This question was prompted this morning (and yes, it's silly) when I opened the refrigerator to see (yet again) that someone had placed several short items on the top (tall) shelf, usurping space from items that can't be stored on any other shelf.

Maybe it's as simple as spatially efficient.

(Yes, I realize I should maybe be posting this in OCD dot stackexchange dot com.)

  • 1
    I would used efficiently packed. – Peter Shor Aug 15 '13 at 13:56
  • 3
    I keep thinking we should use "tetris'd" but I'm pretty sure that's diluting a trademark. – mawcsco Aug 15 '13 at 14:01

It's called, at least in Mathematics, simply packing. See Packing problem and, what I believe is the most common instance of the problem, circle packing.

  • 1
    Except in the mathematical use "packing" implies "optimal packing" (or near-optimal) because non-optimal packing is uninteresting. Thus, I'm not sure this jargon exports to the language generally. – msw Aug 15 '13 at 17:51
  • It's called packing in chemistry as well, and applies generally to finding efficient spatial arrangements. – Gnawme Aug 15 '13 at 20:01
  • And the vastly more common "I am packing my suitcase" implies nothing about the efficiency of the packing. – msw Aug 16 '13 at 1:41
  • @MSW it also means 'Good bye now' sometimes. ;) – Kris Aug 17 '13 at 13:02

Borrowing a term from the U.S. Air Force, you might call it dense-pack.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.