Hey, girl — this is how to organize Tupperware and food storage containers

Relieve the rage caused by mismatched lids and jammed drawers 😡

Assorted plastic storage containers on pink background - stock photo
(Image credit: Getty / CatLane)

Wanna know how to organize Tupperware and food storage containers? Well, I've spent more time than I'd like to admit trying to pair lids and bases and trying to unjam drawers where too many tubs have caused the cabinets to not close properly. So, I'm here to finally close the lid on this sitch.

Aside from keeping your floors, work surfaces, and small kitchen appliances clean, you'll need to organize your kitchen to make it easy to cook in. Part of this process includes having a suitable place to store pots, pans, and plastic containers for meal prep. But, handy as they are, improperly-placed food storage containers can be a hindrance if they cause an obstruction or you're scaling your countertops in search of them.

14 ways to organize Tupperware and food storage containers

While Tupperware is the licensed brand name for a particular type of plastic container, it's also used as a collective household term for vessels used to store food (in your pantry or organizing a fridge). 

As many of us become more healthy and eco-conscious, the umbrella of best food storage containers includes boxes made from glass and bamboo lids too!

The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article.

1. Firstly, toss broken containers and solo lids

Packing lunch for work first thing in the morning can be a stressful task — even if you're just transferring last night's leftovers from one container to another. Make life easier by making sure your tools are intact. Try not to hoard lids and incomplete kitchen storage accessories that don't serve a purpose.

"Take a few minutes to toss any broken lunch containers, recycle solo lids, and donate anything that wasn’t useful," says Sarah Gerber aka @vancouverneat, owner of Neat Method Vancouver. "Resetting your drawers can feel so refreshing."

2. Use your cupboard 'ceilings'

Joseph Joseph cupboardstore containers filled with dried pulses and cereals in white cupboard

(Image credit: Joseph Joseph)

When organizing Tupperware and food storage containers in our cupboards, many of us stack the boxes and tubs on the shelves, but how many of us can say we know how to organize kitchen cabinets and use 100% of the space effectively?

These innovative food storage container sets from Joseph Joseph make use of unused space beneath your kitchen shelves with a storage rail to maximize every inch of your cupboard area. Perfect for renters (or homeowners with high-value kitchen cabinets), you can fit these without the need for tools, using non-marking tape which you can buy from Amazon.

"Under-the-shelf storage can be used either vertically or horizontally meaning you can find storage for just about any space," says Antony Joseph, design director at Joseph Joseph

"Joseph Joseph's Storage Container Set is super versatile so it can hold almost any dried food and comes with airtight lids to keep your food fresher for longer. This smart design can be mounted inside or beneath cupboards."

3. Use a trolley

Blue Ikea Raskog trolley in kitchen containing glass food jars

(Image credit: Ikea)

A ''wheely'' good idea for kitchen organizing, this RÅSKOG trolley by IKEA can store everything from glass jars filled with homemade pickles to Tupperware and food storage containers. It fits in the tightest of spaces, is a modern and mobile organizer, and comes in five different colors to suit all kitchen spaces. Scroll for more kitchen carts...

4. Store containers in pull-out drawers

A mesh storage container in kitchen cupboard

(Image credit: The Container Store)

How many of us try and tuck Tupperware out of sight, only to need a stepladder — or worse — have to climb on the kitchen counter to try and fetch what we need? Not only is it a safety hazard, but it's also completely impractical. So, instead of reaching high and deep into the crevices of your cupboards, audit your plastic and glass accessories with ease with pull-out mesh drawers.

5. Use a pegboard to organize containers

Another IKEA idea we're hooked on — is the SKÅDIS pegboard. Use this Scandi-chic wall-mounted idea to take the burden off brimmed cupboards. Here, dried legumes and pulses can be displayed so you literally don't have to "spill the beans" when rummaging through dark cupboards.

6. Use a freestanding cabinet

If you're blessed with a large(r) kitchen, you may have space for a large freestanding cabinet. It's one of the best ways to organize Tupperware and food storage containers and you can totes store your fancier glassware and bamboo boxes in this display unit in here, leaving tomato-sauced-stained plastic containers for the back of your kitchen drawers... or to be recycled or reused in the garage perhaps.

7. Add structure to drawers with acrylic lid bins

A drawer filled with an assortment of plastic containers and lids

(Image credit: @vancouverneat)

Organizing kitchen countertops can make your space look larger, cleaner, and more expensive. So by clearing surplus containers that aren't being used off the counter, you can create a clutter-free space that looks minimalist and designer.

"Tupper-where? Stop the frustration," says Gerber. "Your Tupperware drawer doesn't have to be a battle. Finding matching lids doesn't have to be a quest! Life is too short to spend precious time rifling through mismatched plastic! Adding a little structure to your drawer can go a long way in easing your food storage woes."

8. Divide and conquer with wooden dividers

A white kitchen drawer with glass food storage containers and Acacia wood spring loaded dividers

(Image credit: @vancouverneat)

The combination of wood and glass has always been a classic pairing, however, we often see this in kitchen cabinetry and furniture. More often than not, kitchen organization can leave little to be desired often prioritizing functionality over style. But this chic example proves you can have both.

"Food storage doesn’t have to be a scary kitchen category," says Gerber. "Adding a little structure can go a long way to keeping things in order. These NEAT Method acacia wood dividers are spring-loaded, and come in various sizes and depths so they fit perfectly in any drawer."

9. Store containers at an accessible level for all

Whether you live with roommates or have young kids, keeping food storage containers in an accessible spot makes life easier for everyone. Roommates will be able to find containers quickly and will be able to help themselves to an after-school snack.

"We’re all about the kids' drawers," says professional organizer Felicia (Garza) Schimpf aka @neworleansneat. "Easy access to help foster independence." 

10. Store components in wire baskets

A drawer with wire basket inserts containing tupperware lids and containers

(Image credit: Shalae Price (@azhouseoforder))

Not just for picking up your weekly groceries or farmer's market run, wire baskets are also a great way to organize Tupperware and food storage containers. They're easily transportable, too, so you can pick up a large volume of tubs and lids at once for an alfresco picnic or on-the-road eating.

"This Tupperware drawer got organized with the help of metal wire storage baskets from M Design shop," says Shalae Price, professional organizer, and owner of AZ House of Order.

12. Use a wooden rack for lids

A cupboard with glass Tupperware and colored lids organized in color order in wooden rack

(Image credit: NEAT Method)

Fresh fruit and vitamin-packed veggies don't have to be the only colorful things in your kitchen. Organize Tupperware and food storage container lids in rainbow order in a wooden rack for a Scandi-inspired scheme. It's the perfect small kitchen storage idea to make a big impact.

"Say goodbye to random container lids that don't have a friend," says Schimpf. "This system keeps everything in its place." Use the HBlife Bamboo lid organizer from Amazon to do this yourself.

13. Store tubs and lids separately

A drawer with tupperware tubs and lids separated

(Image credit: NEAT Method)

Cupboards and drawers can be a Tupperware minefield waiting to explode in your cooking space. By organizing your lids and tubs separately, you can keep the peace in your food preparation space, as Betsy Marsala (aka @chicagoneat_betsy), owner and luxury home organizer at NEAT Method has demonstrated here.

14. Reconsider how you replace containers

A white kitchen drawer with a set of colorful organized food storage containers

(Image credit: Gestalt Living)

"As convenient as they are for food storage, [containers] are such a nightmare when it comes to keeping them organized," says Ximena Rodriguez, owner and lead designer at Gestalt Living.

"If you can, get one and only one brand of food storage containers with all like shapes (sizes can vary). Not only will it make storage easier but it will look aesthetically better. ⁣This doesn’t mean you need to throw everything away and run buy new. But when replacing them keep this in mind.⁣"

14. Nest your food storage containers

Consider this the Russian doll-style hack to your kitchenware. All you have to do is stack smaller Tupperware and food storage containers inside their larger counterparts.

"Nesting saves on empty container volume, thereby reducing space occupation in your cupboards," says Joseph. "It also helps keep the lid and body in one place so you're not rummaging through your drawers trying to find a matching set of containers. The great thing about Joseph Joseph's Nest Glass Storage Containers is they're built out of tough borosilicate glass and come with a 10-year warranty."

What is the best way to organize food storage containers?

We spoke to Chiara Deleonibus, global category lead, and global product marketing at Tupperware Brands who gave us her top tips. She says:

Start with a clean slate: "Always take everything out of the fridge, freezer, and pantry to do a thorough deep clean before you start reorganizing with Tupperware products, such as the FridgeSmart Starter Set with superior venting to extend the 'Best Before' date of your fruits and vegetables by up to three weeks."

"The Freezer Mates Starter Set, which has a square round shape to help you save space, freeze more efficiently, easily unmold due to the material, and an innovative stain control technology to help prevent staining from soups and stews."

"For the pantry, maximize space and keep everything in one place with Tupperware Modular Mates, their airtight lids are moisture-proof and bug-proof so food stays fresher longer."

Change formation: "Keep the older leftover containers towards the front, so you will keep them top-of-mind and use them up before they expire!"

Organize by category: "Group like products with other like products by creating a snack or breakfast station or a pasta shelf, so it is easier to spot what you have on hand and to help others in the house use for meal prep."

Christina Chrysostomou
Former acting head ecommerce editor

Hi, I'm the former acting head ecommerce editor at Real Homes. Prior to working for the Future plc family, I've worked on a number of consumer events including the Ideal Home Show, Grand Designs Live, and Good Homes Magazine. With a first class degree from Keele University, and a plethora of experience in digital marketing, editorial, and social media, I have an eye for what should be in your shopping basket and have gone through the internal customer advisor accreditation process.