Last week as we started rounding up school supplies, which included a new lunchbox, I was reminded of the morning frenzy that will start up again soon. You know, the rush... get dressed, fix hair, pack bags, make lunches, sign papers... on and on. I decided we could do a little something to make the mornings run just a bit more smoothly. And yes, much of that can be done the night before to relieve the morning rush, but that just doesn't seem to happen very often in our last-minute house!
This project also originated from my need to be a little more organized. Our normal spot to store lunch boxes is in the tall cabinet over the fridge. Even though my kids are bigger, I'm the only one who can reach it, so lunch boxes end up thrown on the counter until I put them up, then get them out the next morning. I wanted a neater and easier plan.
As I brainstormed, I thought about our mini-command center for mail and important papers on the inside of the pantry doors that I put together earlier this year. I still had some door space left, and thought it would be the perfect spot to corral some things specifically for lunches.
My plan was to use a few locker style baskets to attach to the door to hold the lunch boxes as well as a few food staples for lunch each day. Sounds easy enough, right? Until I actually started searching for the right shape and size. I wanted something wide and deep enough to hold a good amount of supplies, but it couldn't project too far out from the door. Also, after one mis-purchase, I realized that the sides of the basket needed to be straight, rather than tapered, so that the basket would fit flush against the door. I even thought about using actual woven baskets, but wanted to be able to see exactly what was inside the container.
I finally came across these metal locker baskets at Hobby Lobby. They were large enough and if I hung them at just the right spot on the door, the clearance would be fine and they wouldn't hinder opening or closing the door. Of course, they needed a quick coat of my favorite gold spray paint first!
I used these to attach the baskets to the door securely, so simple to install!
If you do a similar project, make sure that the placement of your basket allows you to open and close the door without the basket knocking against anything. You'll want to make sure to place them where you'll have enough clearance to avoid hitting the other door or your door frame.
I tried to put as much as possible all together in this spot so we could grab and go. Our lunches stay pretty basic- chips and fruit are always a staple, so those are easily accessible. I also added napkins and a small container to hold plastic cutlery to grab when needed.
The bottom basket is perfect for drinks and storing the lunch boxes.
Since I already had a few larger items that project out (like the paper towel holder), I decided to line these up right underneath them. That way all of the "big stuff" is on the same door, and the inside of the other door stayed put with bulletin boards for important reminders and schedules.
My sweet friend Beth and I were apparently thinking alike over the weekend, see her version of a lunch box command station here.
We're down to 7 days and counting until that early alarm brings a rude awakening. I'm anxious to try out our new system and hope it helps make our mornings super smooth!