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Food storage containers with lids on

Keep your lids on! Storing your food storage containers

One of the smartest organizational changes I made in my pantry was to start storing my food-storage containers with the lids on the containers. It wasn’t my idea. In fact, I resisted it when my friend, a fellow professional organizer with whom I occasionally swap services, suggested it. I was sure I it would take up too much room. But my friend, Aby Garvey, is a smart organizer, so I decided to try her suggestion.

It turned out to be a stroke of genius. To my surprise, the stacked containers take up no more space than they did when I stored them with the bottoms nested in a bin on top of a separate bin that held the lids.

Here’s the great part: The search for lids is over. I just reach in and grab the container of my choice. I never have bottoms without lids or lids without bottoms. It’s brilliant in its simplicity, isn’t it?

Before picture of food storage containers

Food storage containers with lids onSometimes when I suggest this to clients, they worry about the logistics of it, since food-storage containers typically come out of the dishwasher wet. So I’ll explain how I deal with that: Each morning, when I empty the dishwasher, I take the newly washed (and wet) containers to the pantry. I (temporarily) store the lid under the container. Then the next time I’m putting away another newly washed container, I first put the lid on yesterday’s now-dry container. Simple, simple. Just the way I like it.

I know that Rubbermaid has its great Easy Find Lids containers whose lids snap to the bottom of the base. That’s a terrific idea. But for me, it’s easier just to grab the whole container rather than deal with nested containers.

You may be resisting this notion as much as I did. But, honestly, I’m so glad I gave it a try. If you have a few minutes, I suggest you sort through your containers, weed out the widowed containers and orphaned lids, and maybe toss any complete containers that you haven’t used in ages. Try putting the lids on the containers you have left and stacking them. See if they fit in your storage area (and maybe weed a few more if they don’t). I’d be willing to bet you’ll love it as much as I do!

Janine Adams is a messy professional organizer who loves helping others create order. The co-founder of Declutter Happy Hour, she believes in having as much fun as possible in the organizing process. Check out her web site at Peace of Mind Organizing!

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