Another year has flown by and it is time to start thinking about packing up your classroom. As important as it is to ensure that your classroom is organized all year long, I think it is equally important to ensure that your classroom is organized as you pack it up.
When you come back at the start of next year, you want to be able to find everything easily. I suggest packing like things together so that way when you are ready to unpack it, you are doing one “section” at a time. But…I am getting ahead of myself.
I’ve put together a checklist of items for you to do as you pack up your classroom for summer. You can grab that checklist here. But you can also read on to see more in depth explanations for each of the areas!
End of Year Classroom Packing List
(3-4 weeks before the last day)
I am a fan of starting with small and manageable things first. So I always start out with cleaning up my technology because it doesn’t take me too long and I can check it off and feel gratified instantly!
I always go through my email inbox and delete any emails that are no longer needed. Parent emails from the previous year get deleted as well. I do save parent emails throughout the following year, just in case anything arisies. It is also important to make sure if you have any serious issues with students or parents and there is any documentation via email, either print that out or save it to your computer so that you have access to it.
I also like to clean out the drives on my computer. I go through each folder and delete any items that I don’t need anymore or that aren’t relevant. This way I free up some space for future documents I want to download. Also, GET AN EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE!!!! You never know what could happen over the summer and you do NOT want to be without your personal files.
(2-3 weeks before the last day)
The next item I move on to is my cabinets. This seems the “next easiest” to me because I can start clearing space to pack up items that are out in my classroom.
I would encourage you to go cabinet by cabinet. If your cabinets are organized how I shared about in my simply organized cabinets post, this should be easy! If your cabinets are not organized by “like things” (read the post to figure out what I am talking about) I would TOTALLY take advantage of this time to do this. (If you are like me, your students are doing a lot of project based activities this time of year so that frees you up with some time to re-organize your cabinets.)
If you are cleaning out your cabinets, make sure to have a “sell,” “donate,” and “trash” pile!
Also, be sure that you have a cabinet to store items that belong to the grade level or school. If you find out over the summer that you are moving, all of these items will be in one spot and you won’t be having to dig through your boxes at the start of a new year to return things that aren’t yours!
Now that your cabinets are consolidated, you can start packing up items into those cabinets (that’s assuming you are staying in your classroom for the next year). For example, my “student cabinet” that is full of student supplies will house station materials over the summer. My “teacher materials” cabinet will store all of my personal picture books that I keep on a separate shelf from my students.
If you are taking the time to reorganize your cabinets, I would take the few extra minutes to pull everything out of the shelves and wipe them down with a Clorox wipe. **Great activity for kiddos and they will LOVE it!**
Clear the Walls
(1-2 weeks before the last day)
One of the last things I do is start taking everything off the walls. I wait to do this because it’s when your classroom officially starts looking packed up and you know the end of the year is upon you. I don’t like it because it makes the room feel so empty and sad. It also gives kids the all clear for crazy to ensue because “HELLO the year is pretty much over! My teacher said so because everything is off the walls and we don’t have to learn anymore!”
Any anchor charts worth saving can be stored in a poster container. (I love to give old anchor charts to kids that I know enjoy playing school.)
(1 week before the last day)
Alright folks…This is it! It is now time to officially pack that room up. Hopefully you have been gathering boxes over the last few weeks. I have 5-6 rubbermaid boxes that I keep in my garage until the end of the year. These are sturdy and last for years so I don’t have to search for boxes each year.
As I shared about my cabinets, I always try to pack like things together. I usually have a box for all of my library book and a box that holds all of my decorations. I will put extra station activities into boxes with similar station materials (all the math stuff in one box, daily 5 stuff in another.) Nothing sounds more stressful to me than coming back in August ready to set up my stations and having to look through 5 different boxes to find all the materials.
I usually wait till the last day to pack up my desk. We have to empty everything from our desk out, so I put that all in a box together. It is usually the first box to be unpacked in August.
If you have anything important you need to take home over the summer set this aside so that it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.
Then once everything is off the walls, your cabinets are full to the brim, and boxes are taped up, move all items to one area of the room. I usually try to do this in my library area so that it is out of the way and not scattered about the room.
As you pack up a box and tape it closed, be sure to add your name and room number so that it knows where to come back to at the end of summer!
Since the end of the year allows you the freedom to be a little more flexible with your time, use this to your advantage! Always use the same “Meet the Teacher” paperwork? Print it out now and put it in a safe spot for next year or take it home to work on it.
I also like to print out my new planner for the new year.
If you have laminating you need to get done do it while the line is short!
This is how I work through the packing up process. Of course, if you are moving classrooms or schools, your process will look a bit different. But regardless, these steps should be easy to follow no matter what room you will be in next year.
Just one tip though…be SURE you are not coming back to that classroom before packing up and moving every item out of that room. I am speaking from experience here…Moving a whole classroom HOME at the beginning of summer to move a whole classroom BACK at the end of summer is NOT fun!
Want help getting your classroom organized as you pack up? Shoot me an email, write me a comment, find me on facebook! I’d love to help!
Until next time,