School Planning Sunday

The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Angie at Echoes of Laughter.

Don’t we all dread Monday mornings? It means the weekend really IS over and we are back into the grind of the school and work week. There is nothing worse than waking up to a Monday morning where a bunch of things aren’t organized and people end up going out the door with grumpy grimaces, mis-matched socks, and nothing but bread crumbs for lunch. Well…maybe not as bad as bread crumbs for lunch, but  you know what I mean.

I want to share a little routine we have at our house on Sundays….I call it “School Planning Sundays” {named similarly to my other favourite routine called Menu Plan Monday, found right here on I’m An Organizing Junkie…(wink)}. Basically, it works like this~on Sundays, I make it a priority to spend some time getting ready for the school/work week….usually after Sunday lunch. These are the things I do to make sure that come Monday morning, we are organized and ready to face the week with bells & whistles.

1. Check the Laundry

I always take a peek around the bedrooms to make sure that the people in our house have enough clean clothes for Monday morning. Sometimes, depending on how busy our schedule is, laundry can slip and gets a little backed up. I try to catch it before Monday morning comes and someone is yelling, “Mom, I have no clean underwear!”. Not a pretty way to start the week!

2. Iron the Clothes

Who likes checking for wrinkles? No me! But when it comes to people looking their best as they head out the door…the ironing must be done. My husband usually irons his own work shirts, but sometimes if he has had a busy weekend with our son’s sports activities, I will iron the shirts for him. I also check with my daughter to see if she needs anything ironed while I have the ironing board out. She usually takes care of all her own laundry, but I like to help her when I can.

3. Complete the Homework

We have a rule in our house, and that is that ALL homework must be completed by 6 pm on Sunday. We don’t want any last minute scrambling around just before bedtime where people are rushing to get reading, studying or writing assignments done.

4. Stock up the Fruit

I like to make sure our fruit drawer is ready to go for the week for lunches and snacks. Our daughter, in particular, eats a lot of  fresh fruit, and can consume 4-6 clementines and 1-2 apples per day. Sometimes, that is all she takes to school, so the fruit is a must for us.

5. Bag the Lunch Snacks

This is the job that takes the most time, but the effort is so worth the reward! I try to have all the snacks for lunches for the week prepared and bagged on Sundays. I wash and cut veggies & fruit  and bag other snacks so I can easily toss these things into lunches in the morning. Why wash and prep every day when you can do it just once or twice a week? Plus, I find everyone eats healthier when fresh fruits & veggies are ready to go and included in lunches.

6. Chill the Drinks

My kids like juice boxes in their lunch everyday, so I make sure we  have a good supply in the fridge.

7. Prepare the Fridge

After the fruit & veggies are wash and bagged, I stock our lunch bin in the fridge with all the bags.{I know that re-usable containers would be much better to use, but now that my kids are older, they are not interested in taking containers to school.} I also make sure we have the items needed for sandwiches or wraps…like bread and a protein. If we don’t have everything we need, I do make a little trip to the grocery store to pick up fresh fruit and lunch items.

This is what our fridge looks like on Sunday night….everything needed to make lunches is prepared and ready to go, with the exception of sandwiches. I make sandwiches fresh in the morning, but everything else is organized and ready. {I have tried to make sandwiches the night before, but the reviews are not favorable, hence, uneaten sandwiches.}

8. Clear the Lunch-Making Area

Here are the bagged snacks that don’t need to be refrigerated…stored in a basket, beside napkins, in the ‘lunch-making’ zone in the kitchen…an area that I always make sure is cleared for making lunches in the morning.

This is our family’s routine for “School Planning Sundays”. Making sure that these tasks are completed really helps us to start off the week on the right note. Monday morning is not so difficult when things are organized and prepared in advance, and  this routine goes a long way in making everyone feel less stressed and ready to greet their busy day of school or work.

How about you? Do you have a little routine on Sunday that helps you get ready for the week?

bio pic Angie’s blog, Echoes of Laughter, is all about filling your home with love and laughter.  She loves creative projects, organizing & decorating, cooking, baking, and all things domestic.  Angie lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and two great kids.

Filed under: Guest Bloggers, Kid Stuff, School Stuff


38 Responses to School Planning Sunday

  1. 1
    Jessica says

    I love it! My child is only 2.5 so I don’t need this just yet for him, BUT….my hubby is taking lunch to work more frequently.

    And, I think if I cut up and bagged veggies like this on Sunday, we’d eat them throughout the week.

    I love these kinda posts!

  2. 2
    Sophie says

    I really need to get better about this! I find mornings my most stressful time, it would be so much easier to get up to prepared things I can just grab and put in their lunch boxes! Thanks for the incentive! I am going to start this on Sunday!

    Simply Sophie

  3. 3
    Candice says

    Awesome!! We have a big plastic basket in the cupboard where all the non-refridgerated snacks go. I take everything out of the boxes so it all fits in well. Any snacks that get bagged all go into a basket in the fridge with yogurt, fruit and other snacks. I usually do all our snacks on whatever day we do groceries. It’s a huge time saver!!
    I like the idea of a homework deadline on Sunday night – we’re going to try it!

  4. 4
    Helena Eriksson says

    Reading this makes me so happy that I live in Sweden where we have free school lunches! 😉

  5. 5
    Matha says

    Great organization! On Sunday, I’m so lazy and didn’t prepare that things so I’m very busy on Monday.

  6. 6
    hannah says

    Hi Laura
    Where do you buy those fridge containers for the snacks?
    They would REALLY help me.

    • 6.1
      Jen Donath says

      Hi Laura,

      Check out Clever Container…organizational products for all of your needs! Feel free to email me with any questions! Thanks and Happy Organizing!

  7. 7
    Sharon P says

    Love this. I love when I do this regularly, but I fall off the wagon sometimes. I liked your comment that everyone eats healthier if this effort is made. It’s so true. I find carrots, celery and radishes have no trouble getting through the week, but I find cucumbers and peppers sometimes don’t make it to Friday. I’ve started to make Friday my eating lunch out day. It’s something to look forward to during the week, too. I also try to make a few sandwiches (egg salad and tuna) and I don’t find they get soggy (I don’t use a lot of mayo) for at least Mon and Tuesday lunches. Thx for sharing!

  8. 8
    Making Our Life Matter says

    This is an awesome post! And gave me something to think about for the second half of the school year! Can I just ask where you got the organizer for the juice boxes? My kids take them often as well, and having them organized like that is a totally great idea!

    • 8.1
      Jen Donath says

      Check out Clever Container–they have everything for your organizational needs! Great products! Email me if you have any questions!

  9. 9
    Marian says

    While I think it’s great to see all the fruit your kids are eating, I have to say I’m horrified to see all those plastic bags being wasted. My kids have been using containers since kindergarten (the very same ones, btw). If I only count my daughter, who is now in Grade 11, and count an average of three containers per lunch per school day, I estimate she alone has kept 6000 plastic baggies out of the landfill. Your kids aren’t “interested” in taking re-usable containers to school? I don’t think future generations – OUR future grand- and great grand-children will be “interested” in living on a trashed planet, and they certainly won’t be impressed when they look back on our disposable and wasteful society.

    • 9.1
      Mary says

      I agree, Marian. I love the ideas that are posted here and I wish I could be as organized as Laura. But my jaw dropped with the amount of plastic baggies. Do you re-use the baggies by chance? There are great plastic bag dryers out there.

      • Alicia says

        What great ideas! I love tips and tricks that allow me to spend less time prepping and more time enjoying the family. I thought that was a lot of baggies too, so I think I will either wash out the baggies, use inexpensive small tuppeware containers or use our re-useable fabric snack bags. Thank you for sharing!

    • 9.2
      Carol says

      FYI our school recycles plastic baggies in our Terracycle program so containers aren’t the only way. Besides, this blog is about preparing lunches ahead of time, not Saving On Garbage Waste. If you like her concept, great. Adapt it to your family. But no judging her lifestyle choices publicly.

      • Marian says

        1) That’s great that your school participates in the Terracycle program. I’d like to point out that not every school has that program. Our schools do not. If Angie’s kids had been reusing or recycling their plastic bags I’m pretty sure she would have said, or at least responded to my comment, or to the many other people who wrote in with their concerns.
        2) “Recycle” is the last action in “reduce, reuse, recycle”. There’s a reason for this. It takes energy – and oil – to make the bags, and then more energy to recycle them. Far better to teach kids to reduce and reuse first.
        3) Some of the best conversations happen when topics go tangential to the original premise. People come to blogs for a variety of reasons, but I would guess learning and getting new ideas is uppermost. Whoever said it has to be a one-way street? Why can’t a blogger learn something new from a commenter? Sycophantic praise doesn’t help anyone. If I had been rude or inappropriate, I’m sure Laura would have deleted my comment; if you read all the comments, you’ll find many people agreed with me.
        4) “No judging her lifestyle choices publicly.” Um…hello? This is the internet. If Angie doesn’t want her lifestyle choices judged, then perhaps the internet is not a good place for her.

    • 9.3
      Sue says

      Our schools all have “waste free lunch” RULES!!!!!
      You cannot use baggies or anything with a wrapper. Everything should be healthy too, no bought /high fat/ fruit juice/sugar laden or trans fat items. Also we need lunch, fruit break and after school snack ( all healthy)! Water or occasional milk is the only drink allowed.
      We should all be encouraging our kids to eat much more healthily or diabetes or obesity will shorten their lives!.

  10. 10
    MelanieL says

    I’m totally guilty of sometimes not being prepared on Monday mornings and it shows with the attitudes! The laundry, most of all, is where it goes down hill. I love all your suggestions Angie and I’m loving your guest posts here!

  11. 11
    Kristina says

    Awesome post. Thank you for the fantastic ideas!!!

  12. 12
    Erin Knowles says

    These ideas are great! My kids aren’t old enough to be in school yet, but I can use this prep plan for myself for work as well as snacks for the kids throughout the day so my hubby doesn’t have to try to figure out what to give them. The other thing I like is that if we are rushing out the door, as we often are, we can just grab a few bags for the car ride. Thanks for sharing!

  13. 13
    Michelle says

    I’ve decided to take 2013 by the horns and use it to really get organised in our household! I’m sure peace will reign throughout if I manage to do that.

    I’m loving your blog for all the ideas and inspiration…thank you!

  14. 14
    Maria says

    Hello! I am new to the blog and have been so inspired. My husband, daughter and I do an organizing project every weekend, and it has made life so much easier. I have a concern though in regards to the amount of plastic (baggies) that are used. There are so many different alternatives, and an important lesson for the kiddos in regards to the environment. I am not trying to be a party popper, and I truly look forward to getting the email notifications that something new has posted. I tend to have a little hippie in me so just throwing it out there.
    Thank you for your inspiration!

  15. 15
    Melissa says

    These are great tips to being organized for the entire week! =)
    Im a new follower to your blog, and am enjoying looking around your site.

  16. 16
    pentamom says

    Here’s a way to get your kids “interested’ in taking containers to school without haranguing them:

    Tell them that as soon as the difference between buying a full set of containers, and buying plastic bags every week is paid off, (which should only take a couple of weeks if you buy the disposable-reusable type containers) you will add the cost of buying bags every week or two to their allowances. It may only be a dollar or two a week, but I’ll bet they wouldn’t complain. And I think you’d be surprised as how much you save (albeit if you do this, “you” won’t be saving it, but at least there will be more enjoyment for the money.)

  17. 17
    Heather says

    These are awesome ideas! I think I will have to start implementing some of these!!

  18. 18
    Helen @ my lil adventures says

    I used to do this with my own lunches when I was working. I’d have to pack enough food for my breakfast, lunch & 2 snacks. I used to portion out my cottage cheese, cheese cubes, pudding, jello dry cereal and trail mix into smaller containers and make my entree daily – sammies, salads, leftovers, frozen dinner etc.

  19. 19
    Dee says

    Glad to see someone else is uber organized for school lunches like me. My only question is do the grapes and tomatoes that you wash stay good all the way until Friday? There are some fruits and veggies that I just wash that morning, seems they would get moldy and yucky by Friday.

  20. 20
    vikki says

    I love these ideas and use quite a few in my own home, I saw a tip in one of my Jamie Oliver cookbooks that you should freeze the boxes of fruit juice – by lunch time they will be defrosted and taste like slushies.
    I also make my own hummus dip (search online there are lots of recipes) which works out a lot cheaper.
    A big selection of fruit & veg, dried fruit, nuts, cereal bars etc helps if you have a few children who don’t all eat the same thing.

  21. 21
    Kell says

    Prepping things ahead of time is always a good idea.

    I think the notion that the children aren’t “interested” in taking reusable containers is absolutely ridiculous, though. As parents, our job is to teach out children how to live, and to do it responsibly. Even my three year old knows we use out glass and plastic bins, and reusable bottles, too (as do his older sibling) You have to teach them this stuff, and why it is important. Of course they’d rather use the “easy” stuff that they don’t have to wash or be responsible for. But, what sort of life are you setting them up for when they can’t even be held accountable to bring a couple of pieces of plastic back home with them? And to think the world is going to be run by a generation of children who aren’t “interested” in a few years. It’s very concerning.

  22. 22
    Natalie Muoio says

    Where did you get those lunch bins you have in the photos

    • 22.1
      Laura says

      I believe she got them at Bed Bath and Beyond Natalie but hopefully Angie will see this and be able to confirm. Thanks 🙂

  23. 23
    Shannon says

    I do the same thing for myself – I’m a teacher! I don’t know what type of sandwiches you make, but I make peanut butter sandwiches and freeze them. When I go to work, I take one out of the freezer and by lunch, it is dethawed and awesome. The bread is still super fresh (I keep the bread frozen anyway to make it last longer) and the peanut butter is perfect. It might be worth trying if you make that kind of sandwich. I don’t even like sandwiches most of the time, and this works for me.

  24. 24
    Jayne says

    The lunch thing is a good idea – but super bad for the environment. Why not pack all the same goodies in tupperware containers?! 🙂

  25. 25
    Bel says

    Wow. Judgmental much? How many of you feel the need to keep berating her for using plastic baggies? Like none of you ever do anything that’s bad for the environment. Please. We all have our vices of convenience.

  26. 26
    Sue D says

    Love the ideas,

    Schools here insist on trash free lunches, and many families are trying to teach their children about environmental responsibility.

    Global warming and food waste are global problems that our children are/or will be learning about, so it is a fair comment and possibly a recommendation for the next update.

    Same principle can easily be followed with reusable containers, tho’ you’d need a lot of them for a week!


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