Monday, October 3, 2011

31 Days To a More Organized Life: Day 4 - Getting a Grip on Storage Containers

"Tasks that take 31 Minutes or less to make your life...just a little bit easier!"

Welcome to Day 4.
Miss anything?
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I asked 10 friends their top frustrations with storage containers.
#1 - "They take up too much space."
#2 - "I can never find the lid I want."

Today, we're tackling both of those.

I used to have a kitchen full of containers of all shapes and sizes. I grew up with a Mom who re-used butter tubs, cool whip buckets - you get the idea. So, I was used to having lots of containers of various sizes. But, it wasn't working.

This would have been an organized day for me.
I wondered if I could make it even better.

I made a conscious choice and I found that containers of different sizes - with the same lid - would work best for me. I chose the Rubbermaids above because I can get them in 3 depths. (Only 2 are pictured.) They stack nicely. Most importantly they all use the same sized lid.

I also have these Ziplocs - in two sizes - tall and short. Again, they nest nicely and they share the same lid. These also seal great - perfect for left-over soups, chili, etc.
This last type is really little - perfect for dips and sauces in your lunch bag. They seal tightly and are the perfect size - they are win for me.

So, how many different sized lids do I have?
Only 3. (Square, Round, and small round.)

How many different sized containers can I fill?
6 (3 sizes of square, 2 sizes of round, and one small round.)

If I stacked them in a tall stack...
How many stacks would I need?
Only 3. (Square, Round, and small round.)

For me, this works perfectly.

Helpful Tips:
DON'T THROW OUT all of those OTHER containers that we are no longer using for food. Later this week we'll be making good use of those.

Most stores will have storage sales just before Thanksgiving and Christmas. Afterall, you will be packing away leftovers. If you can hold off till AFTER CHRISTMAS, you'll get great clearance sales. Last year Ziplock offered the screw-top lids in a pretty red for the holidays. (And, you guessed it, our kitchen is red.) You bet I stocked up on those at a clearance price!

No need to buy everything at once. I've seen (and used) many Rubbermaid coupons from (Other sites will offer them as well.) The Rubbermaid and Ziploc products I chose are available in most stores. So, if I stop in a grocery, Target-type, or even Walgreens - I'll glance at the prices.

Frequently, there will be a "Buy $30 get $5 off" or similar sale. Well, if you are stocking up, that's perfect.

In most stores, you can do what's called "stacking coupons." (Stacking 1 manufacturer coupon with 1 store coupon.) What that means is, let's say you print a manufacturer's $1 off coupon for a Ziploc product from an online site. (It will usually say Manufacturer on the top.) Then the grocery store/pharmacy offers a $1 store coupon for any Ziploc product. Wait for the product to go on sale from let's say $4 down to $3 - use both coupons and get it for $1. Make sense? 75% off!

The key is knowing which products you want - then, be patient. You'll soon have your supply.

Looking for Healthy & handy Packed Lunch Tips - For Kids & Adults?

Find more handy ideas in 10 of My Favorite Things - Kitchen Version.

Which containers are the favorite in your house?
What size to you need but do not yet have?
Tell us in the comments below!

Want to catch up?

Day 31 - Creating Your Dream Kitchen and Life!
Day 30 - Keep It Simple
Day 29 - Organizing Your Closet or Coat Rack
Day 28 - Raking It In
Day 27 - Take the Pill - Clean the Medicine Cabinet
Day 26 - Creative Uses For Storage Containers (Part 2)
Day 25 - Grab and Go!
Day 24 - Use What You've Got
Day 23 - No, Really...Look Over There!
Day 22 - Do you need THIS over THERE! (Part 2)
Day 21 - Do you need THIS over THERE! (Part 1)
Day 20 - Wish and Gift Lists
Day 19 - Grace and Rest
Day 18 - Easy Free Ornament Storage
Day 17 - Pantries and Shelters
Day 16 - Do You Have a Blue Box
Day 15 - A Blast From the Past
Day 14 - What would make it WORK?
Day 13 - Filling the Wasted Space
Day 12 - Spice Things Up
Day 11 - Clean out Your Purse and Wallet
Day 10 - Simple Safety Tips
Day 9 - Sorting the Sock Drawer
Day 8 - Creative Uses for Food Storage Containers
Day 7 - The Dreaded Junk Drawer (Part 2)
Day 6 - The Dreaded Junk Drawer (Part 1)
Day 5 - Cleaning and Organizing Your Cell Phone
Day 4 - Getting a Grip on Storage Containers
Day 3 - "Waxing Poetic"
Day 2 - Grab Those Gift Cards
Day 1 - We Dream

Linking to:
Boogieboard CottageMakingPhotobucketBeyond The Picket FenceSomewhat SimpleHookingupwithHoHNightOwlCraftingThe Shabby NestThirty Hand Made Days
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Heidi said...

i love the idea of investing in containers that all have the same size lid - what a way to simplify storage AND be able to save time in finding a lid for various sized containers! thanks!

looking forward to see how you use all those 'extra' containers as well.

happy organizing! :)

Dana @ Cooking At Cafe D said...

I just read a wonderful post on open shelving. Great pics. She uses large canning jars for her storage - great idea. You can read here -

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