Lunch Gear Organization Event: The Round-up
Here’s the round-up for my first Organize Your Lunch Gear event, with the entries in the order that I received them (except the contest winner). First off, I’d like to thank everyone for participating! There were a lot of excellent organization ideas to help us stay sane in the kitchen, using everything from craft boxes, cubbies from Target, Indian spice boxes, and bookshelves with bins. My hope is that we can get ideas from each other to tame our otherwise unruly lunch-packing gear!
Of all the clever entries, I was most taken with Rhiannon’s ingenuity. She not only crafted an entire bento center out of an old bookshelf and cool organizers, but also made her own YouTube video to show it off. Don’t miss her full blog entry that also shows accessory-filled magnetic spice tins stuck to her metal organizing bins, and cute plastic Easter eggs that she’s filled with baby washcloths to make her own oshibori damp hand towels (see my oshibori how-to here). So many creative ideas in one place inspired me to do a similar reorganization this weekend — here’s my new reorganization post to complement my original accessory Organization Madness post. Rhiannon will be receiving my review copy of Face Food: The Visual Creativity of Japanese Bento Boxes (full book review here). Well done! (Read on for the full recap with all of the entries…)
- Rhiannon’s cool bookshelf with bins and neato YouTube video (Winner)
- Pieces of Earth uses Snap ‘N Stack craft organizers from Target
- Tenae at This Little Bento uses Sterilite drawers and a low cupboard with glass doors
- Reader Jodie also uses Sterilite drawers. She writes via e-mail, “I bought a small storage box that is 9x9x9. It holds all of the small stuff well and sits on a shelf in my kitchen pantry next to all my bento boxes. I still have another basket that holds egg molds and rice molds, but for the smaller items this has worked great for keeping things together.
- Reader Beth uses modular cube shelving from Target (a square and step-style combination) with pull-out organizers and plastic boxes to tame her collection (click here for a slideshow with additional photos). She writes via e-mail, “I have several of the cube areas open, which I use to store the “nicer” bento boxes. The rest of the cubes have fabric drawers that fit perfectly into the cubes, which hold all of my bento “gear” and the rest of the bento boxes. (The colors aren’t favorites of mine, but they match a photo I have hanging above the unit, and bring a lot of color into my otherwise blah kitchen. The drawers are fairly inexpensive, and can be changed.) The gear is held inside large Lock&Lock storage containers, divided up by type/function. Being organized really helps to speed up bento packing!” (Biggie: I really liked this solution as well.)
- Reader Melissa likes over-the-door shoe organizers. She writes, “The flat panel kind with all the pockets you can get at any mega store or home center. I love the ones with clear vinyl pockets. We have one on the inside of the pantry that holds granola bars, raisins, cookies and the like.. and one down the side of the fridge that holds most of my smaller bento boxes, my cupcake cups, cookie cutters, and food picks. I even cut one up into smaller parts and tacked the pockets inside cabinet doors to keep track of sippy cup lids, bottle parts and many other small misc. items. It really maximizes vertical space!”
- Nakji at Tokaido Notebook uses Daiso organizers
- Bittersweet Utopia organizes on the cheap with a hanging toy bag from Ikea and plastic bins from Dollar Tree
- Natesgirl at Please Give Peas a Chance uses a couple of three-drawer organizers
- Sakurako Kitsa (a.k.a. Amorette Dye, as featured in Face Food) uses recycled manticotti trays to organize her food picks (via e-mail)