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Create a School Lunch-Prep Station!

Streamline your school lunch packing with this simple system! Organize everything you need for the lunches together in your kitchen.

Create a School Lunch-Prep Station! Bento-style lunch container with organce cherry tomatoes, tuna salad, an applesauce cup, and rice crackers

Last year was our first year of elementary school, so I had to come up with a system for packing school lunches. And because of food allergies, we’re taking lunch pretty much every day. My system worked shockingly well- mostly I was surprised that I stuck with it. It made lunch-packing so simple! I’m going to show you how I did it and how you can create your own school lunch-prep station to streamline mornings and make life so much simpler!

I’m setting up a two-part system. The first part is for me because I like to pack the cold portion of the lunches for a few days all at once. The second part is for B to pack her lunchbox in the morning.

first, the cold lunch-prep station

This is in an upper kitchen cabinet. I chose a shallow bin because I want to be able to take things out easily. I found this one at Target this week. It came with two smaller containers- you’ll see them in the next section.

kitchen cupboard with basket labeled "school lunches" and thermos and stack of bento containers with lids

Here’s What’s In my lunch-packing station:

I found these awesome inexpensive bento containers on amazon two years ago. I run them through the dishwasher (bottom rack!) and they have held up great! I ordered a second set so I would have enough for a whole week’s worth of lunches. The only one that didn’t survive was because the dog got into someone’s lunchbox… and the lunchbox didn’t make it either.

stack of three bento lunch containers packed on kitchen countertop

What I love about these is that I can pack a few lunches and stack them in the fridge… then it’s just a matter of pulling one out and putting it in the lunchbox in the morning!

Next, the lunchbox-filling station

This year, my goal is for B to pack her lunch box and backpack herself, so I’ve planned a lunchbox-packing station down low in the pantry where she can easily get to it. You can check out the rest of my pantry organization project HERE.

bottom half of pantry with white plastic drawers with chalkboard sticker labels- "juice boxes," "nut-free snacks", etc.

here’s what’s in my lunchbox-filling station:

  • lunch boxes
  • plastic spoons & forks (I’m using the IKEA ones we still have from when the girls were younger)
  • napkins
  • applesauce cups
  • juice boxes
  • packaged snacks
  • sauce packets (I like to save them when we eat fast food. Hello Chick-fil-a sauce!)
  • water bottles
school lunch-packing station inside bottom of pantry closet with baskets for spoons & forks, sauce packets, napkins, and water bottles

And then one final thing to add… an ice pack!

I found these awesome flat ice packs at Amazon two years ago, and again they’ve held up great and we’ll use them again this year. They’re bright-colored and fun, and they all fit easily into the door of the freezer. Grab & go!

flat ice packs in freezer door
open childn's lunch box packed with an ice pack, a bento-style container, plastic spoon, and juice box

I hope this makes your school lunch-packing easier! I know having a great system has helped me a ton! These are my favorite lunch products:

More Home Organization Ideas…

How to Organize A Pantry with Deep Shelves (So You Can Actually Find Things!)

deep pantry with organized shelves

Create a Family Command Center

family command center on chalkboard wall

Organize Kids’ Clothes for School!

plastic ikea hack drawers with chalkboard labels for the days of the week. Individual outfits are in each drawer

Get Your Home Back-to-School Ready!

aqua blue plastic caddy labeled "Homework" and filled with colorful school supplies

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