Getting Ready for School – Lunch Boxes

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It’s that time of year again. Time to get serious about getting organized before school starts (which is before Labor Day here!)   With lunches for 3 children and a husband, times 5 days a week, times 4 weeks a months, times….sigh, let’s just say being organized before school starts is a necessity.

In our house there are 4 of us making lunches each morning so having an organized lunch making area is really helpful.  It’s helpful for my teen daughters, for my husband and for me, too.  Truth be told, the organization started for my convenience but now I see how it helps my family (and an organized family makes a happy Mommy).

I’ve designated one cabinet near both the refrigerator and the island as the Lunch Box Cabinet.  When I set up my kitchen, I picked a cabinet that would create a work triangle with the refrigerator, pantry and counter (the areas  used to prepare lunches).   I was able to set up this work triangle on the other side of the kitchen island so it is out of the way of where most of the breakfast preparation occurs.  With 4 people in the kitchen in the morning and 3 of us making lunches, this was an important factor to consider.

a kitchen with graphic arrows showing where lunch assembly happens


The Lunch Box Cabinet holds all the equipment we need to make lunches.  The only thing I didn’t put in the Lunch Box Cabinet is plastic sandwich and snack bags.  I did that on purpose to try to encourage my family to use the environment-friendly containers. But other than that, everything we need to make lunches, except food, is kept here in the cabinet.

a draw full of lunch supplies with text reading lunch boxes, thermos, snack containers, water bottles, milk bottles
I also designated one shelf in the pantry as the Lunch Snack Shelf.
snacks in baskets on a shelf with text reading Lunch Snack Shelf
My family knows that this is the Lunch Snack Shelf and the items on this shelf are for lunch boxes only.  The shelf below holds the anytime snacks, but don’t bug me asking for snacks on the Lunch Snack Shelf! 
I’ve chosen not to label the shelf since my children are old enough to understand and remember the designations of each shelf.   I’m one for less labeling rather than more (except for labeling of blog pictures above, ahem).   Excessive labeling is just visual clutter to me and it really bugs me.  I looking at those labeled shelves in magazines and appreciate their beauty.  But in my house, I only label containers or shelves when it has something that might be confused with another similar looking item (for example, cornstarch and baking powder) or when it’s an item that is not used very often so we might forget exactly where it’s stored.  Guess that’s my confession for why the shelf isn’t labeled. 
I just received the beautiful Coke crate from my husband.  I’ve longed for one for years, and my husband surprised me with it (yea!)   After some thought, and a couple of different locations, I decided to put the Coke crate in the pantry where it makes me happy with its charm and function the many times each day that I open the pantry.  The individual bottle sections in the crate are perfect to hold granola bars, packaged crackers and packaged cookies (like Bevita and Fig Newtons).
With everything for making lunches and packing lunch boxes easily accessible and the work triangle out of the breakfast traffic pattern, my family is able to get ready in the morning quickly and hassle-free.  Sigh.  Just because we’re ready and organized doesn’t mean I’m ready for the school routine to start back up already.

 More Kitchen Organizing IdeasKitchen organizing ideas that you can do today. There are even free ideas for an organized kitchen.


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