Contain yourselves! Has anyone dealt with this?


Some time back there was that dreaded mass of containers in the cupboard...a mish mash of empty food (i.e. cool whip, margarine, take-out) and those sold for storage. With mom's ongoing dementia and my being sick of organizing and getting rid of things without a matching lid, I invested in a lovely set of lock and lock containers, clear bases to help mom be able to see what was inside, colored two sets in fact. They nest, so I got a nice small clear box, stood them on their sides, nested, with all the lids behind them. These continue to go missing, she has literally broken off the tab (or cut it?) on one. I feel like an idiot calling and asking for replacement lids. She may even have managed to throw one or two out without our knowing. Has anyone dealt with this? Is the answer locks on the cupboard doors?

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My dH wants to save paper plates for re-use.
I throw them away behind his back.
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That's one of the things that drives me nuts too. We started using zip-lock bags for almost everything, including gravy. Saves on frustration and storage space.
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Does your mom have arthritis? I found my mom couldn't open or close some of my nicer containers because of her grip strength and arthritis. I am not clear as to whether mom lives with you. If she does, maybe just get a Sharpie and some paper and tape and put on the top what is in each Cool Whip container or whatever.

Our folks can drive us nuts for sure. My mom would eat half a container of Stauffer's mac & cheese and leave the open cup in the fridge. I had a TON of containers she could just stick the cup in and put a lid on it. I wrote notes, I reminded her every time I was over there, I stuck notes in the fridge. Every time I'd come over, I'd find open containers in the fridge. I finally was able to just laugh about it, as it wasn't that expensive. Mom just couldn't remember and I never could figure out a system that worked for both of us.
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Robinr, if your Mom probably is the child of the Great Depression, she will save cool whip containers, margarine tubs, etc. That isn't going to stop as it is ingrained in her memory that everything has an importance use.

Do not put locks on the cupboard doors, that would just confuse and upset Mom. Just ignore the missing tops to that lovely new set of containers that you had bought. Let her be. She will figure out other ways to store foods without tops. And don't make any changes of where kitchen items are located. Elders like things were they are currently located. Oh how I wanted to re-arrange my own Mom's kitchen, my OCD would kick in, but I had to hold myself back to make any changes.

I even remember my own Mom washing used handi-wrap so she could get more use out of it. She was recycling within the house. That also reminds me of when my Mom used the old dining room curtains, heavy material, to put on the back seat of their car so not to get the seat dirty :)
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