If you read my last post, you know that I have to pack up every single thing I have in my classroom because I am moving to a different classroom for the next school year. It isn’t really something that most teachers want to have to do…but I will say it was a great time to reflect on your materials and whether they are worthy of making the move with you or not.
I have some ideas that might help you make packing up your classroom a bit easier and hopefully more manageable.
Packing Tip #1- Use Fabric
If you are lucky enough to get to keep books or other items on bookshelves, use fabric to cover them to keep them from getting lost or dusty and dirty. You could use paper, but with fabric you are saving paper and it can be saved and used over and over. You can also go ahead and prep your beginning of the school year bulletin boards and cover them with fabric to protect them too. If you already have some of your boards up and ready, you are saving yourself huge amounts of time during the very hectic beginning of the school year. Try to get in the mindset of thinking ahead to August/September and do what you can to make things easier.
Packing Tip #2-Copying
If you know at the end of the year what resources you will be using at the beginning of the next year, you can copy those now and have them ready for the beginning of the year…welcome notes, parent letters, supply lists, etc… This is my Interactive Reader’s Notebook papers. Getting them ready ahead of time would be a huge time saver.
Packing Tip #3- Clean!
While you have students in your room make use of the extra willing hands that you have and get everything scrubbed clean! Students love to help and feel accomplished when they have completed a task like this. Of course, they don’t need to handle any harsh cleaners. While they wipe off desks, tables, shelves, you can be cleaning other items. I don’t want to pack anything gross and dirty, so cleaning it should come first!
Packing Tip #4- Labels
Label every single box or container. No matter how tired you are or how big a hurry you are in to get out for summer! This will help you out come August/September. Use one label for the contents of the box and one label for where these things go. You will thank me later for the extra 5 seconds it takes you now to do this!
We are supposed to label everything in our rooms to help out the janitors when they put everything back in our classes. Use nice labels instead of masking tape. If the labels look nice, you can just leave them on your furniture and this will be a step you can skip the following year because all your labels are still there!
Packing Tip #5- Organize
This tip comes from the teacher who came before me in my job. She took 2 large poster boards and stapled them together along 2 sides and the bottom. On the outside, write what bulletin board themes go inside. Great way to keep all those materials together and easily know what you have inside without having to go digging around looking! So easy!
Packing Tip # 6- Maps
Draw a classroom map. We are required to have a classroom map to help the janitors get our things back into our rooms the way we would like them. Keeps teachers from moving items and scratching up the new shiny floors.
Packing Tips #7- Purge
One of the positives about moving is it forces you to take a look at what you have been holding onto. Do you really need it? Is it an item worthy of taking your time to pack it and move it to the new room? Give away all items that you are not using or have not used in a long time. Teachers are so bad about this! We hold on to things thinking we may need them at some point! If items are broken or has missing pieces, throw it out! I threw out quite a bit of paperwork and items no one will use. And it felt good!
Packing Tips #8- Lists
Keep a list inside one of your cabinets of items you need for the new school year. As you pack, you notice what you have and what you are lacking. Keeping one list in a handy location keeps you from running down all those little slips of paper that you jotted down items you needed to requisition. Keep your list up all year and add to it as you run out of things.
I hope these tips help you pack up your classroom this year, whether you have to just do end of the year packing or if you are having to move to a new room.
What tips do you have to share to make packing up a little bit easier??
Everyone deServes to Learn says
Those are such great tips! I have started to slowly prep my room for packing. I will definitely look into getting nicer labels than masking tape- good idea. I will be in a different room for summer school, so I have to pack for SS and put things away at the same time!
Thank you, Maria! Good luck getting everything moved and ready for summer school!
Bridget S says
I love your tips. I just blogged about some ideas I found on Pinterest. I cannot tell you how much stuff I purged, put in the recycling bin, and gave away!!! I love the idea about how to organize for bulletin boards. Sometimes those large items are most challenging!!!
Literacy Without Worksheets
I purged so much too, Bridget! It felt good to do it!
Susanna Westby says
Great ideas Lori! I've only moved classes a few times and at first it was tedious, but it was a great opportunity to purge and re-organize for sure!
Whimsy Workshop Teaching
Thank you, Susanna, for the super cute kids in my sign at the top!! Loved using them. Glad you came by!
Sounds like your move will go very well since you're so organized. I always wipe down my room every spring. In fact, I took care of that job this last week. It's amazing how dirty a classroom can get in nine months.
Forever in First
Classrooms do seem to get so dirty and dusty! I always see areas that need tending to! Thanks Tammy!
Alison Rose says
Love all of your tips for packing up! So very helpful and all very true!
Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'
Thank you, Alison! Hope the tips helped you pack up in an easier way!
I will be moving schools also. Your tips are spot on! I am also taking pictures of the materials as I pack them. Then over the summer I will put them in folders on the computer with the rest of the unit it goes with. Then when I plan I will be able to see what I already have – you know instead of finding it in the back of the cabinet three weeks later! Lol
Thank you, Kristin, for that great idea about taking the pictures of materials! Very helpful!
Pixie Anne says
I moved last year. I couldn't believe how much stuff I had! I managed to get rid of a lot of paperwork but still have an awful lot of books and resources I don't really use but couldn't bear to part with! Number 4: Labelling every box is a must. Where there were boxes with a bit of an assortment of books and files, a packing list inside the box has really helped me save time searching this year. As I tidy for the end of the year I will definitely be copying ready for the new year. Thanks for the ideas!
Growing Little Learners
That is a great idea, Pixie Anne, about including a packing list! I always have boxes that end up with an assortment of stuff in them. Thank you!
Super ideas! I moved schools last year and the best thing I did was throw out lots of stuff!
Thanks Barb! It is amazing what all we accumulate over time. It's good to take time to purge stuff we aren't using!
My years of teaching finally caught up with my classroom moves. I have to move again this year, making it 14 moves after 14 years of teaching. I've learned to keep my books in cardboard file boxes or paper boxes. I just remove the lids and tip them on their sides on my shelves. Then they are already packed when I have to move them again.
Oh, Jenny, I am so sorry that you have had to move so many times! You must be a pro at this by now. 🙂 That is a good idea about the books in the boxes. Sounds like it would almost be pointless for you to unpack everything each year!