Wednesday, October 9, 2019

How I Streamlined Lunch-Making by Creating a Lunchbox Zone

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School has been back in session for a couple of months now, and I’m already over making lunches.  Anybody else?!  We have two very picky eaters which means that they rarely eat the lunches at school which means… I have to make two lunches every single day, 4-5 days per week.  Ugh. 

Making lunches has always been the bane of my existence, so last year I set out to alleviate a little bit of the pain.  I’ve already shared this once on the blog, but it was in passing on a Five on Friday post so I didn’t cover all of the details.  I’m still loving it so much a whole year later that I thought it deserved its own post.  Not to mention, we also had our kitchen cabinets painted white inside and out this year, so I wanted to take some prettier pictures of it.  ;o)  Let’s get into the details, shall we?

The purpose of a lunchbox zone is to organize all lunch-making items together in a place close to where you make lunches to make the whole process quicker and easier.  I always make the kids’ lunches on the main counter to the left of our stove so I chose a single cabinet just above that space.

I gathered all of the possible supplies that we use:

-          Both kids’ lunchboxes (we love Pottery Barn because they hold up so well)
-          Yumboxes (best things ever)
-          Sandwich Lunch Containers
-          Thermos Hot Food Containers
-          Snack Containers
-          Napkins (regular and fun holidays ones)
-          Disposable Plastic Silverware
-          Paper Lunch Bags
-          Sticky Notes and Sharpies for writing little notes <3
-          Lunchbox Notes and Jokes

Once I had all of my supplies, I arranged everything on the shelves, organizing the smaller items in their own baskets to keep them corralled.  To take it a step further, I also typed up a list of all of the items that the kids like to eat, I put it in a plastic sheet protector, and I secured it to the inside of the cabinet with Command Strips (because they won’t ruin the cabinets).  The sheet protector allows me to slip the list in and out easily so I can update it as I come up with new ideas. 

I now have every single thing that I need to make the kids’ lunches right there at my fingertips, and I also have a list of ideas for what foods to include.  Now the only two places I have to go to in the morning while making lunches is the refrigerator and the pantry to grab the actual food.  Creating this lunchbox zone has saved me so many steps and so much time and I LOVE IT.  It’s pretty much one of the best organizing projects I’ve ever done and it’s really been such a blessing to have… and it was such an easy change to make! 

And I've also recently started customizing what I put in the lunchboxes to add fun elements for the kids... cute holiday napkins (Halloween, Christmas, etc.), these tear-out lunchbox notes, these tear-out lunchbox knock-knock jokes, fun glittery plasticware... we love being extra!  ;o)

Happy lunch-making, y’all!

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  1. Now that I've started making lunches for day care - I definitely need something like this! xo, Biana-BlovedBoston

  2. Isn't it wild how grouping things together in iikely spots can really be a game changer for the day? Such a great idea. When my kids started making their own lunches I did this on a lower shelf so it was all easier for them to reach.

  3. My favorite organizing queen is at it again! Your lunchbox zone is absolutely brilliant! xo

  4. I love your organized lunchbox zone. I keep two plastic bins in the pantry - one for breakfast items and one for lunch items. I just grab these and have most of what I need to make breakfast or lunch. :)

  5. What a smart idea to help mornings!

  6. Love this! I am all about zones in our house too.

  7. Such a great idea to have a specific place for everything and a list of ideas. Zones are always great to have.

  8. oh I love this post! going from packing 1 lunch last year to now 2 lunches is such a difference!!! We are renovating our kitchen and my new pantry has a specific lunch-making drawer I'm planning on doing the same as you with! I hadn't thought of little baskets for the lunch notes and plastic silverware though... so now that's on my list to get!!!!!

  9. I do not for one single moment miss packing school lunches.. two of my kids weren't only picky about what the school served but they don't eat sandwiches either and one won't eat any re-heated foods. I basically felt like I packed them snacks.

    1. Oh girl, I hear you! It's one of the few things I won't miss either! And my kids are soooo picky, too! I totally feel your pain!!

  10. Great tips! But it's even better when they start making their own lunches!! Ella started making hers last year and I was singing all the praises!

  11. I sort of have a cabinet like this but it's not very neatly organized! Then I have the list of what I'm making not nearby and the snacks are in the closet, so I wish I could streamline better like you did!

  12. These were some great tips! Sharing a little something about myself for World Mental Health Day!

  13. Great tips, love creating zones! Thanks so much for sharing your talent with us at the Creative Muster. Looking forward to seeing what you’ll be sharing next week. Pinning!

    1. Thanks so much for hosting! I always love your blog and your link-up!


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