Finding the most effective containers for household items

Last week we continued our journey through SPACE by looking at A or Assign a Home.

Finding a home is the key to organizing period! If everything has a home, you always know where to find it and where to put it back (it’s the putting it back that sometimes gets forgotten.)

So now on we go to the next letter which is ‘C’ or ‘Containerize’.

Oh this can be fun! It can also get expensive depending on what your tastes are so I’ll talk about containerizing in general as well as a variety of containers that you can use.

And in keeping with past articles, we’ll look at the kitchen again.

Once we have figured out where our items are going to go, the next step is to find the smallest possible container to house all of the like items.

Each area will have different requirements depending on the size of the items. Following are some ideas for containers for the drawers, cupboards and pantry of your kitchen.

The drawers in the kitchen can be made more organized by buying inserts that will house your knives, utensils, stationery supplies, etc.

You can purchase metal units that are divided in two or three partitions. You can also get the plastic, wood or metal variety that will have more partitions for your cutlery.

There are units that expand to the size of your drawer as well. These containers work particularly well for the newer homes that have drawers that are much wider than in the past. I have seen these at Bed, Bath and Beyond and Canadian Closets.

The cupboards can often hold the items without containers because of their size but here are a few suggestions that you may want to use. There is a great little three-tiered shelf unit that expands to fit the width of your cupboard.

It is ideal for storing all of your spices and small bottles. I have purchased mine at Canadian Closets in the past.

I have Tupperware containers to hold my spices. They are great because you only have to purchase a small amount of a particular spice in the bulk section of your grocery store.

Spices lose their strength over time so it’s a good idea to purchase small amounts. You can purchase empty bottles to store them or you can reuse the spice bottles that you purchase at the grocery store.

Buy a label maker and you have a container for that particular spice forever. (if you don’t want to buy a label maker – call me and I’ll come and help you do it).

Often our spices are purchased in plastic bags and when we open them, they get rolled up with an elastic band or clipped with a clip or are just thrown in the cupboard to usually spill out all over the place the next time we retrieve them (man, don’t you hate it when that happens).

Glass or plastic containers that hold your baking goods (sugar, flour, baking powder, raisins, etc.) will keep everything fresh and once again, label it and you have a home for it, so when the kids want a handful of raisins, they can find them and then put the container back where it belongs (you hope!) These containers can be purchased everywhere. The next time you’re in a store that sells household items, take a look through their container section.

There are great “under the sink” organizers that give you a shelf to use up some of that space at the top of the cupboard. You can purchase plastic food storage containers that all take the same size lid and are contained in a storage unit. You can even purchase drawer type sliders to convert those bottom cupboards into drawers. Each kitchen and each owner is different so take the time to look around and see what best suits your kitchen.

Our SPACE odyssey will come to a close next time.

Lynne Ring is the founder of The Organizing Guru. She can be reached at 403-343-2201 or by email at Also check out