15 ideas for organising your food storage containers

Are your kitchen cupboards or drawers overflowing with food storage containers and lids that come tumbling out whenever you try to find one? Do you feel frustrated every time you open the door because it takes you forever to find what you need? Do you struggle to locate the matching lid to your storage containers? We've all been there! So, today's post is a round-up of ideas and inspiration to help you get this clutter-prone spot sorted, to save you the frustration of a disorganised container collection and create a system that's easy to maintain.

Before you create your new organised system, the first step is to go through your container collection and do a big purge. Any lids that don't have a matching container, or vice-versa, any that are looking grotty or 'past it', then get rid of it! Be as brutal as you can, considering whether you need and use each one. Consider how many storage containers you really need to have. The next stage is moving on to choosing a storage solution that best suits your needs.

PSST.... Want to get your whole kitchen more organised? Get your copy of the free cheat sheets full of actionable and simple tips and strategies by clicking on the button below!

The key idea to most of the organised systems in the pictures below is to separate your food storage containers from the lids. This gives you more space to stack and store the containers according to size or shape, but also makes it so much easier to find the lid you're after. Let's see how!

1. Clip a mesh or plastic basket to the back of the cupboard door as a hold-all for container lids. You could hang two of these on the inside of the door and sort lids by shape - rectangular and square in one, and round in the other. Find similar products here and here.

Source:  BHG

Source:  BHG

2. If you store your plastic collection in a drawer, then inserting a simple wooden panel will act as a divider between the containers and lids. Stack same-sized and shaped containers for easy access.

3. Divide your drawer vertically into thirds with adjustable drawer dividers (try a product like this), and organise it in a way that suits you best. You could categorize round lids on one side, square and rectangular on the other; or large lids on one side and small on the other. Stack containers in the middle section, or if you have a large collection, use two-thirds of the drawer to store containers, and one-third for lids. Whatever configuration will be easiest for you to maintain!

Source:  Real Simple

Source:  Real Simple

4. Use tension rods inside a drawer to separate lids from containers and have them standing, so they are easy to grab, and easy to find what you need. 

Source:  BHG

Source:  BHG

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5. A perfectly organised container drawer is all about customizing the space to fit your collection. The picture below uses divided sections for each type of lid so you can really easily find the one you need. The dividers could be DIY-ed using pieces of thin wood, or you could use bookends (like these or these) to create customized sections. The containers are then simply stacked by type, with the smaller ones inside the larger. 

Source:  Martha Stewart

Source:  Martha Stewart

6. Use an old CD rack to store and stack container lids, and place containers on the other side. They'll be super-easy to access, and you can organise them by size or shape for extra organising brownie points!

Source:  Listotic

Source:  Listotic

7. Grab a mesh basket with sections specifically designed for dividing different items. This type of basket is perfect if you store your collection on a shelf as opposed to in a drawer, as you can pull it out, like a drawer, to access what you need. Similar products could be found at an office supply store, or a homewares store - try this or this

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8. If you have a smaller collection of storage containers, you could use a compact pull-out storage unit for the smaller ones and their matching lids, then just stack the larger collection on top of the drawer unit. This prevents anything toppling out and keeps everything organised and easy to maintain.

9. Try using storage boxes or baskets within a drawer to contain all the lids. Stacking like with like containers will maximize space and keep everything easy to access. If you've got kids, a dedicated shelf for all the kids' containers makes packing snacks and school lunches a breeze!

>> GET THE STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS FOR CREATING A MORE
EFFICIENT AND ORGANISED KITCHEN THAT WILL SAVE YOU
TIME AND ENERGY, IN 'CLEVER KITCHENS'. 
CLICK THE BUTTON BELOW TO LEARN MORE!  <<

10. Insert pull-out drawers within a cupboard to make accessing everything so much easier. A large basket to contain all the lids (colour and size coordinated here!) provides lots of room for stacking same-size and shaped containers. 

11. A dish-drainer within a cupboard works as an inexpensive and clever solution for storing and stacking container lids so they're easy to grab and go!

12. Another inexpensive storage solution is to purchase a large tub (these can be found at most dollar stores) to create your own pull-out drawer system. Use an old shoe-box (or any sort of storage tub) to separate lids and stack containers around the sides. You could have a few of these organised systems within a cupboard to hold your collection. Attach labels to the front of the tub (i.e. 'round/square/rectangular' containers; or 'small/large' containers/lids) so you can really easily find what you're after.

13. If you're lucky enough to have a large cupboard to dedicate to your food storage collection, then try emulating this organised set-up! These different-sized Ikea Variera tubs are perfect for holding lids (note the labels for small lids, large lids, plastic containers) while glass containers can be stacked up top with the help of a shelf insert. Super-organised!

Source:  The Kitchn

Source:  The Kitchn

14. Another organised shelf system that keeps all food storage-related items in the one spot, including containers, food wraps, lunch bags, snack bags and zip-locks. Containers are again stacked by size and shape, while lids are separated using a wooden divided system. Love this!

Source:  HGTV

Source:  HGTV

15. And finally, this is how I organised our food storage containers in our previous kitchen (but we have since added quite a lot of Tupperware containers so I'll need to have a rethink!). I stacked containers by size and shape on one shelf...

And the bottom shelf held two baskets for orgnising lids - one for round, and the other for square and rectangular. This system worked perfectly for us, it was easy to maintain and we could always find what we needed, so I can highly recommend giving it a try.

I'm looking forward to trying out something different in our new kitchen. Lucky I've got all this inspiration! Number 14 is looking pretty great to me... Stay tuned to Thursday's episode of The Organised You TV, where I'm showing a step-by-step video of the recent organisation of a client's food storage collection, can't wait to show you. And don't forget to get your FREE kitchen organising cheat sheet on the button below!

Which container storage solution is your favourite?
Do you have any ideas you could add for how to organise food storage containers? We'd love to hear!