Bento Box Basics: Supply Storage

by Wendy Copley on September 6, 2011

Bento box storage

My name is Wendy, and I’m a bento box addict.

I have a lot of bento boxes and supplies. A lot.

Last time I counted I had more than 20 boxes, a gazillion cookie cutters and countless picks, dividers and silicone baking cups. When I first started packing bentos, I kept everything in a small basket on my counter, but as my collection has grown my storage solutions have had to change to keep up with all my junk.  At our old house I stored all my bento things in a lazy susan that was difficult to use for much else, but when we moved, I had to come up with a new place to put everything. Cabinet space is harder to come by in this house, so I relocated everything to two and a half shelves on this wire rack in our kitchen.

Bento Storage

The bottom rack in this photo is mostly used for Ziploc bags, paper plates and other disposable items that don’t get used very often, but I also shove the thermal lunch bags into the empty spaces on this shelf.

Just above that is my basket of bento boxes:

Bento box storage

This photo was taken immediately after I reorganized the basket and it’s unusually neat and tidy. Normally it’s way more chaotic than this, but I try not to let it get too bad for too long because then I can’t find the pieces I need for each box.

I also use this basket (which I bought at Target) to keep the number of boxes I have in check. Whenever I find myself with more bentos than will easily fit in here, I throw out any that are warped or broken and I pass along any boxes that are in good shape but aren’t seeing much use.

My Laptop Lunch set is tucked into the extra bit of space next to the basket.

The next shelf up holds baskets with my accessories:

Bento Storage

This basket has the internal dividers that came with my various bento boxes, face punches, sauce pens, food markers, a plastic box filled with decorative dividers, my Easy Lunchboxes, and some miscellaneous supplies.

Bento Storage

It also holds this divided box filled with small accessories. This makes me happy every time I open it.

Bento Supplies

It keeps all the little bits and pieces organized: decorative picks, small boxes and bottles, sauce bottles and bento box belts.

The photo up above doesn’t show it, but the basket also holds this tiffin that I use to store cookie cutters.

Bento Storage

It doesn’t look like it would hold much, but I can get a ton of cutters in there!

Bento Storage

This is the second basket on the upper shelf.

Bento Storage

Can you believe that this was the basket that I originally used to hold all my bento supplies?

Bento Storage

Now it holds sets of cookie cutters, silicone cups, rice molds, egg molds and a few sets of unused disposable flatware that I’ve been given with take-out from restaurants. (I don’t use those often, but they’re nice to have on hand.)

I also have bento stuff tucked here and there in other parts of my kitchen. The mini flatware is in our silverware drawer because it gets daily use. I don’t put these in lunches very often, but Augie prefers the small size for eating meals at home. I also keep the silicone muffin cups in a cupboard directly above the area where I assemble lunches because they are close at hand there and they are also out of the kids’ sight and reach. If I put them in with the other bento supplies the boys run off with them.

How do you store your bento boxes and supplies? If you have any pictures, I’d love for you to link them up in the comments so we can all get inspired by them!

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