Around our house, back-to-school means a return to scheduled bedtimes, intentional meal planning, and time-saving systems to make our morning routine flow smoothly.
I am ALL about smooth mornings around here.
Here’s what I believe: No one should leave the house in the morning feeling stressed, frazzled, in tears, or undone.
Will we occasionally experience mornings like that? Of course. But any planning and prep we can do to make mornings life-giving and peaceful are worth it to set each of us up for a successful day.
One system we put in place awhile ago is this self-help snack hutch. I know…I know: I’ve shown this hutch makeover on IG several times before because it truly is one of my most rewarding space & function solutions of all time.
We started with a very small kitchen with virtually no pantry storage and this large hutch nearby (just to the right of our dining table). I usually have chairs and art flanking this hutch. Bear with me….I’m always changing things up around here because that’s just what I do.
As I pondered ways to utilize this hutch for more food storage, it occurred to me that if I turned the hutch into self-help snack central for the kids, it would not only free up kitchen space but also decrease kitchen traffic. Win-win!
After explaining my concept to Fireman, he disappeared into the shop and I got to work priming the interior of the hutch.
Within a couple hours, Fireman returned with this adorable wooden insert designed to maximize our shelf space in the upper portion of the hutch. I mean, will you just look at those curved sides?!
After priming the interior and the new wooden insert, I painted everything a Benjamin Moore color I had on hand, Light Blue.
And then it was time for the fun part: Loading up the snacks. I had most of these baskets already on hand, but I did purchase the wooden bins from Michael’s just for this project.
I use the extra space on top to store various cookbooks, plastic forks and spoons, straws, and party supplies like sprinkles and cake candles.
In the mornings, I usually help the kids prepare the main course of their lunches, then they head over to the self-help snack hutch to add fruit cups, food bars, chips, nuts, etc. to round out their meal.
They never fail to let me know when supplies are running low, or when we don’t have enough “cool” snacks from which to choose.
This simple morning system not only empowers my kids to play a role in packing their own lunches, it offers a thrill of expectation for what they will eat and enjoy later in the day.
Because as all wise moms know: Everything is better with good snacks.
Here’s to smooth mornings and happy school days this year ~