Where/how do you store plastic containers?

annkh_ndAugust 23, 2013

I am in the process of putting things away in my new kitchen, and just tackled the dreaded Plastic Container (PC) collection.

In the old kitchen, I had a lazy susan that held PCs. I have a fair amount of Tupperware and Rubbermaid containers, with several pieces that use the same size lids - very convenient (and color-coded!). But I also have a large number of things like Glad or Ziplock containers - even the same name brand rectangular containers don't use the same size lid - very inconvenient! I am also guilty of saving containers from cottage cheese, sour cream, etc - useful, but there's a limit to how many one really needs.

First I sorted out orphaned containers and lids - I guess it's been a while since I did that. I had planned a drawer for PC storage, but I knew it wasn't going to be nearly big enough
for all the crap I have. I ended up putting just the uniform items in the drawer, with the lids in a box. The stragglers - which are handy if you don't want the container back - went on an upper shelf.

So what do you wise and organized folks do with your PCs? How do you keep track of lids? I'll show you mine if you show me yours.

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My "Tupperware jungle" is thrown in a big drawer...I can never keep it organized and have pretty much given up. I go through it once in a while, organize and toss strays but it never looks good for long!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 1:12PM
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Go to the Appliances forum and scroll down to and within the thread about the microwave drawer. There's a picture of someone's plastic container drawer that's my dream.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 2:06PM
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I have mine in a 26" upper cabinet, on one shelf. I really weeded them out and kept very few--just enough for packing lunches. In fact, if it weren't for that, I'd get rid of them all. I find that with less of them, it's just as easy to put things in a covered glass bowl or plastic wrap over a regular plate or into a ziplock bag.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 2:07PM
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In my kitchen they are in a 33" inch drawer with two dividers, which aren't really necessary but I have them so why not use them. Actually, having the dividers lets me stand up the lids against the dividers. No problem keeping them organized. Having the plastic in a big drawer and not falling on my head when I open a wall cabinet is definitely one of the top 10 things I love about my new kitchen!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 2:16PM
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Drawer- mine is an 15" deep in bottom of 18" deep base micro-smaller depth forces keeping the collection down to manageable- the drawer is still never empty

one divider parallel to the face- 3-4" back from front for larger lids so they don't slide down to the floor- small wire rack from someplace or other (Wmart, BBB, etc) for little lids

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 2:40PM
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Thanks to people on this forum forcing me to think about this, mine live in 2 33" drawers

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 4:11PM
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Thanks, all - I'll take a photo of mine tonight. I hope this works out - DH tends to cook in mass quantities, so we use containers for lunches almost every day.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 4:17PM
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Wow - you dedicate 2 33" drawers to plastic containers! (I don't even know why we have any, since we never eat the leftovers that we put in them LOL).

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 4:24PM
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Ours are in a 30"x24" drawer under microwave drawer

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 6:51PM
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When we reno-ed our kitchen, almost 3 years ago, we tossed all manner of Tupperware & Rubbermaid containers.
We then went to a local restaurant supply store and purchased these:

They stack really well. They're inexpensive (about 25 cents each) and when they become un-usable they go into the recycling bin.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 7:03PM
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Our plastic and glass are in our gigantic 42 inch drawers with dividers. It is a living creature depending on what is the container de jour that isn't in use. I love not having any more avalanches and a was a major kitchen goal! I also have our reusable travel silverware in stand up containers in the drawer.
Those restaurant containers look interesting as well but trying to decrease plastic use.

This post was edited by a2gemini on Sat, Aug 24, 13 at 17:13

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 7:06PM
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In the large bottom drawer of my 4 drawer stack, it's 30x21. Haven't had the chance to do anything but gather it all in there though. I decided the new kitchen was the perfect excuse for new containers to replace our 12 year old set. So at least these have lids tat lock together and fit multiple size containers.

It shares with a few gadgets too tall for the shallow drawers and our collapsible dish pan and collander.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 7:16PM
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LOL...I swear it was organized last week!
24"x 25"x10" deep, up at a nice useable height under the microwave, where our wall oven used to be.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 7:22PM
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This has to be one of my favorite drawers (30" wide, bottom of a three-drawer stack). No more plastic containers falling on my feet when I open the cabinet door... Ahhhh....

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 12:51AM
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Shelayne, mine isn't as tidy as yours, and we haven't even used it yet! I just hope I can get my family to put things away well enough to get the drawer closed. It's 24" wide.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 8:53AM
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Running into reality as I put the kitchen back together. The plastic problem did not disappear while I didn't cook for 6 months. No deep drawer available. (my mistake). Can this shallow drawer be retrofitted for maximum use and neatness for plastics? We use the smaller ones nearly everyday for lunches. I could store the bigger, less used ones in the pantry.

Anything will be better than the cupboard search mission with containers flying like schrapnel.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 2:20PM
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Shelayne - yours is a dream drawer :)

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 8:35PM
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I HATE the mess that is plastic containers! But, that's not to say that I don't have them. I have a 30" drawer that is dedicated to a combo of plastic and glass containers, with a couple of casserole dishes thrown in. I too, think that they are a waste of space particularly since so many of my leftovers go from table to PC's in fridge to garbage. What's the answer? Dunno. Maybe I just stop kidding myself and skip the saving the leftovers step?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 9:45PM
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I use PC everyday for lunch using leftovers and then on the weekend for proofing containers, and I only have a handful (in two sizes). I always make sure to get the kind that go in the dishwasher, so it's easy to clean them and rotate them for use. I have an extremely small and inefficient kitchen (that we'll be gutting in about a year), so I have to be careful how much stuff I get.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 4:01PM
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What's the answer? Dunno. Maybe I just stop kidding myself and skip the saving the leftovers step?

That would be my answer. When I do eat leftovers (very infrequently), I'm always so proud of myself. Generally speaking, I consider the refrigerator the place where leftovers go to die.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 4:46PM
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Elraes Miller

I went to glass storage. They can be used for baking/casseroles and not have to change out if there are leftovers. Most of these fit inside themselves, the lids are on each bottom, then stored on top of each other (?).

I also love French glasses with lids for leftovers. Always clean looking and work in the microwave. But even with these you have to be careful the lids match correctly if a different manufact.

I do have disposable PCs (cottage cheese, butter tubs) just stack within themselves. At least the lids have info on them to match easily. Friends/family would complain that they had to bring back my glass storage and it was easier for them just to head out with a carton/lid that could be tossed.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 1:57PM
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Our PCs are in 2 pull-out baskets in a 24-inch base cabinet. Large containers up top and small ones below.

Most people wouldn't need as many PCs as we do, but we complete 95% of all cooking on the weekends and steam more vegetables during the week if needed. We use the small PCs to carry breakfast and lunch to work.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 5:26PM
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