Why You Should Use Square Containers For Efficient Pantry Storage

Whether you've only recently accepted the minimalist wisdom of Marie Kondo or already have your own personal label maker, one of the most daunting tasks of organization is the pantry. Space is often at a premium, with the real estate of shelves rivaling the value of a Manhattan townhouse. With that in mind, you may have made a misstep when springing for round containers rather than rectangular ones.    

This is all about math, or, more specifically, geometric math. You can't maximize space with round objects, as their corner-less sides don't allow for compact, side-to-side alignment. But this isn't a problem for rectangular containers, which were made to be stacked and tucked as tightly as a Jenga tower. This rectangular power of nesting will help free up hidden nooks and crannies in your pantry, allowing for extra boxes and packages to fill the void. 

So what type of rectangular containers should you be investing in? 

Hip to be square

Not just any rectangular container will do, so stick to this general checklist. When it comes to pantry storage, you want everything to be crystal clear — literally. Invest in clear containers so that you can see not only the contents but the level at which they're stocked; that way, you know when to put your staple ingredients back on the grocery list. 

Second, opt for plastic rather the glass containers when you can. This tip is in regard to the heft of the latter; a surplus of glass containers will put a strain on your pantry shelves, not to mention on your shoulders as you constantly have to lift it up and down from counter to cupboard. Plastic is the lighter and cheaper option all around. Finally, make sure you invest in a container with a flat-topped, air-tight lid so that you can put your stacking abilities to the test. 

From there, it's just a matter of measuring twice and buying once. Make sure the number of containers you're investing in will fit, and that any different-sized containers will still have the ability to stack in harmony with others. This will change your pantry in the best way, freeing up hidden space and granting the cook peace of mind.