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6 Ways To Organize Food Storage Containers

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Everyone has that one draw or cupboard in their kitchen. The one that you avoid opening because the sight of a messy mishmash of lids without matching tubs and tubs without matching lids just brings tears to your eyes.

You jealously guard your one or two star containers which still have their lids, not wanting to store them with the others just in case. You have heard myths about well-organized storage containers, but is it really possible?

food and snacks in glass containers

Organizing food storage containers in drawers and cupboards:

  1. Tension rods and rubber mats keep lids standing
  2. Keep lids in undershelf baskets above tubs
  3. Separate containers into baskets or bins
  4. Use sliding storage bins
  5. Pegboards keep containers in place
  6. Keep lids in magazine racks

Take heart, fellow kitchen organizing soldiers! Below we provide some of the most useful tips and tricks we found on organizing your food storage containers neatly and functionally.

No more scratching around to find what you are looking for!

Gray yoga mats lying on a shelf,

1. Tension Rods And Rubber Mats For Drawers

Place a piece of rubber mat on the bottom of the drawer in which you keep your food storage containers. You can buy a ten-foot roll for less than $9 from Amazon.

Cut the size you need and lay it down flat. Purchasing a whole roll is not a waste.

There are so many other uses for a rubber mat, from keeping your large cutlery in neat lines or stopping your kitchen rug from slipping around on the tiles.

Take some tension rods , readily available from Amazon, Target, etc. Make sure you get rods that will fit the width of your drawer but also, don’t forget they are adjustable to a certain degree.

You will only need one or two of these, depending on how many storage containers you have. Set the tension rods up along the front of your food storage container drawer.

Store the container lids stacked horizontally between the front of the drawer and the tension rod, or between two tension rods, depending on how many rows you require. The rubber mat will keep them from sliding down under the tension rods.

Stack the matching tubs in the remaining space directly behind their matching lids.

Keep them organized according to size. If you have to stack multiple sizes in the same row, keep smaller tubs and lids in the front and larger ones behind.

The great thing about this storage technique is that it is adjustable and transportable if you get more containers or you need (or want) to rearrange your kitchen, and your food storage containers have to be moved into a different drawer.

baskets on wooden kitchen table

2. Undershelf Baskets For Cupboards

Fit an undershelf basket to your food storage container cupboard. Stack the container lids neatly in the basket and their matching bowls directly above or beneath.

This technique not only prevents your lids from falling everywhere every time you take a tub out of the cupboard, but it also makes efficient use of the dead space in tall shelves.

Make sure that the undershelf baskets you buy have a criss-cross mesh so that your lids cannot fall through. You also need to ensure that the mesh apertures are small enough to hold your littlest container lid.

This method is especially effective if your storage container cupboard is in your top cabinets. In your bottom cabinets, it can be challenging to get to the lids in the baskets without bending or crouching down very low.

But don’t worry; read on for tips on bottom cabinet food storage organization!

Storage Wire Baskets In Closet

3. Book Bins Or Storage Baskets For Drawers

Fit book bins or storage baskets into your drawer. You can decide if you prefer fabric, plastic, or metal—there are so many options available!

Use different sizes and complementary shapes and jigsaw them into the drawer so that everything is nice and secure.

Organize your food storage containers according to size and shape and match them to the sizes and shapes of the individual bins or baskets.

Stack the tubs together and put them in one side of the bin or basket. Stand their matching lids next to them.

A cheaper option is to swap all or some of the book bins or storage baskets for any large old food storage containers that you have and for which you have lost the matching lid.

Close up background image of plastic bin

4. Sliding Storage Bins For Cupboards

Use sliding storage bins to hold your food storage containers in bottom cabinets. Instead of having to crouch down and reach into the back, you can pull the storage bin out and find what you are looking for with ease.

There are so many sliding storage bins on the market with different designs. Choose one that will suit your purpose best.

We recommend ones with in-built dividers to hold your lids separate from your tubs.

You can also get ones that are stackable. This will allow you to make the best use of the full height of the shelves.

Pegboard with sticky notes

5. Pegboards Keep Food Storage Containers And Lids In Place In Drawers

If you have an old pegboard on hand, or even if you have to buy one, this is an ingenious solution to your food storage container problem.

The pegboard goes on the bottom of your drawer. Preferably use a thin pegboard so that you are not losing too much depth in your drawer.

Insert the pegs to create the appropriately sized divisions to keep your tubs and lids stacked neatly and securely (according to size, of course!).

You might have to cut the pegboard to the right size, but don’t let this put you off because you can adjust the pegs on the board to match the division sizes that you need as your collection of food storage containers.

Furthermore, if you are using a few of the same size and the others start to slide or fall over, you can just move the pegs so that the lids and tubs are pinned securely again.

6. Magazine Racks Attached To The Inside Of Cupboard Doors

Have you got a shallow food storage container cupboard that is just too short to allow a front and back row of containers? Or maybe it’s deep enough for two and a half rows, and the wasted space drives you crazy.

You can try attaching a magazine rack to the inside of the cupboard door. Store your lids in this rack to keep them tidy and out from between your tubs.

When the cupboard is closed, the magazine rack uses up the space rather effectively. Another plus is that you don’t have to move it out of the way each time you want to reach for a tub in the cupboard.

You can stick the magazine rack on with suckers or double-sided tape. Alternatively, look for one that hooks over the top of the door.

You can also purchase a multi-layered magazine rack if you have lots of container lids. This solution works well for bottom cabinets and even top cabinets if you attach the magazine rack low enough to reach easily.

tidying up in cupboard kitchen


Home organization has become a trendy topic and hobby; more and more people are catching onto the fact that organization is super awesome—of course, some of us have known this all along!

The upside of this increase in popularity is the influx of so many new storage and organization products on the market. Some of these are incredibly useful for keeping your food storage containers neat.

Sliding storage bins make keeping your containers in a bottom cabinet convenient and neat.

You can make efficient use of your top cabinets by fitting an undershelf basket to hold your container lids above or below their matching tubs. Book bins or storage baskets can effectively divide your drawers and create cells for each sized container.

There are also some more creative solutions to food container storage, like creating drawer dividers with tension rods or pegboards and storing lids in magazine racks attached to the inside of your cupboard door.

Hopefully, this has inspired you to take the plunge and conquer your food storage container drawer or cupboard. Happy organizing!