Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Getting organized

Nicole on s/v Bella Star offers us this tip for a neat storage product line:
Like living in a Manhattan studio apartment, life aboard a sailboat is all about organization and making the best use of your space.  Kitchens and galleys are compact and efficient, bathrooms and heads are tiny yet orderly and furniture often doubles as storage.  But  being able to live on the water (or in the mix of urban city life) makes dealing with space limitations a minor inconvenience.

We’re fortunate in that Bella Star has a good deal of storage for her size, yet trying to get everything stacked and packed efficiently for cruising is a bit like playing Tetris.  It seems easy in theory, but getting the blocks to nest just so is more challenging than you’d think!  After experimenting with a few different brands of storage containers, I found a winning solution in Snapware.  They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so I’ve had no trouble squeezing everything in and maximizing our storage space.

Beyond stackabilty, the containers are airtight, leak-proof and have secure tabs that latch on each side, keeping them closed no matter what.  After dealing with the results of a feta cheese catastrophe last week, the part about the latching tabs is important (see, a package of crumbled feta decided to explode in the darkest recesses of the fridge, which I discovered at 6:15am while blearily making Aaron’s lunch  -- what a treat that was).

We tried the OXO Pop Containers first, which also claim to be airtight, but didn’t find them durable enough for boat life – the lids came off too easily and didn’t seal particularly well.  They’re also hard to grab off the shelf, a bit awkward to stack and more expensive.

Our big provisioning run to stock up on foodstuffs and supplies for the summer is coming up in a few weeks.  With all that food needing a snug (yet accessible) home, here’s hoping our Tetris skills and our new Snapware are up to the task.

Snapware is available through their website, but I got ours from Bed, Bath and Beyond and Fred Meyer (so I could buy a ton and return the pieces that didn’t work – although I haven’t had to return one yet).


  1. We have been dealing with mice at our house and wanted a product to store food stuffs in that could keep them out and seal airtight for when we start living on the boat. We ended up loving the smapware products and have bought 3 of their 36 piece kits from costco as well as about 20 of their bigger cereal containers that we store flour, rice, pasta and cereals in. They have worked brilliantly for the last 8 or 9 months for us and we expect them to work great on the boat.

    if we were not moving on the boat I would have been tempted to buy the glass version of the containers with the plastic locking lids.

    We have been unable to beat the pricing of costco.. one of the kits is 24 dollars and when they had the cereal size containers it was around 10 dollars for 3..

    Online the kit prices are more than double that and the rectangular cereal containers are getting hard to find as well as expensive.. we did still find some through a merchant on

  2. My daughter Erica has some fo the glass ones - they are very nice too.



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