Sunday Back to School Prep

Yesterday, the kids started another school year.  I’ll share pictures of that and details about our first day tomorrow.  Before they could go back to school, though, we did some back to school prep around our house this weekend.  We started in…(gasp!)… BEAN’S ROOM!!!!

*cue horror music*

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Over the years, Bean has gone from being a meticulous toddler and little dude to being a complete pig of a fourth grader.  I am not sure where that change came from or even when it started, but it is the truth.  His room has always taken very little to clean and straighten.  He kept his messes small and his room tidy, even from a very young age.  This summer, though, keeping his room clean has become a battle.

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I’m not completely obsessed with keeping the kids rooms clean, to be honest.  I feel like it’s their space and I love seeing it with toys and games and art projects filling the space.  It just speaks of happy kids to me.  But there has become a fine line in our house between “lived in” and “pig pen.”  Bean has crossed that line and so it was time for Mom to step in.

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His biggest issue is that he hides things.  All kinds of things.  Food and candy wrappers were stashed all over his room (despite our household rule of food staying in the kitchen, so he got in trouble for that one….).  He had so many toys and Legos pieces and clothes shoved under his bed that I would have worn a hazmat suit, if we’d had one.  His closet floor was full of clothes, shoes, and almost everything I’ve asked him to clean up or put away for the past week.  It was just a mess.

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I pulled all that junk out of their hiding places right off the bat and we cleaned all of that up, throwing out most of it and putting the rest in designated spaces.  The thing that takes up the most space in his room is his Legos.  We have tried all kinds of storage solutions over the years for this.  We even built him this great desk/bookshelf space to store his Lego creations.  But what has worked the best has been our system for the past year.

Bean keeps one giant under the bed Rubbermaid bin with ALL of his Lego pieces.  When he wants to build something, he just pulls the bin out and gets to work.  When we have to clean Legos up, we just pull the bin out and throw everything in it.  This system works so much better for him than organizing my color (which was my personal preference, but never stuck with him and ended costing me a fortune in storage bins that never got used).

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Next to the giant bin is a second giant bin that stores any lego creations that he doesn’t want to take apart.  Right now, he and Gracie are in the middle of building a Lego universe, with all these different Lego worlds.  I love their creativity, but you can imagine how a Lego universe looks spread out on my living room floor.  With this, they are able to build and still have a place to put everything away when it’s time to clean up.

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For other Lego creations that might be too big to fit into the bin or that are still in the process of being built, we had our giant oil pan from Walmart that we have had since the kids were toddlers.  (See how we have used it over the years here)  He can slide this out and build right on it and then slide everything right back under when he’s finished playing or when it’s time to clean up.

Once we finished Bean’s room, we moved over to Gracie’s room.  Her room is much smaller than Bean’s (I’m waiting for her to get old enough to figure that out and complain…) and so it always feel messier.  She also loves to make art projects and play school, so her room is usually flooded with scraps of construction paper and beads or it is set up like a classroom with 18 children in it.  Needless to say, it always looks crowded in there.

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But I was pleasantly surprised this time to find that it wasn’t actually messy.  Or, at least, the messy was organized.  It took hardly any time to go through and straighten up her things.

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Once bedrooms were cleaned out for another school year, I moved down to the kitchen to get some things ready for school lunches this week.  I cut up two huge cartons of strawberries, two big cucumbers, and some celery.  I also made energy balls and even made muffins for breakfast this week.  It was all pretty simple prep time, but it has made getting back into the lunch packing routine a little easier.

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A little Sunday prep time has set us up for a great first week back to school and a new routine. We have had a great week so far. Tomorrow, I’ll share about our new family routine with me being home this year and pictures of our first day adventures.

What about you guys? Are you back to school yet? If so, how have you prepped? What makes your school week run more smoothly in your house?

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