Organizing Leftovers

The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Angie at Echoes of Laughter.

Hello Org Junkie readers! I have to admit that August is one of my favourite months. Why you ask? Because of all the organizing projects for getting ready for back to school! Yep. It’s true. I am a freak of nature among my friends because I love organizing!

Lately I have turned my attention to the fridge and how it can turn into a messy ‘closet’ sometimes. Things fall over and spill and then I am left to wipe up the mess. Surely there must be a better way to keep the fridge from looking cluttered and crowded? You know what I have discovered?

Organizing leftovers is the key. And what do I mean exactly? Well, it comes down to the containers being used…I was using a mish mash of misfits that didn’t stack or store well together. So when I got rid of all the misfits and bought a new family of containers that fit together nicely and stacked well….no more messy fridge! I really like these square containers that come in different sizes, and you can also see the contents inside.

And here’s another tip to organizing those leftovers…label, label, label! It only takes a minute to label things with some masking tape and a sharpie. It is so much easier to open the fridge and see what is to eat than it is to keep opening and closing containers because nothing is labelled!

This is what I have discovered works for our family. It also means less wasted food because things are easy to see and don’t get lost in the back of the fridge!

If you would like to see some of my other kitchen organizing secrets, visit my post on “Organizing The Fridge for Healthy Fast Food” and “Organizing Your Kitchen Into Zones”.  Both of these posts will help you make the kitchen work better and working better means less time in the kitchen and more time for you…which is a win-win, don’t you think?

See you in 2 weeks and Happy Back to School!

angie bio pic Angie’s blog, Echoes of Laughter, is all about filling your home with love and laughter. She loves creative projects, organizing & decorating, cooking, baking, and all things domestic. Angie lives in Alberta, Canada, with her husband and two great kids.





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Filed under: Guest Bloggers, Kitchen


19 Responses to Organizing Leftovers

  1. 1
    Renee says

    Oh, I need some of those containers…the thing about them that I love is they have the same size lids….so they all fit each other ~ no more looking for the right lid! I HAVE to get some! Where do you find them?

  2. 2
    Christine {Mindful Juggling} says

    Great suggestion. I’ve also recently started putting the date on the containers so I know when I actually opened that can of black olives or made that broccoli. It’s helped me remember to throw things out or eat them up before they go bad!

    • 2.1
      Rachel@Useful Beautiful Home says

      I date leftovers too! It helps so much! :)

  3. 3
    Dorothy says

    Renee, Google “Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids”:
    There are lots of places that sell them at a discount.

    Also, Angie, if you turn under one end of your strip of masking tape, it creates a little tab. The tab makes it easy to pull off the masking tape when it’s time to wash the container. Masking tape is a little slick, so I find it helpful to keep a fine-point Sharpie in the kitchen to write on it.

  4. 4
    Lori @Lori's Culinary Creations says

    Thanks for this. I’m always looking for tips and tricks for organization. Our kitchen is super tiny so any help is appreciated. Thank you!!

  5. 5
    Kerry says

    Really? Three pictures with the word potato spelt wrong?

    • 5.1
      Laura says

      Kerry these are pictures of her actual leftovers, it’s not staged. Just getting leftovers labeled is a big deal, never mind worrying about how something is spelled. I didn’t even give it a second thought.

      • Rebecca says

        And things are spelled slightly differently in different areas, like potato.

    • 5.2
      Rita says

      Looks who’s talking. Spelt??

      • Rita says

        It seems I’m having a spelling problem too. Lol!

  6. 6
    Sabrina says

    I totally agree! One size container helps manage the leftovers in our refrigerator too. I invested in glass containers with lids all the same size. They stack on top of each other easily and they are square also. Thanks for sharing.

  7. 7
    Andrea says

    When you have posts like this, it would be GREAT if you could link to the product you used, on Amazon or wherever. Thanks!

    • 7.1
      Laura says

      Sorry about that Andrea, I missed that on this post…here is the link for you:

      Laura :)

  8. 8
    Laura @ Unpunctuated Life says

    I LOVE THIS! Just looking at that stack of containers makes me happy. My husband is notoriously “bad at food”–i.e. no matter how detailed instructions I give about what’s for lunch he seems to misunderstand. This would probably be very helpful!

  9. 9
    Sandy says

    Instead of masking tape I use the blue painters tape. It stays on, is easy to write on & still peels right off if it accidentally goes through the dishwasher.

    • 9.1
      DeeDee says

      I get the problem where the tapes come off in the dishwasher, and magically sticks to something else in odd places and get the tape sticky stuff on the dishes and it is hard to remove. I was thinking of possibly using a water soluable pen so it would just wash off and then I wouldn’t need ugly sticky tape on my good glass containers. (I just keep the food in the original container, and use saran wrap to cover the foods and use a sharpe to write on the saran wrap, but that usually waste a lot of space, and so was thinking of moving to a more aesthetically pleasing container solution)

  10. 10
    DeeDee says

    I usually don’t have a problem identifying what the food is. I need to get some organizing trays for my fridge so that the stuff in the back can be accessed. I have a problem with food in the refrigerator getting “lost” and found later, so I go through the effort of writing the date so I know how old the food is and if it should be discarded. I was told food should only stay in the fridge for 3 days and then discarded. I have soo much leftovers in the fridge that I’m not in the mood to eat and it goes bad, so I’m spending a lot of time reading all the labels to identify which foods are too old and should be discarded. I was thinking of a color coding system where Monday would be one color, Tuesday would be another color, and so after 3 days, I should be able to quickly see which containers have colors that are more than 3 days old. I didn’t know if the 3 day rule was valid as it obviously doesn’t work for condiments etc. But I could see that it is easily 1-2 weeks before I go clean out the fridge, so if I used a 7 colors for days of the week system, I wouldn’t know if yesturdays’ colored food was yesturday or a week ago yesturday or 2 weeks ago yesturday. Obviously this has some flaws. Anyone have a system that works well for them to solve the problem of quickly decluttering old food in the fridge?

  11. 11
    erness says

    I LOVE THIS ARTICLE!! Just looking at that stack of containers makes me happy. WHERE DID YOU BUY IT?


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