Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ask the Internet: Organizing Lids?

Today's question comes from the heartland (Brooklyn):

Q: I just moved, and while I love the new place, there isn't enough room in my cabinets for the thousands of glass, plastic, and metal lids I've somehow amassed over the years. All of them belong to useful pans and casserole dishes, but I need help organizing them. We're not allowed to anchor shelves in the walls, but we do have plenty of floor space. Any ideas?

A: Readers, this one is all you. Help!

Want to ask the interweb a question? Post one in the comment section, or write to Cheaphealthygood@gmail.com. Then, tune in next Tuesday for an answer/several answers from the good people of the World Wide Net.

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Mandi said...

You could buy one of those plastic storage carts and store the lids in there.

shris said...

Don't have a great solution, but this is how I do it.

1) Casserole lids: Flip them over so the knobs are on the inside of the dish, then stack the smaller dish on top of it. This works good for the white baking dishes. The plastic lids for the clear baking dishes go underneath the dishes.

2) Metal pot lids: my stove has a stove drawer, so they go in there. Otherwise not sure what I'd do there, maybe command hooks?

3) Plastic container lids: I stand them up vertically right next to where the bodies of the containers are nested. The bodies hold the lids up. I try to use all rectangular containers and a limited number of sizes.


Arthur said...

Not sure if it will work for you, but I have considered making some custom organizers for our kitchen lids. Seems like there isn't much out there. My idea was to take a board and drill holes that I could insert pegs into. I figured you could space the holes out to allow you to place pegs that would hold the lids upright similar to stacking plates in the dishwasher. The pegs would be able to be moved for different sized lids. The other idea is to drill peg holes that could serve has borders to allow you to stack the plates vertically. The pegs would be placed in the shape of the lids to hold the stack in place (ex. large round lids, small round lids, square lids, rectangle lids, ect...). Possibly a combination of the two ideas would accomidate all of your different lids. Just an idea.

Laura said...

Just heard about a good tip the other day, though I haven't tried it yet. Get a standing file organizer so the lids can stand up in the slats.

Martha also has a more elegant version of the same solution here: http://www.marthastewart.com/photogallery/25-kitchen-organizers#slide_8

And a quick Google search also turned this up: http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/organization/five-ways-to-get-your-pot-lids-organized-080185

suerocks said...

I have a lid divider in the back of one of my cabinets, but it's mostly for tupperware lids. It's similar to this (didn't know they made an adjustable one!): http://www.target.com/Adjustable-Pan-Lid-Holder-White/dp/B003OG7YT2/ref=sc_qi_detaillink

I also store pot lids in the drawer under the stove, if that works for you...

Darcy@SomewhatMuddledMusings. said...

There are tons of solutions that can be put on the inside of your pantry doors from things that hang to things that can be stuck on with tape and removed at a later date.
A hanging pot lid holder:
a different version:
I have some like this that are a little deeper that held all of my plastic lids. they're stuck on with doublesided tape and never come off.

Autumn said...

For my plastic containers, I finally took the time to match up all the lids with their respective bottoms. Everything at the end without a mate hit the garbage. I had over 15 lids and 5 bottoms with no mates! I couldn't believe it but it really cut down on the clutter.

Honestly I just devote one lower cabinet to all the plastic stuff (glad ware/rubbermaid/juice pitchers, etc) and hope the door stays closed. Like @shris, I flip the lids on my casseroles so they are stackable, and they actually are stored in the built in in my dining room. Pot lids get flipped over as well so I can stack the pots on top of each other. The 8 inch and 10 inch lids that I use practically every day get stored in the drying rack.

Anonymous said...

I got one of those wire shelves from Container Store that hangs from the shelf above it, and I store my pot lids in there. It leaves the whole shelf underneath it to store stuff in and only takes up about 1/3 of the vertical space above the shelf where I keep stuff that's not as tall. (hope this makes sense)

Adam said...

Not sure if this would count as anchoring shelves, but if you can put a couple of smallish screws in the wall, give this a shot: http://www.instructables.com/id/Pot-Lid-Organizer/

The Calico Cat said...

I have a kitchen shelving unit that I got at the container store... (I actually have a few, one resides in a closet & holds my crock-pot, mixer, blender, food precessor, & air popper. I don't have cabinet space either...)

Anna said...

I love my system, and it's held up through kids and husbands and MIL's help and my total inability to be organized. REALLY.

Let's say I have size 1, 2 and 3 round flat bottomed bowls. The #3 lids go on the bottom, all together. Then the #3 bowls on top of that. They will nest into the lids. The #2 lids go INSIDE the #3 bowls, and then the #2 bowls on their lids. The #1 lids inside the #2 bowls and then their bowls on top of the lids.

It should look like this:

#1 bowls
\__ #1 lids____/

#2 bowls
\____ #2 lids_____/

#3 bowls
\_____ #3 lids______/

It takes up very little space, the lids don't roll around, and even though there's a slight time investment in getting them both in and out, it has been SO worth it. I almost never have to look for a lid, because if it's not right there underneath the bowl, it's not there, period.

Kris said...

These are all great ideas. Thank you everyone. I should have mentioned - no pantry, so hanging stuff on doors becomes a little complicated unless we adjourn to the bathroom. And no outdoors space (oh, apartment living!), so construction ... the bathroom. Also? Tile backsplash, covering the entirety of the kitchen. So ...well, this has nothing to do with the bathroom, but you get the picture.

@Mandi @Calico: We're thinking of doing that. A little more counter space would also be very helpful, so maybe a cart from Ikea?

@Laura: I would never have thought of that. Ingenious!

@Darcy: Didn't know those existed. Sweet.

@Autumn: We do that every few months, and I'm always shocked at how many orphans we have. Where do they go?

@Anna: Love it! Need to try this, especially for the glass bakeware.

Cindy said...

we have a large shelf in our kitchen. The metal food industry type. I use hooks to hang pots on the sides and lids under shelves. I found a home for the lids that can't hang (like glass casserole dishes) by putting a small dishtowel type rod on the inside of the door of the pan cupboard. This puts the lids out of the way of the pans, but very easily accessible.

Anonymous said...

I'm lucky that my lids (at least, all the ones I use on a regular basis) fit neatly together in harmony into the very dishrack (you know, like for air-drying dishes after you wash them?) we happen to have. Once I discovered that, I deemed it necessary to towel-dry all dishes so as not to disturb the gorgeous array of perfectly spaced, not-making-a-ton-of-noise-every-time-I-need-a-saucepan-lid-to-boil-water-for-pasta, lid storage system. It looks a little awkward sitting up there on the counter next to the sink, but it has saved me so much hassle. (I tend to grab my pot/pan, start cooking, THEN I remember that somewhere within the recipe - read: exactly where I am at the point of remembering - I need a lid. Usually fast. So now I just turn around and voila! There is my lid.)