If a kitchen is the heart of a home, storage containers are definitely the heart of a kitchen: they can be used to store food, keep them fresh for longer, and make your kitchen neater and more organized.
Available in a variety of materials, shapes and sizes, storage containers are a godsend and a great storage solution for any household. Here’s our comprehensive guide on storage containers (i.e. everything you need to know).
Top Products for Storage Containers
With so many options floating around in the market, consumers these days are more spoilt than ever before. Whatever you want to use them for, here are 3 picks we’re confident you’ll appreciate.
Why You Need Storage Containers
Let’s face it: with the passage of time, even the cleanest of environments will eventually be filled with items. Storage bins are the answer to the chaotic environment that we live in. When we get a brand new item or a better tool, we tend to start using those more often, neglecting our old items in the process.
Storage bins allow us to set aside items we do not currently use in an orderly fashion. Thus, we can clear our desktop or work space from items that are of no current use to us. Not only does our work space become cleaner, we’ll find ourselves becoming more productive too.
Things To Consider When Buying Storage Containers
Basically, there are only two main questions that need to be answered, namely: 1) What needs to be stored? and 2) What is the estimated weight of the bin when it’s full? From these two questions, we can then derive the answers to follow-up questions regarding color, size, and more.
Answering these questions will assist you in narrowing down our choice of storage containers.
Where To Buy Storage Containers
As household staples, storage containers are readily available for purchase both online and offline, although it would be more convenient to purchase one from an online store. Enter Storables: here at our site, not only will you be able to find the best storage container selection, you’ll also learn how best to maximize usage of each item.
Types Of Storage Containers
How To Organize Storage Containers
There’s a big difference between storing storage containers and actually storing storage containers for later use. This is especially true with reusable/disposable storage containers.
Separating lids from their base containers makes it possible to stack both parts together, and by doing so save space for storage. Organize both by size and color to identify the corresponding lid for each base more easily. Store these containers in easily accessible areas, such as a pantry or kitchen drawer. It’s always best to make sure that these containers are clean and dry before storing them.
A final note: if space permits, try to separate microwaveable containers from the ones that are not. This will help you when all you want is a quick, fuss-free meal.
How To Utilize Storage Containers
To best utilize storage containers, users should first sort them by category. This will greatly help you to identify the types of items that should go into each container. It’s quite easy to place any item in large containers, but it’s a whole different story trying to fit something into smaller ones.
Going back to categorizing – once you’ve identified what category your small items should be grouped to, it will be easier to place them together. Categories should include kitchen stuff, living room stuff, garage stuff, and others. Then it would be better if you’d continue to separate them into smaller categories as well. Finally, create labels for your categories to enable anyone to identify and pick out items instantly.
Whether they’re large or small, by categorizing items and labeling each of them, you’ve already started to maximize the utilization of each of your storage containers.
How To Use Food Storage Containers
There are only two reasons why you’d use storage containers for food: actual storage and transport of food. Since the transport of food could be considered short-term containment, any type of plastic will suffice as long as it can carry the food item.
For long term storage (especially for food converted to its liquid state), however, it’s best to use Bisphenol A(BPA) free plastic containers. BPA is a processing ingredient for plastics which makes them especially clear and durable. The trade-off is that BPA has been found to cause health issues. This is why for food storage, it’s best to use BPA free containers. This will prevent the possibility of BPA from leaching into your food as it is stored.
It’s also best practice to use plastic only for storing cold food items. It’s been proven that plastics can react terminally with heat and thus reducing its useful life.
Glass Storage Containers VS Plastic Storage Containers
Plastics have always shown its potential as a replacement for glass when it was first invented. Plastics have all the characteristics that glass has with a little more advantage added to it. These are lightweight, durable and could easily be molded into any form. That’s on top of its cost-effectiveness against glass.
On the other hand, glass is a classic material that can never be surpassed by plastic. All of its drawbacks can be mitigated by applying current technology mixed with new raw materials. Boron trioxide based glass is both tougher and heat resistant. Thus this type of glass surpasses even the branded plastic containers.
Currently, some plastics are even found to contain BPA which is harmful to humans. But this BPA is what makes plastic extra tough and clearer. A disadvantage for plastic users which is actually an inherent positive characteristic of glass.
Given all these, it’s still best to use glass storage, especially for food containment. It may cost more but you wouldn’t be risking your health.
How To Prevent And Remove Mold In Your Storage Containers
There are a lot of ways to prevent and remove molds in storage containers. You can always opt for the out of the shelf cleaning materials that are easily accessible. Then again there’s those old tried and tested cleaning materials and techniques.
Such as this classic one that I’m more than sure is in your grandma’s list of ways to clean.
For glass containers contaminated with molds, you may clean and remove the molds by following steps 1 to 6. But as for porous plastics that may also absorb the moldy scent it’s best to follow through with all the steps given.
Dump the moldy containers into a trash bag, a large bin or a pail with cover/lid. Wear rubber gloves and a nose mask to avoid inhaling the spores.
Fill the container with white vinegar.
Place the lid on the container, making sure it is tightly closed. If you used a trash bag, twist and tie the open end of the bag.
Let the container sit for one week.
Empty the container, and wash it with soapy hot water.
Dry the container with a clean cloth or towel. If the container doesn’t smell, put it away.
**If a moldy or odd smell is present, proceed with the following steps.
Pour 1 tbsp. baking soda into the container. Seal the container, and let it sit for one week.
Pour out the baking soda, and wash the container with soapy hot water.
Dry the container with a clean cloth or towel.
As the old sages say “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”. Here are some of the most basic of mold prevention products. They not only stifle away the possibility of molds and mildew forming. They also help in deodorizing your cramped storage space.
Preparing a space for storage may not be as easy as you might think. But worst would be finding that the current space yielded a lot of humidity. Which eventually would cause molds and mildew to form. Here’s a couple of products to make cleaning and prep-work easier.
You Should Know
Frequently Asked Questions About Storage Containers
1. Are Plastic Food Storage Containers Microwave-Safe?
Check the bottom of the container for a symbol. Microwave safe is usually a microwave with some wavy lines on it. If the container has a #5 on it, it is made from polypropylene, PP, so it is generally considered microwave safe.
2. What Should I Do If My Food Container Gets Moldy?
Mold most commonly occurs when a plastic container is left with some food particles inside for a period of time without being cleaned. While thoroughly cleaning your container will remove most of the particles, it is safer to disinfect it too, as some molds can be toxic.
Simply leave the affected container to soak in a mixture of unscented bleach and water — 55ml of bleach for every 1 litre of water — for 30 minutes. Thoroughly wash and rinse them afterwards.
3. How To Choose The Right Storage Container For Harmful Chemicals?
There are a number of things to take into mind even before considering storing harmful chemicals. – US. Environmental Protection Agency.
Consider first what harmful chemicals are you storing? The temperature they can be stored in? And the amount of storage space that should be taken by the chemical within the container? Are just a few of the things that must be considered so you may narrow down your choice of storage container.
There are plastic drums that can contain certain types of hazardous materials or liquids. Then there’s the metal drums for those that are not only hazardous but corrosive as well. But before considering these, take into mind answering the questions above first. Then you may be able to continue choosing the size, color and thickness of your storage container.
4. How To Maximize Space Using Storage Containers?
Maximizing space is all about “Creative Organization”. There is always space in every nook and cranny that we have at home. We just don’t have any way to reach it or provide a way for it to be useful.
Viewing the whole space within a given storage area is not just about the linear surface. Expand your view and look at its vertical space as well. This will provide a starting point by which you could envision placing your items.
That was the easy part, the hard part is finding compatible storage containers to properly fill up those spaces.
Cupboards can be fitted with small clear containers with lids as an additional storage for your cups and saucers. Different sized boxes could fit under staircases for maximizing space there. Thus enabling you to store shoes, bags, umbrellas and others.
There are a slew of storage containers, which with planning and a lot of imagination could help you maximize any space.
5. How To Use Containers For Toy Storage?
The best way to use containers for toy storage is to turn them into something that will excite the children upon seeing them.
The basics of storage containers are boring, white plastic boxes. But, with a little imagination these can be turned into a toy eating monster. This will even teach kids to pack there toys once they are done playing with them. If it has wheels, better, turn it into a car. Then wheel all your toys to the garage, that is their room. Or the easiest would be to turn it into a treasure box. This could then be hidden under the bed or a closet making it extra fun to find them again and play with the toys within.
It would even be highly inspirational and a bonding moment for the family is to build these boxes together.
6. How to DIY Storage Container?
The processing of creating a storage container is challenging but fun. The best part of making your own storage containers is that you can customize it exactly to your needs – it’s highly affordable as well. Here are some quick and easy DIY storage container ideas to try.
7. Where to buy metal storage containers?
Metal storage containers are favored due to their durability and heat insulation properties. We’re carefully curated a list of the best metal storage containers, so be sure to check it out for more information.
8. How much is a metal storage container?
Typically, metal storage containers tend to cost more than their plastic counterparts: you can get a good metal storage container, such as Klee Utensils 3-Piece Reusable Stainless Steel Food Storage Containers, for around $20.
9. The best food storage containers for your kids
We all want the best for our kids. This is why it’s important to choose the best storage containers for them: ones that are BPA-free, leak-proof and solidly built. These Vremi Silicone Food Storage Containers happen to fit the bill.
10. How much is a food storage containers?
The prices of food storage containers vary greatly, from a few bucks to upwards of 30 dollars.
11. How durable is plastic storage container?
These days, most plastic storage containers are made from sturdy and durable plastics like High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and Polypropylene (PP).
12. What kind of glass storage containers do you need?
Here are some factors to consider when choosing a glass storage container:
- Airtight seal – Prevents spillage or leaking of contents
- Stackability – Certain glass food containers are able to stack perfectly with one another, making them great space-savers
- Dishwasher-safe – Allows for easy, almost effortless clean-up after use
13. Types of glass food storage containers
As a material, glass is rated GRAS (“Generally Recognized As Safe”) by the FDA, making it an excellent choice for storing your food. We highly recommend you go for tempered glass containers, which is 4-5 times stronger and more durable than ordinary glass.
14. How to maximize your underbed storage containers
Easily maximize space by choosing storage containers that conform to the shape and lines of your bed frame: the ideal underbed storage container is long and low, and easy to remove when the need arises. These value-for-money storageLAB Underbed Storage Containers come in sets of 2 and can hold more than 20 pieces of clothing at a time.
15. Different types and sizes of water storage containers
Water storage containers can come in really handy in times of emergency: they’re available in several different shapes and sizes, but share the same characteristics of strength and durability. Here are some water storage containers you can rely on to tide you through difficult times.