Organize this: School lunches


I’m a little ashamed to admit it took me 2.5 years of school lunches to figure out this little tiny trick — a trick that everyone is probably already doing. But here goes…

Back story: When we moved out of our house in November, I was frantically trying to get the kids move day items (tooth brushes, clean clothes, back packs, etc.) organized. I was standing in the grocery store when I ran into my friend Jennie who graciously(!) told me that she would handle school lunches. As in, she would make them, bring them to school for my kids, etc. Done.

It was hard to hold back my tears of joy, but I did it. Clearly, I AM THE HERO here.

Jennie (our hero true) dropped off lunches that night with a note explaining that since she usually makes them at night, she thought she’d just bring the lunches to us the day before.

The girl makes lunches the night before?

When we opened the lunches we found all these neat little plastic containers, it was like digging through a treasure chest of goodies (fruits, veggies, granola bars, a sandwich). Side note: I’d like Jennie to be my mom.

Now you would think it would have dawned on me that I should immediately start doing school lunch things ahead of time, but we were moving and I’m not that bright and so I didn’t. But it did stick with me… I need a better lunch process… someday.

Finally, about two weeks ago, I actually carried through with my intentions to make our mornings less chaotic and tempermental and decided to start with lunches. This was actually phase two in my DECREASE MORNING STRESS plan. [Phase one had to do with dramatically decreasing my yelling – even if it means we are going to be late.]

Perhaps early preparation (over the weekend, in my case) would help alleviate some of the stress each morning.

I made up small containers of fruits and veggies, plastic bags of pretzels, and even broke down cheese sticks and lunch meat into individual servings on a Sunday afternoon. I grabbed a couple of extra small plastic containers at Target just for this purpose. Also, there’s nothing cuter than a little plastic container with a green lid. Just saying…

The result:

Um… why did it take me 2 years to figure out this simple, simple, simple process? I’m completely scratching my head over why this took me so long, particularly because I consider myself to be a relatively organized person. It’s surprising just how much smoother things go when I’m not dragging the entire refrigerator out and putting it back again within a span of 10 harried minutes before school.

Gretchen Rubin, a writer I love, who researches the power of good habits and personal tendencies, gives out happiness gold stars on her podcast each week and I feel as though I’ve earned a gold star here. This is a habit that immediately decreased my stress level in the morning. I’ve gained so much insight from listening to her Happier podcast and I highly recommend it. There’s such a connection between establishing better habits and increasing our happiness.

So what tips or tricks do you use in the mornings? Any strategies that have alleviated stress and tension in your mornings?

Organize this: School lunches