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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Morning Time Saver for Mom

So here we are almost a full month into 2016 and I am just now getting around to posting this. I started this post over Christmas break because I thought it would be nice to share with some of you busy moms and dads before school started back. 

It didn't work out that way.

It's still a very helpful idea for us though, so I still want to share.

When I left my position in 2014 and began subbing, I found myself in the middle and high schools during lunch. Which I was never there before. Have you been? HOLY Lunch Madness!

It isn't always what's on the tray that is so surprising, but all the hoops and lines and ropes and procedures they have to go through to get it. I used to hear horror stories from Chickadee, but she's a drama queen, so I just assumed it could only be about 1/4 as bad as she was claiming it to be. (Sorry, Chickadee)

The kids only get 30 minutes for lunch. They have to walk to the cafe. Stand in line to get the food. Stand in line to pay for the food. And then find a seat. They now have 15 minutes to scarf down whatever was left by the time they got to the line. Oh, wait, did I say 15 minutes? I meant 12 because they still have to stand in line to throw it away. Stop at the bathroom. And make it back to class on time. 

The boys decided that was all too much! And I agreed! So we started packing. (I started packing). It wasn't so bad at first, but then we found that while I was buying the things they wanted to put in their lunchboxes, the little weasels were eating it before it had a chance to make it to lunch. So inevitably, every Wednesday night, I was running to Walgreens to get drinks or chips or "something sweet". Argh.

I put a stop to that about a month in by putting three baskets in the pantry with their names on them- and after grocery shopping, I putting 5 of everything in each basket. (And yes, I was guilt-packing lunch for Chickadee for her last semester of high school- and actually, I still am in her second semester of college) . This was working out very well for us- we were guaranteed to have everything we needed for lunches for the whole week! Most nights, I could even convince them to pack the unrefrigerated things into their lunch boxes and put them on the counter, so that all I needed to do was add the sandwich and fruit in the morning!

It is still working out great for us- with one little change. The baskets were taking up a little more room than what we have in our pantry. And with them getting jostled around, cookies and chips were getting crushed. And when you are having a crap day in middle school, the last thing you want to happen is to sit down at the lunch table and find that you have chip crumbs and cookie dust.

To alleviate that problem, I added a 3 drawer sterilite container to the bottom of the pantry. One drawer per Little. It works out so much better because nothing can get stuck on top of  and crush the food that is in each drawer. And the drawers are much larger than the baskets were. 

When we go shopping on the weekend (which don't be fooled, I still hate the shopping part),  each one of the not-so-littles will open boxes and add 5 of everything to his/her drawer. If there's anything left in the boxes, those go up on the shelves with the regular snacks. The best part is they ALL know that those drawers are off limits during the week for snacking! They also know that I will NOT go back to the store during the week to buy things that are supposed to be in lunches. (This ensures that they stay out)!

The drawers turned out to be a space saver and a time saver. 

Hopefully this is something that can make your mornings a little easier with your littles!
Have a great week!


  1. Great idea! This would work for small kids to get them to take ownership in making their lunches.I wish I would have thought of this when my kids were in school. I hated making lunches and I am a teacher! I even hate to make my own lunch!

    1. thanks, Sarah! It is definitely one of my least favorite things to do! And no one can complain because THEY are the ones who chose everything......:)


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