Plastic Containers – Those Lids Without Tubs


Solving the mystery of plastic container lids


When teaching organizing classes, I am 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 – 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!


Maybe one of the below ideas will work for you:

Eliminate every plastic container and lid that does not 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 of them.

Pare down the sizes of plastic containers.  You do not 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 purchases.

Purchase colored bowl and lids.  It is sometimes easier to match lids when you know the orange lids goes on the orange bowl.

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:


Plastic Containers

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.



Plastic Containers

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.




Plastic 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!






Lea SchneiderAuthor Lea Schneider, a columnist for What’s Cooking America, is a freelance writer and organizational expert whose organizing ideas have been published in many magazines including Woman’s Day, Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen and Bath Ideas, Family Circle, Parents Magazine, as well as numerous newspapers and websites.  She is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.

Getting organized is all about living simpler and making things easier.  The bonus is it often leads to saving money.  Lea Schneider’s kitchen organizing columns tell you how to organize the many things that relate to kitchens, menus, meals, and special food events.

Check out all of Lea Schneider’s helpful home and kitchen columns at Organizing Kitchens, Pantries, Menus and Meals.




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