I’ve posted about leftover containers before. I have strong opinions about this. I’ve dropped many pointed comments over the years. I know, it is kind of weird to have strong opinions about leftover containers. But, I do. It is hard not to after helping countless clients organize their kitchens. I saw the same thing over and over. Leftover containers are an extremely common kitchen organizing issue.
But, if plastic lids and containers fall on you as you try to get a leftover container out, that is a problem. If you have a hard time finding a matching container and lid, that is a problem.
I strongly prefer glass containers with tight seals.
I also like to store things in glass because it is easier to re-heat leftovers with containers that can go directly into the microwave or oven.
If you live in fear of your kids breaking the glass, I have four kids and have had to replace maybe one container in the years. No one was hurt and it wasn’t a big deal.
Store the containers with their lids. Together.
This is going to sound too simple, to much like common sense, but for heaven’s sake – STORE THE LIDS WITH THE CONTAINERS. This alone will eliminate so much of your leftover container anguish. Like I said, I have strong opinions about this.
I can hear what you’re saying in your head right now. “I don’t have room to store my containers with their lids. I can fit so much more if I stack the containers together.”
This leads me to my next point …
You don’t need a million containers. Try Multi-use sizes.
How many would or could you actually use at once? Instead of having a million different sizes, try having a few uniform sizes that can be flexible to a lot or a little bit of stuff.
It may be easiest if I show you what I mean. Here are all my leftover containers.
All of them:
Honestly, I probably still have too many, but these stack and store so prettily and they fit, so I allow it. I almost never (exceptions for the week of Thanksgiving) use all of the containers at once.
My containers of choice:
- 2 of Pyrex 9×13 dishes with lids
- 2 of Pyrex 8×8 dishes with lids
- 6 of Snapware dishes with lids (small 2 cup size)
- 6 of Snapware dishes with lids (large 6 cup size)
- 2 of Snapware round containers with lids (medium 3.5 cup size)
*All of these are freezer safe and oven safe. (I saw some Amazon Basics options that are cheaper and look pretty equivalent, though I’ve not personally tried them.)
Where do I store cookies, cupcakes or muffins? The 9×13 pyrex dishes with the lids work for both. And I use them for these all the time (probably too much, we love to bake).
What if I need a large container? For the odd time that I really need something large (which is almost never for leftovers), I’ll use one of my mixing bowls with saran wrap on top. Usually though, I split the leftovers into multiple containers in whatever way makes sense at the time. It is easier to heat and and re-use when it is in smaller portions. My kids can fit the small glass dishes in their lunch boxes.
Why do I have the little round ones? I like the bowl ones, even though I don’t think they are totally necessary. Soup is my favorite leftover and this size is so perfect to reheat and eat the next day. Soup can be eaten in a rectangle dish, so this is just aesthetic.
So, I hope by now my strong opinions and suggestions have made my point. Clean out your leftover containers! Today!