I think every person I’ve ever met has at one time in their life suffered the dreaded tupperware cupboard nightmare. Forget the fear of someone discovering skeletons in your closet, it’s the food storage containers you really need to keep hidden.
Now, before a friendly Tupperware sales lady jumps down my throat, no, all food storage containers are not Tupperware. Tupperware is a specific brand of high quality food storage containers, and if I had the money for it, I’m sure it would fit nicely and neatly all on its own. In fact, I kind of imagine real Tupperware as having magical qualities that enable it to wash, dry, and organize itself like a scene from Harry Potter. Any real Tupperware I own was gifted to me, and has since lost such magical powers.
Like Band-Aids, Kleenex, and Velcro, Tupperware has come become so known as a the heavy-weight in its class, that everyone pretty much refers to any food storage container as tupperware. Note the little “t”. This is to signify that I own the cheap stuff. The stuff that doesn’t stay organized. The stuff that somehow multiplies like bunnies, reproducing either lids or containers, but never at the same rate. I know, it’s a serious problem.
Two months ago I got on an organization, downsizing, and cleaning kick. I’ll devote another post to that, but today I just had to share my tupperware cupboard because I’m beyond thrilled that it has actually stayed organized for over a month now. For those of you who have fought to tame the tupperware beast, you know that this is nothing short of miraculous.
SO……here’s my easy 5 step system!
- Pull all of your tupperware out of the cupboard (dishwasher, counters, under the bed) and put it into whatever “bins” you have (boxes, laundry baskets, a Pack ‘n Play, etc). Wipe out the cupboard. Groan and shake your head in disbelief at how much you actually own.
- Find a good working surface (dinner table, coffee table, couch, only use the floor if you’re going to wash everything) and start separating the lids and containers. Stack them by type: large round lids, small round lids, square lids, etc. Don’t worry about inspecting it yet, that’s in the next step.
- Begin matching containers to lids. Start with like piles, for instance, the large round lids and the large round containers. As you match, inspect for quality. Have a recycle bin or box nearby to place anything that is cracked (yes, even if “it could still work”), warped, melted, or stained. Place lids on their containers and put them back into the “bins”.
- Once you’ve matched everything you can, assess what’s left. Here is the hard part. Get rid of the items that don’t have a mate. Don’t worry, this is not a metaphor for anyone’s love life. It’s just plastic people. If you have any higher quality pieces that your sure have match somewhere in the recesses of your kitchen, put them in a separate box or container in a different space. If you don’t find the match in the next few months, toss it! (By toss, I mean recycle. Love the earth.)
- Now it’s time to put away the select few items that made the cut. Depending on your space, use two or more containers to hold lids. I got two bins from the Dollar Store, talk about cheap organization! I put large lids in one, smaller lids in the other. Then stack your containers by type into neat piles.
DONE. It’s easy, once you get past the horror of realizing what a tupperware hoarder you apparently were.
Like I said, this works. Once I walked Eric (our self appointed dish washer) through the strategy of where to put the lids and stacking the containers, it was easy. No more tossing containers in and slamming the door. No more holding your breath to ready yourself for a recyclable avalanche every time you want to pack a lunch. We are free from the tupperware cupboard nightmare!!!
Do you have a tupperware cupboard from H E Double Hockey Sticks? Or do you have a system that works? I’d love to hear in the comments!
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