Saturday, January 13, 2024

Before and After -- Plastic Container Hellscape

Anyone else drowning in plastic containers?  I already had plenty of Gladware and its generic grocery store equivalents.  Plus, I can't bring myself to toss the black ones with the clear lids that carry-out orders are packaged in.  

Where is your plastic hellscape located?  A drawer that's not quite big enough?  A corner of a pantry shelf?  Or maybe in a tricky corner cabinet complete with Lazy Susan...

Next question:  Do you store your plastic containers with or without their lids?  Or, have you never quite decided what the system is?  In that case, just shove containers, lids, and/or containers with lids on in there wherever they fit (or don't fit), even if it means that the Lazy Susan cannot rotate properly.  

Need to put some leftovers away?  No problem.  Spin (you may have to put your back into it) and dig and spin and dig and grope blindly for a container and a lid that fits it.  Promise yourself to deal with the situation later.

Later came this past week.  There was a speaker at my women's group meeting on Thursday.  Patricia Glosner from Perfectly Organized by Patricia shared some tips for home organizing.  One of them was that when addressing your plastic hellscape (my term, not hers), store all the lids in a separate basket.  Genius!  

First, I got everything out.  I recycled the containers with cracks and the containers and lids without matches.  In several cases, I had three containers and six lids that matched them.  I held on to four lids and recycled the rest.  

Then, I sorted the plastic containers by type and put them on the top shelf.  I put all the lids in two baskets on the bottom:  one for the smallest and largest lids, one for the medium-sized lids.  I also put a few items with lids on the bottom:  a plastic chip and dip, my Pampered chef microwave steamer strainer things, and a few specialty containers.

When I need a container, it is much easier to select the size I need from the top shelf and then to find a matching lid beneath.  Without a lot of extra effort, I can even pull the basket o' lids out and make my selection in bright light.

Can I keep this system going?  I hope so.  It was so satisfying to receive a practical, sensible tip that I could follow through on forty-five minutes after hearing it. 

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