My favorite bento inspiration place....Lunch in a Box, is having a bento organization event. I am never one to turn down organizing anything, and heck...why not try to win something cool in the meantime? Ok, you avid BU readers, here is how I organize my bento's. Here is what hangs in the corner of my pantry. I had to take it out of the pantry to get a semi-decent photo of it for the event. I purchased this mesh organizer at Ikea about a month or so ago. I'm pretty sure I paid about $7 for it. I love organizing, but I love organizing things cheaply. Dollar Tree is like my second home. I sometimes go in there once a week to see if they have anything new and versatile. It's a genetic thing, I swear. I have an astronomical amount of bento's, I admit. I'm not embarrassed, so deal...k?
I like to use something different everyday for the kids. So, there is a method to my madness. Plus, this mesh thingy makes it easy for the kids to pick out which bento they want to use for the next day or certain outing we are going on. Cheap and kid-friendly! Just for sanity purposes, I keep all the bento belts strapped on the matching bento inside this organizer. It's easier for me, and well, I would faint if I couldn't find the matching bento belt otherwise. It's a OCD thing. There really is not a particular order to each mesh pocket. I divided by size and weight (to distribute it evenly) There is one pocket at the bottom that is collapsed. It will eventually hold more bento's. I have some shipping to me as I write this. The only bento's that do not fit inside this container are our Laptop Lunches and my husband's Mr. Bento. Those fit neatly inside a pantry basket on the shelf.
Next up.....accessories! These are organized by plastic shoe-box sized containers I purchased at Dollar Tree. Inside each container there are smaller plastic containers to keep items separate. I usually keep the boxes I use the most at the top for ease of access. Other boxes that I don't use on a daily basis (egg molds, rice molds, etc) I keep at the bottom. I do have one more box on my pantry shelf for bento bags and oshibori towels. Surprisingly, these do not actually take up that much space. I recently had revamped my pantry anyway, and it left me a bit of extra room. I have plenty of room left for other supplies I may pick up in the future. I apologize for the blurriness of the photo. From the top left: 1. Baran grass, ozaku cups and food picks and skewers 2. Larger ozaku cups and silicone cups 3. Sandwich, Veggie & Fruit Cutters 4. Medium and Large lidded and un-lidded side cups (mostly laptop lunch containers) 5. Egg molds 6. Rice Molds 7. Not pictured: Bento bags and oshibori towels. Like I said, I like organized things, but doing it cheaply is better. I spent about $19 on all my organization supplies. That includes the hanging mesh container, 7 shoe-box sized plastic containers, and 5 sets 0f 3 small plastic containers to fit inside larger ones. Which leaves me more $$$ to get bento gear. Vicious circle it is.....;)