If you're often on-the go, have kids, or pack lunches for anybody in your home, we have something you may not have considered that can be a complete game-changer and a HUGE time-saver! Whether it be a space in your pantry, a section of your counter or a hutch, you can create a snack station practically anywhere!
As the magic-makers of The Home Edit said in their Netflix show:
"Find a section for anything and everything to make your flow in any room as easy as possible. Design your space around your life, not the other way around."
Creating a snack station is doing exactly that. You're taking the lifestyle you live and using a smart design to make your daily grind easier and actually carve some more time out of your day. A few minutes looking for snacks doesn't seem like much on the surface, but when you add up all the quick snacks your whole family grabs, all the time you spend perusing the pantry, and packing lunches in a week, it adds up! Then imagine if every room was designed this way. Suddenly your to-do list takes an hour to get done and your day is free as can be!
Here's how to get your Snack Station started:
Step one is everyone's favorite - time to shop! But don't forget to go AFTER your prep work. Make yourself a master list of all of your household snack staples. This should be all the quick grab-and-go snacks, whether it needs to be portioned out into baggies (like goldfish and pretzels) or not.
This list will obviously look way different for every home, but is so important for the next step. We recommend taking regular stock weekly or bi-weekly if you don't refer to a grocery list whenever you're close to running out of an item. This way, you never have to worry about running out completely! Try to load up enough on this initial trip for the week or two before you restock. We created a list of our own to get you started!
Our favorite Snack Suggestions:
Select a Space
This should happen right when you get home from the store when you're unloading the car. Lay out all the items - take them out of their boxes, portion out healthy amounts, and cover your counter with your haul! This will give you a great idea of how much space all of your snacks will take up.
Now it's judgement time. Is there a space in your pantry for an entire section dedicated to snacks? What about a section of the counter? Maybe you have some free wall space or a buffet table turned snack area? Just like your household snacks, where the area is located is heavily dependent on you, your home, and your family. For example, if you have kids, you'll want to put their snacks at their eye-level and your snacks a bit higher. So what works for one home may not work for another and that's okay!
Here's an example of a pantry snack section our team put together and why we chose to place things in specific places according to what worked for this family:
To say the least, access is everything. The easier, the better for any snack station!
This game changing step may be a bit surprising, but after coming home from that shopping trip, get ready to head back out! After laying out all of your snacks and finding a space, list out the bins that would be most useful for your specific snacks. Do you want to see whats in the bin? Do you want the side to dip down so it's easy to reach into? Do you want stackable bins to use up vertical space on a counter or pantry shelf? Do you want larger containers for under the cabinets as back stock for when you run low? Now that you have your bin list, measure your space to get the right sizes and go get 'em, tiger!
We have a gallery below with links to some of the most popular bins with the fantastic quality that we actually use for our projects!
Clear Bin here
Pop Container here
Slim Storage Containers here
Of course we're going to label each bin!! There isn't anything we love more than a great label. This will make the ease of use for you and your family so much better. You will all know exactly where to find snacks - which is the point of the section. What good is knowing where to go if you have to search for the correct bin for 10 minutes?!
This is why you fully stock first. When you have a fully-stocked snack area, you can decide what fits it well and where to easily dump your restocks. A little extra work now makes life easier for your future self. We think thats totally worth it
Best Bin Labels here
If you have a snack area set aside that has drawers, this can be a huge advantage! Here is everything you can use drawers for when creating your snack area:
Less Eaten Snacks (don't hide what you eat often)
Less aesthetically pleasing snacks - Don't be afraid to hide away what doesn't look nice as long as it's still labelled and easy to access
Kid Snacks - Dedicate an entire drawer to your kids! If it's their level, then why not?!
Bamboo Drawer Dividers here
3-Compartment Drawer Divider here
Small Drawer Inserts here
Group Similar Snacks
Of course it may be difficult to dedicate each snack and brand an entire basket. Try grouping similar snacks like fruit, bars, salty, sweet, or even by person - as in who likes certain snacks like babies/toddlers, older kids, adults etc.
The key (just like every organizing project) is finding what works best for you and your life! I want to reiterate that it is so important to build a system around your lifestyle to make it work for you. That being said, that's why every project we do for clients is so different. Space functions differently for different families who live in it and we love utilizing it to work for our clients. We hope this helps you DIY your perfect snack station! Let us know how we did on Instagram @azhouseoforder!