Repurpose This Kitchen Essential To Make Organizing Your Pantry A Breeze

It's common for the pantry to get cluttered and disorganized, as it's a catch-all space for dry goods, snacks, baking ingredients, and other non-refrigerated food essentials. Luckily, there's one item you likely already have that you can repurpose to organize this space: leftover food storage containers without their lids. When it comes to these tubs, we always somehow seem to end up with either missing lids or nothing but lids. Why this happens is anyone's guess, but if you fall into the first category, using your lidless containers to organize your pantry will keep them from cluttering up your cupboards and make your home more orderly.

If you were considering getting rid of the old tubs because they were missing lids, this could be a great way to reuse them instead of sending them off to the recycling plant, or worse, the landfill. However, perhaps you're on the other end of the spectrum and never want to throw away an orphaned tub in case the missing lid magically reappears. That compulsion could be even worse if your containers are made out of a highly-durable or more expensive material like glass. However, while it's understandable to feel that way, not using those containers can create a huge amount of clutter in your kitchen cabinets. Instead, while you're waiting for the lids to possibly show themselves, put the tubs to good use in the pantry. 

Organize your pantry with leftover food storage containers

It would be easy to know exactly what you have in your pantry and where it is if everything came in equally-sized boxes, but that's just not how it works. There are cans and packets of all shapes and sizes. If you're not careful, food items can have a tendency to get lost in the clutter. Of course, organizational bins have been around forever, and you can pick them up from Dollar Tree, Amazon, and countless other stores. But if you already have some food storage tubs without lids lying around, there's no need to buy anything extra.

If you buy food that comes wrapped in individual servings — like fruit snack packs or granola bars, for example — you're aware how much empty space the boxes they come in can hold. If you put the separate packets into a small tub and recycle the box, they take up a lot less space and are much easier to grab in a rush. It's also instantly evident when you're running low, so you can write your grocery list after just a quick glance into the pantry. Small, odd-shaped baking items like flavorings, sprinkles, and food coloring can also get lost in the shuffle. Group these in their own tub and you'll always know where they are.

Not just for pantries

Obviously, any system you use to organize your pantry also works in your fridge. Keep your kids' small snacks together in their own personal bin so they always know what's available to them. Or, keep your smaller items like salad dressing packets and cheese sticks from getting hidden under other items. However, these lidless food storage bins don't have to be limited to storing food.

Measuring spoons in particular have an annoying tendency to disappear over time, but your kitchen is probably full of lots of small doodads that need to be corralled. Corn cob holders, wine aerators, and frosting decorator tips are all really easy to lose, so keeping them in a small bin can help keep track of them. The same goes for whatever tiny items you have in your bathroom, home office, or on your dressing table. Everything from paper clips to costume jewelry to skin care samples can be kept in the confined space of an old food storage tub you weren't using anyway. This will effectively clear out your overcrowded cabinets and tidy up the rest of your home at the same time.