It’s the first Monday of October and you know what that means – it’s National Match-Up Day – the day when all drawers and cupboards that hold all of our plastic and glass food storage containers get cleaned out and organized. This almost nationally recognized holiday takes place the first Monday of October, which is today.
Why the first Monday in October?
This is typically the time when my food storage container drawer is mostly empty. After roasting tomatoes, freezing berries, baking granola, and later this week, making pesto with my girlfriends, my food storage containers are almost all used up and the drawer is nearly empty. (I can’t wait to make pesto because my stash in the freezer has been gone for several months. How can you make a good pesto, salami, boiled egg, tomato, and onion sandwich without pesto? I also love getting together with friends to make food for later use.)
Organizing Food Storage Containers
Glass is my first choice when it comes to food storage containers because it’s inexpensive and is BPA (bisphenol A*) free. You can reuse your old peanut butter, pickle or other glass jars for food storage, but clean and disinfect them first. Running them through the dishwasher is an easy way to clean and disinfect them. When filling them, make sure to leave space at the top or “head room” because food expands as it freezes and this will prevent breakage.
While I prefer glass for storing foods, plastic still gets used around our house. It’s easier to stack in our food container drawer and takes up much less space. It also doesn’t break nearly as often. Since we don’t have a microwave in our kitchen, we’re not heating our food in our plastic food containers, which is bad to do.
When the plastic containers do crack or lids get lost, I recycle those that I can in our curbside recycling bin. The plastic containers and lids that can’t be recycled get dropped off at Far West Fibers, which accepts all sorts of odd items that can’t be recycled at our curb.
Labeling your food storage containers – whether they’re glass or plastic – doesn’t have to be fancy (masking tape and a pen are completely acceptable) but it really helps if you note the contents. I try and kid myself that I’ll remember what I’ve stored in a container but I never can. Often times, I have to open the top, smell and then ask my family, “What do you think this is?”
My food storage container drawer wasn’t full of water bottles this year when I cleaned it out. I’ve really tried to pass on any offers of free water bottles – you know the kind with logos on them that seem to be given away at every conference or sporting event? I don’t buy bottled water at the store and always carry a reusable water bottle or a thermos with water when we travel so we don’t need anymore plastic water bottles. We had more plastic water bottles in our food storage drawer until I just said no to plastic water bottles!
Annie Kip of Plenty Perfect, my friend and fellow blogger, is organizing food storage cabinet and having her own National Match-Up Day. She has a very clever method of using her drinking glasses as storage containers. I love the double-duty-ness of that!
Now it’s your turn.
What does your food storage container drawer or cabinet look like these days?
Have you done your part in “National Match-Up Day?”
Go Gingham related links:
National Match-Up Day: A step-by-step on how to clean and organize your food storage containers!
Once-a-month garbage collection and our recycling routine
Grocery shopping from the bulk bins and food storage containers
Reusing glass jars and how to get them ready for re-use
Frugal grocery shopping – without coupons – yes, it’s true!
Fruit flies be gone – with lids from glass jars
*The Mayo Clinic has article about BPA and it’s health risks.