Day 3 – Decluttering Plastic Containers and Lids

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Originally published January 3, 2016 and updated January 2018 and January 2024.

Welcome to Day 3 of the 31 Days of 10-minute Decluttering Tips Challenge.  How have you done with the past two days’ challenges? Remember that the goal is to clear clutter that we don’t need from our lives and home so that we can make room to better enjoy life. Make room in your life for more enjoyment by getting rid of some of that stuff that’s just taking up room. Today we’re going to tackle decluttering plastic containers and lids. Let’s head to the kitchen and get started.

shelves with plastic containers and lids stacked and text overlay reading 10-Minute Decluttering Tasks Challenge Plastic Containers & lids

I don’t know how it happens, but somehow those plastic containers and lids seem to multiply at night in the darkness of a kitchen cabinet. It’s like the Bermuda Triangle of the kitchen – somethings disappear (like lids) and other things appear out of nowhere (like stained containers). If you’re like most of us, before you even open that plastic container cabinet, you know you have too many containers and lids. Too. Many. Keep that mind when you start purging the clutter.

Clearing Clutter – Purging Tips for Plastic Containers and Lids

Let’s head into the kitchen. On your way, grab the free Purging Clutter Checklist and the 6 purging bags you created earlier.  and add a big bag for recycling. Set your timer for 10 minutes and let’s go.

Take All the Containers and Lids Out of the Cabinet- Remember we’re doing this in 10 minutes. Know that you’re going to be making quick decisions here. There’s really no reason to linger because there shouldn’t be any emotional attachments here. As you take everything out of the cabinet, match lids up with containers and set them out on the counter.

Group Like Items Together – Quickly group like items together. Place similar sized containers together. Place similar shaped containers together. Place any containers without lids together. Place lids without containers together in another area.

Evaluate – Look at each group you’ve created. Do you need to keep the containers without lids? Do you need the lids that don’t have matching containers? Do you have too many of one shape or size of container. Do you have containers that are warped or damaged? Do you have containers that are stained?

shelf with plastic containers stacked

Purge – The containers without lids, lids without containers and all damaged and stained containers should be thrown out or recycled. Remove items you don’t need to keep and place them in one of your purging bags. 

Put Everything Away – Put the items you’ve decided to keep back away. I recommend keeping the lids together with the containers. 

neatly organized shelves in corner kitchen cabinet with title text overlay reading How to Organize a Kitchen

For tips on how to reorganize a kitchen and plastic containers check out these tips when my friend, J., and I reorganized her kitchen.

Products to Organize Containers

When purchasing an organizer for food storage containers, it’s important to consider is the size and shape of the organizer. Assess your storage needs and choose containers that are versatile and maximize space in your kitchen or pantry.

You want an organizer that will fit in your drawer or cabinet and will also hold all your containers and lids neatly.

Look for designs that allow you to store different sizes and shapes to create a customized storage solution tailored to your specific needs.

I have switched out all my food storage containers from plastic to glass. I prefer glass since it is BPA-free, lasts for years and can be used in the microwave, oven, refrigerator and freezer. Since they last for years, and even decades. I’ve found it easy to order just replacement lids when I’ve need.

Also, look for containers that offer a tight seal to prevent moisture and air from getting in, as this will help keep your food fresh for longer periods.

Another important aspect is the stackability of the containers, which can save significant space in your kitchen cabinets or pantry.

If you’re not able to change out all your containers at once, do it slowly over time as containers break or as you find sales on new products.

Adjustable Plastic Lid Storage for Kitchen Cabinet and Drawer Organization BPA-Free
03/13/2024 05:58 am GMT
Expandable Food Container Organizer

Large Capacity

Adjustable 10 Dividers

Organizer Rack for Cabinets, Cupboards, Pantry Shelves, Drawers to Keep Kitchen Tidy

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/13/2024 06:43 am GMT
Organizer for Food Storage Containers and Lids

with Adjustable Dividers

for Kitchen Storage And Organization on shelf, in drawer or in cabinet

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/13/2024 10:47 am GMT
Snaplock Lid Tempered Glasslock Storage Container

Airtight 18pc Set

Anti Spill Microwave & Oven Safe

BPA Free

Made in the USA

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/13/2024 08:08 am GMT
Pyrex Glass Food Storage Containers and Lids
$42.62 ($3.55 / Count)

24 PC Set

Glass containers with lids

Made in the USA

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/13/2024 08:27 am GMT

This is an excellent pull out option from The Container Store and the Everything Organizer Food Storage Lid Organizer is also a popular choice from The Container Store.

We’ve got another day of purging done. You’ve tamed those unruly plastic containers and reclaimed that cabinet in your kitchen. Drop by tomorrow for Day Four in the 31 Days of 10-Minute Purging Tips challenge. Let’s purge and make more room in your home for you.

If you didn’t already, print out your free Purging Clutter Checklist and get ready for tomorrow’s purging task. And if you can’t wait for tomorrow, you can check out all 31 of the 10-Minute Purging tasks right now. 

Find all my decluttering tips, printables and challenges in the table below. You can scroll though the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.

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  1. I’m a day behind so I’m tackling this one and Day 4 at the same time. LOVE this series! Thanks so much for inspiring me to organize and declutter, especially since I can do it in just 10 minutes a day.

  2. I like that you can do it in only 10 minutes. My daughter just found a lid yesterday in her room, without a container!

  3. I just did this last night as we had acquired some new containers over the holidays. The flimsy ones from the deli really aren’t worth keeping as they don’t clean up well and tear easily. I also keep my largest containers out of the main storage area as they take up so much space and I use them so rarely.

    1. Great tip about storing larger, seldom used containers elsewhere, Seana. I keep mine on the top (need a tall stool to reach) shelves in my kitchen. Great minds think alike. šŸ™‚

  4. A member of our local NAPO Chapter was talking about how he got rid of everything, bought three sizes only, and is delighted with the result. It feels good to clear that stuff out and get it functional!

    1. That’s brilliant. I’ve moved towards just using glass containers and that limited the number of different sizes.

  5. This is definitely something I need to work on! Mine are organized, but I have plenty of lids that are missing the tabs because they broke off. The next time I see containers on sale, I should probably get rid of those broken ones, and just buy some new ones.

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