Why is it that it's so hard to pack a lunch for work or school every day? There's something about adding an extra few minutes to your morning routine (or your before-bed routine) that feels like a hassle. Luckily there's a smart way to streamline packing that lunch tote.
We've long been fans of the snack station, so why not apply that to making your lunch, or your child's lunch, as well? Jen from I Heart Organizing has a great post on how to stock a complete lunch station, and we pulled out our favorite three tips to help you set up a system that works for you.
1. Create two lunch stations.
You'll actually need to organize two lunch kits — one in your fridge and one in your pantry. The refrigerator basket or tray should hold everything you need to make your sandwich, and any cut veggies or washed fruits. If you have condiments like jam, natural peanut butter, or mayonnaise that you use predominantly for making lunch, include them in the stash. It's easier to grab it out of the lunch basket on occasion, than to have to remember it from the fridge door every day.
The station in your pantry or cupboard should contain all of your other snacks. Make sure it's easy to get to everything. If you can, choose a shallower cabinet or drawer so you don't have to take everything out to get to the bag of pretzels lurking in the back. Make sure you also have room for your lunch bag or box and any containers that you use exclusively for lunches.
2. Pre-portion (but only if that works for you).
Depending on your grocery shopping routine and how you pack your lunch, it might be easier to portion out all of your snacks into zippered plastic bags when you bring home a fresh package of goldfish crackers or raw almonds. But if you use reusable containers that need to be stacked, it will be easier to measure out exactly how much you need each morning.
3. Don't forget the odds & ends.
Yes, you'll remember things like sandwich bread, carrot sticks, and granola bars, but keeping odds and ends like dedicated silverware, paper napkins, or even pre-moistened towelettes will also make packing your lunch that much easier.
And if you don't have the space to keep condiments at your desk, keep a few extra ketchup or mustard packets in your lunch stash, too.