Disclosure: I have partnered with Kitchen Stuff Plus and have received compensation for this post. All comments and opinions are strictly mine.
I can’t be the only person that can’t believe that summer is already half over and we have to start thinking about getting the kids ready to go back to school. Can I?
This year I am getting myself prepared as much as I am getting the boy ready by giving my refrigerator, cupboards and pantry area an overhaul. I am going to reorganize things so that getting lunches/snacks ready to pack are easy and breakfast/ dinner meal prep isn’t a total disaster.
Having everything neat and organized will make getting things prepared much easier instead of having to root through cupboards and shelves looking for things you think you have. The worst is finding that hidden item you were looking high and low for, only to find it has already expired. And even worse is thinking you have something somewhere in the cupboard or refrigerator only to find you didn’t have it and needing it for your upcoming meal.
Although being back to school means back to routine, it also means stricter morning timelines and after school activities that cut into dinner prep time. I try my best to have a meal plan prepped ahead of time and lunches packed the night before but sometimes it doesn’t always happen so organized kitchens allows for easier grab and go in the morning and quicker dinner prep.
This is what my cupboards, pantry and refrigerator looked like before.
I was having to pull things out to see what was behind them, half open bags of pasta, multiple boxes of snacks not really knowing exactly what I had readily available. Thankfully, all it took was a trip to my local Kitchen Stuff Plus to get all the organization and kitchen supplies I needed.
I first started with the refrigerator and decided to allocate an entire shelf for snacks for lunches and that the boy could help himself to after school. I used a small bin for cheese strings and larger bin for yogurts. I have a smaller refrigerator in my apartment so space is at a premium so having a milk bag organizer is a godsend when trying to optimize space. Another tip in keeping the clutter out of your refrigerator is doing a season inventory of all your condiments and jars so that anything that has expired and it taking up space can be tossed. I also like to cut up fruits and veggies as much as I can and putting them into containers which are easier to stack and are then readily available for snacks and meals.
In my cupboards, I used a similar method by designating an entire shelf to house lunch box items and snacks that are again in easy reach for the boy to help make his lunches in the morning and for him to grab when he gets home from school. I designated a large bin for granola bars, raisins and cookies and a medium one for applesauce and fruit cups.
My pantry that used to contain half bags of pasta, flour, sugar and other baking supplies is now neatly organized in these glass storage containers. Now not only can I see exactly what I have and what I need, they aren’t falling out and spilling all over the place when I need something.
I also used a multilevel stadium to house my spices so that I can easily see and reach for what I need for a recipe. And probably one of my best organizational finds was this lid organizer for my plastic containers. I was always rooting around for a lid to match a container and this keeps everything all together and a total time saver.
With a place for everything and everything in its place, I am actually looking forward to back to school while not spending all my time getting meals ready and lunches packed and more time enjoying my day.