Empty plastic containers for food.

Beth Randall offers tips for organizing kitchen containers.

With Christmas just a few days away, you probably think you don’t have time to organize and certainly not for this holiday. But really, how much time do you need to spend on organizing?

I have worked with many, many clients over the years whose biggest issue with getting organized is finding the time to do it. That’s why they hired a professional. Someone to make an appointment with that they paid to help them get organized.

As much as I recommend hiring a professional organizer, I really don’t think it’s necessary if you just follow some simple steps to getting organized. It might take you a little longer and you might want to skip it once in a while, but I strongly believe you can organize yourself.

First off, identify how you would benefit from being more organized. For example, would you be more efficient if your kitchen were organized? If you find yourself searching for specific kitchen utensils, dishes, pans, containers, etc., then yes, getting organized would be a benefit.

So, think about the amount of time you spend looking for items. Add all that up for a week or month and now you are probably reaching close to a couple hours of spending time looking for items. If you transferred that energy of searching for items into organizing your items, you won’t need to search anymore!

I always say start small when you organize. If you think, “My whole kitchen needs organizing,” then you might feel defeated before you even begin. But if you say, “I need to organize my storage containers,” then all of a sudden it doesn’t seem like such a big undertaking.

So, prioritize your organizing into which area would give you the most bang for you buck! If you can’t find the right storage container or even more often the right lid for the right container, then start there.

Decide when you are going to organize that cabinet and get to it. Pull everything out of it and stack the lids with the containers that fit. You will inevitably have excess lids — am I right?!

Those lids that don’t have containers can be discarded. Any containers or lids that are cracked or burned can also be discarded. Once you’ve cleared out the excess, then grouping together like containers and lids makes it easier to find them.

I like to store all my lids in one large container, then stack my containers inside each other. My husband, on the other hand, cannot stand looking for lids to containers so he always stores them with their lid on.

I personally think this uses up too much space in the cabinet, but hey if he’s going to put away the dishes then I will let him continue to do it his way. Another thing we have done more recently is purchased the same brand of containers.

I use at least one or two, 2-cup round containers with a screw-on lid for my lunch every day. We now have 10 of those exact ones so there is no searching for the right lid — there is only one type of lid for those.

Whether you have the time to organize now or not, I hope you now have the ‘know how’ to do it when you find the time.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Beth Randall, of Illinois, is a professional speaker and professional organizer. She can be reached through the Daily Journal at editors@daily-journal.com.