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A simple win.
One drawer in your kitchen to check off the list.
We had an influx of new subscribers this week, and I’m so happy you’re here! I feel like there’s two kinds of people in the world (to egocentrically divide the world according to my specific interests for a second here): people who stare at me blankly when I tell them I write a home organization newsletter (clearly thinking, Uh whyyy?) vs people who come alive and say OMG YES THANK GOD. I love being able to collect the latter group here. It’s a peculiar hobby, but iykyk and I’m so happy for us weirdos to join together.
This week I have a quick win that should be within everyone’s grasp. Let’s get one small thing organized, shall we?
An old friend recently texted me an SOS about her Tupperware drawer, and it reminded me of the simple pleasure of an organized Tupperware drawer. (For simplicity I’m just going to use the branded name though obviously lots of companies now make food storage containers.)
In my thinking and talking about Tupperware this week, a neighbor who’s a generation older than me reminded me about Tupperware parties, which led me to dig up this absolute gem of an ad:
Dips stay dippier! How can you argue with that?
Tupperware® was a trailblazer.
Back to my friend’s SOS: the need for a non-chaotic Tupperware drawer is real. To her, it feels like an important milestone in setting up a home. You’re no longer a child when you’ve got a Tupperware drawer.
I sent over a photo I have on hand of my drawer, because yes (full disclosure) I am the sort of person who keeps photos of organized drawers on my phone. It was a lightbulb moment for this friend.
Here are the principles at work:
Figure out the minimum quantity of Tupperware you need to function — there is little value to having more than you need, and it just adds stress. Temporary containers come into our lives often enough (yogurt containers, berry containers, etc) that if you need a container to gift food or whatever, have faith that you will find that extra item in that moment, most likely in your recycling bin.
Don’t let Tupperware happen to you. Do not save takeout containers to reuse endlessly for storage. Return any Tupperware loaned to you. What lives in your Tupperware drawer are items you intentionally invite to live there.
Your containers must nest. That means choosing a consistent shape and keeping only items of that shape. I permit a round shape and a rectangle shape in my drawer. I’m all for being iconoclastic, but not when it comes to Tupperware.
Figure out a non-insane lid solution. You don’t want them slipping all over with no rhyme or reason, so for me this means a drawer divider and a neat vertical stack of round and rectangular lids in separate piles. Some people like storing lids on the Tupperware, which seems like unnecessary work but hey, you do you.
I realize that this could mean that you need to buy a new set of Tupperware. You know I will very rarely ever suggest you buy something, and if I do it’s only when the new item lets you get rid of multiple other items. This is one of those times. Wirecutter says these are the best options, and they all seem reasonable to me.
If someone forwarded this to you, subscribe now for more riveting updates about my Tupperware drawer.
Here are a ton of other ideas for different configurations. I’d probably steer clear of buying anything that’s too prescribed — for instance, a specific Tupperware caddy that only makes sense if you have these certain 10 Tupperware items. You need to have some flexibility built in if your needs change, so keep it as simple and flexible as possible.
I am a huge sucker for well-marketed muted-color products, so this one from Caraway tempted me, but my hunch is it’s too specific to be useful long-term.
In my case, the only real structure I use is the bamboo drawer dividers, and they can move and change if things need to evolve.
In the vein of simple wins, here’s another one from the archives that felt really good. It’s been 5 months and I haven’t missed this item even once:
I want to shout from the hilltops: we are done with our basement remodel! As a refresher, over the past 4 months we’ve converted our basement from stuff storage to people storage (aka a guest suite). It’s been a satisfying project, bringing my home more in line with my values.
I’m now in the fun decor stage, and have been rushing all over town getting used furniture and antiques to outfit the space.
I’ll do a full reveal very soon in this newsletter, but here’s a preview because I cannot resist sharing.
It’s still not decorated in a final way, but a real live human could stay here, comfortably, warmly, and enjoy it. It makes me so happy, and we already have dear friends lined up to visit soon.
Have you tackled any quick wins at home lately? What simple change has given you new life?
And a final note. I couldn’t bring myself to send this out without saying something about what’s going on in the Middle East and the debate here in the US. My newsletter is intended to be light and fun, and definitely not a space for debating current events. But as a Jew I can’t ignore this one — it feels too personal. If you want to read the most thoughtful and humble take I’ve come across so far click here.