How to Efficiently Pack Up Your Classroom

Before we start enjoying that summer sunshine and peace out for two whole months, there’s one dreaded checkout task we must complete: packing our classroom.

While your initial instinct might be to throw everything in some plastic storage bins and call it a day, taking some time to plan how you store your stuff for the summer will pay off in August.

Here are five simple tips to help you pack smarter:

  1. Organize by subject or theme.

Instead of packing all your library books in one giant box, sort them by genre or theme. You can also pack your first-day essentials in one box, so you don’t feel pressured to empty all your boxes at once during back-to-school season. It gives you a little leeway to unpack gradually.

  1. Label, label, label.

Every bin or box you have should be labeled clearly. The last thing you want is to have to check 20 boxes for your beginning-of-the-year, read-aloud book. Jot down what’s in each bin and tape it on the outside. Don’t forget to label your furniture! Custodians do their best to return all furniture to their intended classrooms, but items sometimes end up in a different classroom.

  1. Start pre-packing.

You definitely don’t want to start tearing posters off the wall while school is still in session; this sends the wrong message to your students. But feel free to take home or pack any materials you won’t use until next year. Done with your plant life cycle unit? No need to keep it out.

  1. Take pictures.

Like how your room is set up? Or do you like a particular bulletin board you have? Take pictures of it. Inevitably, furniture gets rearranged. If your school allows it, get a head start on next year’s bulletin boards and cover them with plastic.

  1. Don’t be a teacher hoarder!

I learned the hard way that I didn’t need to claim every item up for grabs in the teacher copy room. If you haven’t used something this year or didn’t find it useful, don’t be afraid to give it away to another teacher or toss it.

Extra credit: essential materials to help you store smart!

  • Plastic tablecloths or plastic garbage bags: use to cover bulletin boards, computers, or anything else you want to protect during summer cleaning.
  • Plastic bins and cardboard boxes: store papers in plastic to prevent warping. All other materials are likely to be safe in cardboard boxes.
  • Painters tape: great for labeling. And it’s safe for walls!

Happy packing!

Photo credit: 1canoe2