Dawn Rebel


How to Take Your Kitchen Cupboards from Frat to Fab

Make the transition from sloppy to organized and efficient

How to Take Your Kitchen Cupboards from Frat to Fab

Remember dorm life? The newfound freedom, the exciting nightlife, the friendships, the ramen noodles. Remember the sticky floors and hallways that smelled like bad cabbage and B.O. and beer soup? Yeah. Dorm life is gross. The post-high school years meant figuring out how to live on your own. I did some pretty messy and domestically shameful things when I moved out of my parent's home, including (but not limited to):

  • Eating ice cream cake for breakfast several times
  • Not vacuuming my room for a whole year
  • Adopting two retired lab rats, and letting them run freely around the house
  • Using gum as a toothbrush for the 8:00am class days


Becoming an adult isn’t something that happens overnight. It starts when you head off to your dorm with the inheritance of blackened pots and rag-tag containers your parents were going to pitch. Slowly, adulthood sets in. You eventually replace all the bad habits and old kitchen junk with skills and stuff that helps you be productive and organized.

Important parts of my adult life have made the transition from sloppy or juvenile to organized and efficient—I’ve come a long way from “frat” to “fab.”

Like my friendships…

Or my beverages of choice…

Most importantly, how I spend my free time…

Baby Photo Image Credit: Merryfields Photography

In short, I’m upgrading all of the areas of my life since I graduated university.

The final frontier of my transition into honest-to-goodness adulthood was my container cupboard. In fact, my container cupboard was more of a container pile.

It was, frankly, scary to confront: mismatched lids and warped bases that had long ago lost their mojo. I have been using zippered bags way too often because I couldn’t bear to face the container pile.

I pride myself on being an organized, efficient, and tidy adult—but my own container pile was embarrassing and so very “frat.” I needed to get my act in gear and finally confront and organize my container cupboard like an adult.

Getting your cupboards organized is simple if you follow these three steps:

1. Decide what you really need

Organizing your kitchen cupboard is like any other area of your house.  The first step is to purge where possible. If you don’t have the space, then something has to give. A pile of containers shouldn’t rain down on your face when you open the cupboard.

2. Organize In A Smart Way

I love watching people unload their dishwasher, or make a coffee at home because you really get to see whether they have thought through the “high traffic” areas in their kitchen. Put your mugs near the coffee maker, your frequently used items within easy reach, and your containers near the fridge (for simple food storage).

3. Find products to help get you organized

When I tried some of Rubbermaid’s container systems I felt extreme excitement along with serious shame. I tried the Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids system in the original system, as well as the Rubbermaid Glass, Rubbermaid Premier, and Rubbermaid Lock-its versions.

~catcall whistling sound here~

So very shiny.

The Easy Find Lids system allows me to maximize space in my cupboards because the same sized lids snap on to one another. Each container base easily snaps to the lids, so I don’t have to rummage around for something that fits—a big time saver. The smaller sized containers neatly nest inside larger sizes, forming one neat stack—a big space saver. Please tell me why I didn’t do this sooner?

All of the containers are dishwasher, microwave, and freezer safe—another big time saver. So far I’ve saved myself space, time, and embarrassment. Sounds pretty adult-like to me.

Plus, the math speaks for itself: I took some time to legitimately match up the lids to my old containers, and my cupboard space only barely held my 20 lid-matched containers (and several lidless bottoms, and bottomless lids). The containers pictured here in my cupboard is a total of 30 full containers, with room to spare.

I wish I could go back to the dorm room and tell my younger self that getting kitchen cupboards to stop looking like a rummage sale, and more like House and Home Magazine isn’t at all a challenge.
Then, I’d cut myself one more slice of ice cream cake for breakfast.

Are your plastic containers ready to topple over? Converting your cupboards from frat to fab like Dawn did is a snap thanks to Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids.

No more digging through a pile of fallen containers or hunting for a lid when you want to pack a healthy lunch. Available at local Loblaws, Zehrs, or Superstores, this smart storage system means the right lid is always at your fingertips.

Visit our "No Sweat Guide to #GetFitIn2015" page for more tips on how to get fit, get organized, and stay healthy this year and beyond!