the lids sit upright sticking out of one rectangle container.  It’s not a perfect solution but I make do. 

3. Cull out containers often. A few times a year, spread everything out on the kitchen or dining room and match up all the lids and bottoms. I don’t have a suggestion for repurposes lids, but if you have mismatched bottoms, I use mine in the linen closet and other drawers around the house to container small items. 

4. In small kitchens, I’ve seen clients store them in a decorative basket on top of the refrigerator or on the counter if you have counter space. You have to get creative and look at wall space, space on top of cabinets and appliances as well as counter space.

5. Finally, be realistic about how many containers you really need. We are only a family of two and I still think I have too many. It’s rare that I ever use half of the containers all at once. We simply don’t need as many as we think we do. 

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