It’s almost back-to-school time so that means it’s time for back-to-school organizing. Last week I shared the organized pantry in my new kitchen that I just love. When I was planning my new kitchen design, I knew that I wanted to include drawers for lunchboxes and water bottles. Having an organized lunchbox drawer makes it possible for my children to make their own lunches and develop their independence and responsibility. Also, because we have reusable containers, bottles and lunchboxes, we’re doing our part to be earth friendly.
In all my 20+ homes, I’ve had an organized lunchbox drawer or shelf. Sometimes I’ve had to use 2 drawers or shelves because my space was so limited. With our new kitchen design, I made sure that we included lots of big, deep drawers. I designated one drawer for lunchbox supplies and one for activities supplies, like water bottles and insulated drink containers.
Tips for an Organized Lunchbox Drawer
Designate a Drawer or Shelf for Lunchbox Items
I prefer to use a large drawer, the top drawer below my pantry, to hold our lunchbox supplies because you can see everything at once and easily reach each item. This makes it easier for your children to be independent and make their own lunches. If you don’t have a drawer, then designate a shelf that is easy for your children to reach. All supplies that are used for making school lunches go in this area.
Use baskets and bins to organize the items in your lunchbox drawer or on your shelf. Group like items together. This helps your children know where to return items when they come home from school and put their things away. It also helps you easily see what items need to be restocked.
Purchase well-made insulated lunchboxes. You can personalize the lunchbox to each person’s interests or favorite color. Look for lunch bags that can be wiped clean easily. A well-made insulated lunchbox will last you a couple of years and that’s earth friendly and great for the budget.
I try to purchase snacks in bulk and then use individual reusable containers to reduce the impact of packaging going into the landfill, but some snacks are just easier in individual pack. I look for healthier snack options for my family so that my children can make their own lunch choices from the selection of mom-approved snacks. We do have treats once in a while (can you find them in the photo?)
I have several different sizes of reusable containers for sandwiches, salads and snacks. I make sure that these containers can go through the dishwasher to make my life just a bit easier (confession – we do have a couple of specialty hand-wash only containers, but mo-ost of them are dishwasher safe). Choosing reusable containers instead of plastic sandwich bags is earth and budget friendly.
To make homemade lunch a bit more fun you can use specialty containers like ones that have their favorite characters, are shaped like a sandwich or are collapsible. The novelty container options are endless and make lunchtime just a bit more fun.
Reusable Water Bottles
Using reusable water bottles is one of the biggest earth friendly choices we make. With three children and a husband that take lunch five days a week, think of how many plastic water bottles we save by using these reusable water bottles (and yes, they’re dishwasher safe!)
We also use insulated containers (a thermos) to take hot meals for lunch. Be sure to look for ones that do not have breakable interiors. We’ve been using our insulated containers for 10 years which is earth friendly and great on the budget, too. Since my family often takes left-overs in the containers, that also helps the budget.
The bottom drawer of our pantry holds all sports water bottles and other reusable containers that we use on weekends or for sports and other activities. I keep these separate from the lunchbox drawer since these are not used daily for school or work.
Our new kitchen renovation has made it so easy to have an organized lunchbox drawer. It’s important to me for my family to take earth friendly lunches to work and school each day and our organized lunchbox drawer makes that easy for us to do. It also helps my children develop independence and personal responsibility. What tips do you have for getting ready for back-to-school?