©2009 Professional Organizer -
Lea Schneider is the author of
A Mom to Mom Guide available at
one-on-one organizing advice via phone and email through Organize Online
division at her company website,
Organize Right Now.
Her advice is featured
here at What's Cooking America in a monthly column. You may have read her
expert organizing ideas in Woman’s Day, Natural Health, College News, and
Better Homes and Gardens Kids’ Rooms magazines and newspapers. She is a member of the National Association of Professional
Organizers and the Association of Food Journalists.
Organize Right Now LLC
Member National Association of Professional Organizers
Organize Right Now
Those Lids Without Tubs!
When teaching organizing classes, I'm known to tote
about a bag of clutter. If that sounds odd, imagine trying to
explain the answer to the question "What is clutter?" Having a
show-and-tell bag certainly helps!
Buried down deep in the show-and-tell bag are a
couple of plastic lids. They certainly fit better in the bag than a
couple of random bowls! As I remove them out of the bag, I always
say, "I should have had you bring all of your plastic tubs without
lids and lids without plastic tubs - we could have had a matching
party! Maybe, just maybe, we would have found a mate!"
Seriously - isn't a ton of our time eaten up by
trying to find the lids to plastic tubs? Storing and organizing lids
and plastic tubs seems to be the frustration of many cooks. No
matter how often you match them up, something seems to go awry!
I am thinking that perhaps there are a ton of lids
located with the socks that have no mate. I can see that if
you have the lid, but no bowl, perhaps someone wandered off with the
the bowl of chips and didn't take the lid.
I just have no explanation how you can end up with a
plastic bowl without a lid!
Ideas for solving the
mystery of organizing plastic containers. Maybe one of the below
ideas will work for you:
Eliminate every plastic container and lid that
doesn't have a match.
Pare down the quantity of plastic containers. If
you always have a jumble of plastics in the cabinet, that means
you are not always using all of them. Get rid of at least half
Pare down the sizes of plastic containers. You
don't really need teeny to giant size containers. Some large and
some small containers should do it.
Stick to one shape of plastic containers only.
Round containers can stack inside each other and rectangle
containers can stack inside each other. Squares cannot go
into rounds (unless you jump on them). Save space by
sticking to one geometric shape only. How about tossing out the
odd assortment bought here and there at different times? Donate
then or recycle them.
After discarding all the odd sizes, replace them
with new containers that are all the same kind. Each uses the
same lid -Amazing!
Grab one of the old containers without a matching
lid (before throwing them away), and use it as a storage
container to hold the lids.
Store each plastic container with it's lid on it.
Choose to buy containers that are designed for
the lid to snap on the bottom of the container for storage
Purchase colored bowl and lids. Its sometimes
easier to match lids when you know the orange lids goes on the
Use a permanent marker to label your containers
and lids. Such as A goes to A or 3 goes to 3.
Ideas for storing containers and lids in your kitchen:
Choose to buy containers that come with a carousel for storage.
Use an under-shelf storage basket. Stack the
plastic tubs on the shelf and store the lids neatly underneath.
Add a lid storage organizer to the inside of a
cabinet door. Search for plastic lid holders in your storage
stores or on the internet.
Consider doing some rearranging or swapping of locations in your
kitchen. Storing containers and lids in a deep drawer eliminates
them tumbling out of a cabinet when they feel the need to
escape. Lids are stored to the side of each size containers.
By the way, my definition of clutter is anything
and everything that keeps you from doing what you really want to be
doing! I bet you have something better to do than digging through
all those lids!