How to organize Tupperware and food storage containers

These smart ways to organize Tupperware and food storage containers will relieve the rage caused by mismatched lids and jammed drawers

How to organize your food storage containers graphic
(Image credit: Future)

Want to know how to organize Tupperware and food storage containers? We've got you. After all, we've spent more time than we'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.

Aside from keeping your floors, work surfaces, and equipment hygienic, 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 preparation. But as handy as they can be at times, improperly placed food storage containers can be a hindrance if they cause an obstruction or aren't easily reachable.

So whether they're used for storing cut fruit, preparing packed lunches or making meal prep after the gym super simple, tidying your Tupperware can save you time, money... Oh, and your sanity too. 

So without further ado, here's the best way to organize Tupperware and other storage containers. 

How 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!

1. Firstly, bin broken containers and solo lids

A white kitchen drawer with an assortment of plastic containers

(Image credit: @vancouverneat)

Grabbing lunch for your kids or making a packed 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 easy by making sure your tools are intact and that you're not hoarding lids and incomplete kitchen storage accessories that don't serve a purpose.

'As school wraps up, take a few minutes to toss any broken lunch containers, recycle solo lids and donate anything that wasn’t useful for your kids this year. Resetting your drawers can feel so refreshing!' says Sarah Gerber aka @vancouverneat (opens in new tab), owner at Neat Method Vancouver.

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 know how to organize kitchen cabinets so as to use 100% of the space effectively?

These innovative food storage container sets from Joseph and Joseph (opens in new tab) 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 3M™ VHB™ tape.

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

3. Use a trolley

Blue Ikea Raskog trolley in kitchen containing glass food jars

(Image credit: Ikea)

A 'wheely' good idea for kitchen organization, this Raskog trolley by Ikea (opens in new tab) can store everything from glass jars filled with homemade pickles and organize Tupperware and food storage containers. It fits in the tightest of spaces, is a modern and mobile organizer, and, comes in five different colorways to suit all kitchen spaces.

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 you need? Not only is it a health 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. This model by The Container Store (opens in new tab), with the Elfa 5-Section Pull Out Easy Glider (opens in new tab) will make Tupperware tidy-ups a breeze.

5. Use a pegboard to organize containers

A grey skadis pegboard by Ikea with food storage containers and cutlery hooked onto it

(Image credit: Ikea)

Another Ikea idea we're hooked on – is the SKÅDIS pegboard (opens in new tab). Use this Scandi-chic wall-mounted idea to take the burden off brimmed cupboards. Here, dried legumes and pulses are seen in clear sight so budding chefs literally don't have to 'spill the beans' when rummaging through dark cupboards.

6. Use a freestanding dresser

A freestanding unit in a kitchen with a dining table and chairs

(Image credit: Ikea)

If you're blessed with a large kitchen, you may have space for a large freestanding dresser. 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 much more expensive. So by clearing surplus containers that are not being used off the counter, you can create a clutter-free space that looks minimalist and designer.

'TUPPER-WHERE? Stop the frustration. Your Tupperware drawer doesn't have to be a battle,' argues Gerber.

'Finding matching lids doesn't have to be a quest! Life is too short to spend precious time rifling through mismatched plastic! Adding in 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 on 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! Adding in a little structure can go a long way to keeping things in order. These NEAT Method acacia wood dividers (opens in new tab) are spring-loaded, and come in a variety of sizes and depths so they fit perfectly in any drawer.' says Gerber.

A drawer containing an assortment of food storage containers separated by Acacia wood spring loaded dividers

(Image credit: @desmoinesneat)

9. Store containers at an accessible level for all

A modern traditional white and grey kitchen with dark wood flooring and draw containing plastic food storage containers

(Image credit: @neworleansneat)

Whether you've got young children or adolescents, there's two things that these age groups have in common. One, they constantly snack, and two, typically speaking, they're not great at keeping tidy.

So make life easy by organizing Tupperware and food storage at a low level. Not only will this allow them to help themselves to an after school snack, but they have no excuses to tidy them away after they've been washed and rinsed. No step or stool required!

'We’re all about the kids drawers! Easy access to help foster independence.' says Schimpf.

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 groceries on your weekly supermarket or farmer's market shop, wire baskets are 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 (opens in new tab).' says Shalae Price, professional organizer, and owner of AZ House of Order (opens in new tab).

11. Make room for ugly food storage containers

open shelving in a small kitchen with crockery and glass food containers above a wood countertop with built in stainless steel sink

(Image credit: Ikea)

With one million searches per month on space-saving kitchen storage, Sam Baldry, head of design, Swoon (opens in new tab), has given his expert advice on how to achieve a coordinated kitchen without compromising on style, including how to organize Tupperware and food storage containers, and where NOT to store them.

'If you struggle for floor and workspace, looking upwards is an option less considered! Stylish floating kitchen shelving can offer additional storage, without taking up precious cooking space.'

'Why not display your more aesthetic items such as clay bowls and crystal water jugs on these shelves, to free up room to store your less appealing Tupperware away from the eyes of guests in hidden cupboards.'

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! This system keeps everything in its place.' says Felicia (Garza) Schimpf aka @neworleansneat (opens in new tab), a professional organizer.

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. But, by organizing your lids and tubs separately, you can keep the peace in your food preparation space, as Betsy Marsala (aka @chicagoneat_betsy (opens in new tab)), 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, they are such a nightmare when it comes to keeping them organized.' says Ximena Rodriguez, owner and lead designer, Gestalt Living (opens in new tab).

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

'And if you have enough space store them with their lids on (unless you enjoy playing the ‘match the lid’ game). It will save you so much time!'⁣

15. 'Nest' your food storage containers

Joseph Joseph Nesting glass food storage containers

(Image credit: Joseph Joseph)

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.'

'They're freezer, oven, microwave, and dishware safe, and come in four convenient sizes. Nest storage is perfect for cooking your food and then storing any leftovers in the fridge or freezer.'

What is the best way to organize food storage containers?

We spoke to Chiara Deleonibus, global category lead, global product marketing at Tupperware Brands (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) with superior venting to extend the 'Best Before' date of your fruits and vegetables by up to 3 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 (opens in new tab), 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 joined the Real Homes team as a digital writer in June 2021. Prior to this she worked on Good Home magazine and events. She lived closed to Epping Forest and is spoiled for choice with lush green spaces, but loves her own English garden that adjoins her ground-floor maisonette, complete with a floral melange of roses, lavender, jasmine and an apple tree.


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