Tupperware and food storage containers are a necessity in every home, but they can be so difficult to store. There are tons of different sizes, they can take up a lot of space, and there are all those pesky lids that seem to get in the way.
Stacking them just right can be a hassle, so people just end up throwing them in a drawer or a cabinet where it just becomes a jumbled mess.
But making sure you store Tupperware and food storage containers properly is one thing that will save you a massive headache later on.
Have you ever needed a Tupperware for some leftovers but couldn’t find it in the pile of mismatched containers? Or, even worse, you find the perfect sized container but can’t find the matching lid? It’s so frustrating!
To save yourself some time and energy later on, take an hour or two to reorganize your food storage containers. Storing Tupperware in an organized, maintainable system is one of the best things you can do for your kitchen (and your sanity).
Before you start…
Before we get into my tips for storing Tupperware, there are a couple things you’ll need to do.
First, take out all of your containers.
One of the first things you have to do when you’re organizing any room or drawer is to take everything out. You need to see exactly what you’re working with!
Pull out all of your Tupperware containers and lids and set them somewhere, like your counter or table, so you have plenty of room to sort through them.
Now it’s time to declutter.
Decluttering is an important step of any organization project. I’m sure you have old containers that have been forever changed from the stains of curry or spaghetti… if those stains aren’t coming out after multiple washes, it’s probably time to just throw those out. There’s no point in hanging on to an old container if you’re constantly reaching for the unstained Tupperware first.
Likewise, if your container is cloudy, scratched up, or has a weird texture—it’s time to get rid of those. Disruptions in the surface of your containers means the plastic has been weakened, and you don’t want to use compromised plastic containers when reheating or storing food.
Plastic Tupperware tends to last around 5 years. If you’re taking really good care of them, you could probably make yours last longer, but it’s probably a good rule of thumb to replace your food storage containers when they’re between 5-10 years old. Keep that in mind when you’re decluttering your Tupperware. (Remember, this tip is just for plastic containers. If you have glass Tupperware, those can last basically forever!)
Make sure every Tupperware container you own has a lid. It’s easy for lids to get lost, and there’s no point in saving a container if you can’t find the lid to go with it. And don’t feel bad for getting rid of a perfectly good container if you never use it. If you have any strange sizes that don’t seem to fit anything—just throw it out or donate it if it’s in good condition. Don’t let containers you never use take up space in your cupboard.
Now that you’ve decluttered your containers and have only kept the ones you like and use, it’s time to store them.
14 Ways to Store Tupperware and Food Storage Containers
There are many different methods to store tupperware and various sizes of food storage containers that will help keep you and your family organized. Here are the top 14 ways to help you do just that!
1. Designate a cupboard or a few drawers just for Tupperware containers.
Depending on how much space you have in your kitchen, you might be able to use an entire cabinet for your food storage containers, or you might only have a single drawer for them.
No matter how much space you have (or don’t have!) make sure you designate one specific cabinet, shelf, or drawer just for your food storage containers. Way too often I see people just cram their Tupperware wherever they have space. This only leads to headaches and messes.
If you need to reconfigure your kitchen cupboards and drawers to find a designated area to store Tupperware, do it. It’ll make it so much easier to sort through your containers later if it’s all in the same spot.
2. Group similar containers together.
Remember how you pulled out all of your containers at the very beginning of this process? Perfect. Now make sure they’re all sorted.
Put similar containers together. Do you have a bunch of containers of the same size or a set from the same brand? Great, put them together. When you group your containers, you’ll create a system that will help you and your family know what container goes where, and it’ll be a lot easier to maintain in the long run.
3. Invest in stacking containers.
I’m not saying you have to have a perfect set of Tupperware from the same brand in the same style with the same color lids. You can definitely still organize your food storage containers even if they are mismatched, so don’t go out and buy a whole new set if you don’t want to.
However, if you don’t have tons of room for Tupperware, consider looking into stacking containers. You can usually find a complete set like this that will let you nest your containers and it will save you tons of space.
4. Hang under-the-shelf storage baskets for extra Tupperware storage space.
If your cupboard has high shelves and you’re wasting a lot of space up at the top, you can also hang some storage shelves or baskets from the top. You can use that space for extra containers if you have any small ones that would fit, or slide your lids up there!
5. Create extra shelves in your cupboard.
If you don’t want to use an under-the-shelf storage basket, but you need a bit more room on your shelf, you can add mini shelves (like these) to give yourself another level.
6. Add pull-out drawers to deep cabinets.
If you have deep cabinets or cupboards and your Tupperware keeps getting lost in the back, add some pull out baskets or drawers. You can just slide the drawer right out and easily reach those containers at the very back.
7. Grab a Tupperware pegboard or make one yourself!
Pegboards are a great way to keep things organized. You can make space for your smaller Tupperware containers, and have a great way to keep all of the lids standing up and organized according to size. You can purchase your own customizable pegboard set on Amazon to help you store your tupperware!
If you don’t want to buy one, you should be able to make one yourself pretty easily. Just pick up some pegboard, cut it down to the right size, and then decide where you want the pegs to go!
8. Add dividers to your drawer to keep things extra tidy.
I love adding dividers to my drawers. It will give you zones within your drawer and keep everything in its space. If you don’t want to invest in a bunch of dividers, you can always get tension rods to give yourself smaller sections or zones. Check out more details on the tension rod method here.
9. Don’t store containers with the lids on.
Take those lids off before you store you Tupperware! I know keeping the lids on might seem like the easiest way to keep your containers and lids together, and while it’s true that you won’t have to go digging around for the lid, it will prevent you from stacking or nesting your containers, and you’ll end up wasting a lot of space that way.
So make sure you separate those lids and containers when you’re putting them away!
10. Use a large container for the lids.
Designate a large container you don’t use for leftovers as your lid container. You can set it on one of the shelves or in a drawer and sort your lids within that container. But make sure you’re not just throwing them into that container or it will get untidy quickly.
If you have a lot of Tupperware, consider getting a few different containers and labeling them by size of lid. This can help you keep everything neat and tidy.
11. Get a lid organizer.
If you really want to take things to the next level and a large container isn’t going to work for you space-wise, consider purchasing a lid organizer. This is my personal favorite way to organize and store Tupperware and food storage lids.
12. Use a dish drying rack or plate rack instead.
If you want to save money and want an organizer without one, you can always use a spare dish drying rack if you’ve got one laying around. You’ll still be able to sort out your lids by size and keep them standing up fairly well. You can also use plate racks to get the same effect. (I’ve even heard of people using old CD racks!)
13. Save shelf space by using the door.
If you’re low on space, you can use an over-the-door cabinet rack. It might not give you as much organization as a lid organizer, but it’s a great hack to try if you’re low on storage space!
You can also use an old magazine rack with command hooks to accomplish the same thing. I’ve even seen someone make an over-the-door organizer out of an old cereal box, so there are tons of options for you no matter what your budget is.
14. Put your lids under your containers.
If you don’t have any extra space for under-the-shelf baskets or over-the-door racks, then just put the lids right under the containers. You might have to get creative if you have multiple sizes nesting inside of a larger container, but you can always place the largest lids under the containers, then nestle the smaller lids to the side.
It won’t be the most organized, and you’ll have to make sure to maintain it (sometimes those lids on the side can get jumbled together), but you can make it work.
15. Build a Pull-Out Organizer
If you or someone you know is handy with a saw, you could create the ultimate way to store Tupperware and food storage containers by building a pull-out organizer! The instructions are very thorough and the end result is stunning!
What comes next?
Now that you’ve organized it all, here comes the hard part… maintenance!
It’s easy to just throw your Tupperware or the lids back into the cabinet or drawer when they’re clean, without taking the time to put them back into their proper place. Trust me, I have 3 kids… I see it all the time.
But maintenance is an important part of organization.
Make sure you find a system that works for you and your household. Take an extra 30 seconds to put your Tupperware in the right spot, even if you have to unstack your pile or reorganize the lids. It only takes a little longer, and it will help keep your kitchen clean and tidy.
Now go out there and conquer your Tupperware! You can do it.