5 Neat ThingsJolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and the host of the podcast “[Ask a Clean Person](https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ask-a-clean-person/id996183661?i=1000382315226&mt=2).” Each week, she’ll round up five essential cleaning products, tools and organizational systems to help you live your tidiest lives.   

Oh wow, hello yes, it continues to be January! Which means that a lot of you are still working on making your New Year’s resolutions stick. Good! I’m here to help out with this stuff, and since one pretty common resolution has to do with eating a little better, which begets being more diligent about meal prep, which begets the need for good meal prep storage containers, that’s what we’re covering. And that’s great for me, because one of the things I want to do in this space is round up easy-to-clean options for certain categories of things — because clean-up is an important thing to account for when making purchases! (Got a category you need help with? Car seats? Patio furniture? Sex toys? LMK!) Today, I’ve got a bunch of easy-to-clean food storage options for those of you working on your eat-better resolutions.


Fitpacker Meal Prep Containers

This is it! This is the year you’re going to be a champion of meal prep! So you’re gonna need some storage containers. This set, which you can get as a 7-pack, 10-pack or 16-pack, are BPA-free, and freezer, microwave, and dishwasher-safe, so they suit a whole bunch of different storage needs. (Dishwasher note: Always put your plastic food containers on the top rack to prevent the heating element from messing with them.) They also stack nicely, so you can maximize fridge or freezer space, and the lids get high marks for locking tightly to prevent spills in transit.

GlassLock 14-Piece Oven Safe Container Set

Okay but maybe you want to avoid plastic entirely. Totally fair! Unlike plastic, glass containers like these are oven safe, and won’t hold onto smells after you wash them. But on the other hand, glass is heavier and more breakable than plastic, so you win some, you lose some in the storage container wars.

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One other feature this 14-piece set (seven containers + seven lids) has over the Fitpacker set is that the containers aren’t uniform in size, which means you have more options. Hurrah! WE LOVE OPTIONS! There are two round guys, one big and one small, two rectangular guys, both the same size, and three square guys, two small and one big. Optionsssss.

Efficient Nutrition Portion Control Containers Kit

Okay now this one is just fun: Look at the pretty colors! Those pretty colors also serve a function (not that being pretty isn’t a function, mind you!): The colors are coded to correspond to the portion sizes of veggies, protein, carbs, fats, etc, etc, etc. you should be taking in. Which is verrrrry handy, whether you’re doing a diet like Weight Watchers (sorry a … not diet? Whatever they’re saying about themselves these days, who knows), tracking macros, or just trying to get a better handle on what portion sizes are actually supposed to be. Bonus: they’re BPA-free.

Stainless Steel Bento Box

Stainless Steel Bento Box
Graphic: Shep McAllister

But let’s say that your meal prep goals are simpler ones. That’s fine! Maybe you just want to get better at bringing lunch to work, or packing a meal for air travel instead of attempting to subsist on chardonnay and mints during your quarterly JFK-LAX jaunts. Not that I know a thing about that latter point. Moving along! This bento is great for a few reasons: First up, stainless steel is easy to wash, by hand or dishwasher, your choice! It also tends not to hold onto smells and stains the way that plastic will. This three-tier set is also designed to be a bit bigger than most bentos, so you can get all the lunch you want into it.

CoolBites Premium Bento Lunch Box

Since we’re all about options in 2019, here’s an alternative bento box in the event the stainless number doesn’t grab you. This four-compartment set comes with a freezable gel pack that you can use to keep food cold on the go. Speaking of being on the go! The lid is a latched style, so it won’t come open when you’re out there on the go-ing. It’s made of dishwasher-safe, BPA-free plastic and, because the plastic is dark in color, this box is much less likely to show staining from especially stain-y foods, like tomatoes.