This Is The Cereal Box Hack You Never Knew You Needed

before and after of cereal box hack - four boxes unfolded, four boxes with tops folded to keep contents fresh
This method not only keeps cereal fresh but makes your pantry look more organized too.

This Easy Cereal Box Hack Beats That Flimsy Tab Any Day

Back when I was growing up in Southern California, my mom was getting after us about closing food boxes, bags, and containers securely after we opened them. I was far from the worst offender, but I do remember incurring her wrath more than once over cereal that had gone soft or soggy because I hadn’t closed it up properly.

Then once I moved to Utah and started having kids of my own, I found myself taking on the role of “food freshness enforcer.” (Ain’t that the way it goes?) But in our new arid climate, our cereal didn’t get mushy when the kids left the box open for too long — it became unbearably stale instead!)

Check out this easy cereal box hack in action in the video at the end of the post.

open cereal boxes on table
This is the before…

While the effect was different, the results were ultimately the same, because neither soggy nor stale cereal is all that pleasant to eat! Luckily, the brilliantly simple cereal box hack in this post will protect your cereal against whatever threatens to make it less than perfectly fresh.

Related: 9 Clever Ways To Upcycle Your Perfectly Good Cereal Boxes

The best part about this cereal box trick is that it doesn’t require any tools or gadgets. You don’t even need a fancy storage container to protect your favorite breakfast cereals — simply follow the steps below!

To see it in action, check out the video I’ve included for you at the end of the post!

Cereal Box Hack: How To Fold A Cereal Box To Keep It Closed

folding the top flaps of the cereal box
Start with the short flaps of the cereal box.

Step 1 – Tuck Three Flaps

Start by pushing the liner bag down into the box a little bit, then tuck the two short flaps and one of the long flaps into the cereal box. One of the long side flaps should remain outside of the box.

Pinching the long side of the cereal box
Pinching the long sides of the box is key!

Step 2 – Crease The Short Sides

Next, pinch the top corners of one of the short sides of the box together to create a crease. (The crease should go in toward the center of the box, not out.) Make an identical crease on the other short side of the box.

Tucking the long top flap of the cereal box in
It might take a few tries to figure this fold out, but don’t give up!

Step 3 – Tuck In The Last Flap

Finally, tuck the remaining long side flap into the box to secure it. And voila, your cereal box is securely closed and its contents are properly protected!

Cereal box tops neatly folded.
Now doesn’t that look nice?!

Not only is this cereal box hack effective, but it also looks sleek and organized on your pantry shelves. No need for any bulky clips here, and no need to transfer your cereal to a different container either!

If you’re looking for a super-secure airtight seal, you might consider using sealing sticks or a mini food sealer. Both are available on Amazon, pretty affordable, and effective means of keeping your cereal, chips, and other snacks as fresh as the day you bought them.

Related: Want To Save On Food? This Is The One Kitchen Gadget You Need

Anything that helps reduce food waste is definitely a “good thing” in my book! :-)

Do you have any favorite tips or tricks for keeping food fresh?

YouTube video
Ditch the cardboard tab and close your cereal boxes with this clever method!

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • Since I live in a rural area and mice like to visit occasionally, we have to keep everything in mice proof containers. Cereal boxes wouldn’t last a week. But it is a neat idea.

  • Here is how we keep our cereal fresh in the box without clips or containers: instead of putting the wax paper container back in the box with the now opened end at the top, roll it closed (as you would if you were going to clip it closed), and put it back in the box with the rolled up end sideways. This keeps the cereal in the original bag and box without any clips, containers or special folding. It will not unroll inside the box now. I do think the folding of the boxes in this post make it cute and interesting in the pantry through. :-)

  • I’ve used a plastic pouring container for mine for years. Such a clever hack. I usually save the plastic after I empty the box. They are great for covering leftovers and freezing baked goodies. I taught my mom this trick and she loves reusing the liners.

  • A while back, I found some plastic pouring type containers, They are tall, with a handle on one side and a large pour spout on the other. I can remove the cereal, in the liner out of the box, slide it down into the keeper (even a family size box) and when we get cereal we just open the spout and pour then fold liner over and close the spout! These have been a real cereal saver and were very inexpensive. I use them for some snacks as well.

  • Looks great and much neater than mine do, but I just use clothes pins or plastic clips to close the inner bags properly. Don’t think the cardboard box does anything much to keep things fresh

    • That works too, Francesca. You could even take the bag out of the box if you need more space. I just write the expiration date on the bag or on a post-it note. :-)

  • I tried this, and though it looks nice, it doesn’t really seal the top well. (though once you open a box of cereal, its the inside bag that matters most) But it does look nice. I don’t know that kids would do that though! They never close the boxes anyway! ;)

  • What do you do with the inside wax paper that the cereal is in? Do you fold it first and then do the box trick or is it left open and it is part of the box folding?

  • It’s 5 a.m. and I just closed two boxes of cereal. It was FUN. I wonder if an origami artist thought of this. It gave me a new way of thinking outside of the box! Brilliant, I’m with you on that Jillee.

    • I say you deserve an award for doing ANYTHING at 5 a.m.!!! I am 65 and I DO NOT miss those days of getting my husband and kids up and operating that early in the morning!! I do not function until noon these days! And I love it. ;>)

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