Time To Pack It Up!

I have the pleasure of both moving my home and my classroom within two months of each other this year. It's OK to be jealous of me :) I want to pass on some tips I've found to be very helpful whether you are moving buildings, down the hall, or simply need to declutter your current room.

Find 10 tips for packing your classroom so you can relax in August.

Schedule

Create a schedule. If you wait until the last moment chances are you'll be shoving things in cabinets (I've been guilty of this!) If you know your last day is in 3 weeks then set goals for each week and an objective for each day. If you only have 3 days then set your priorities of what has to be done and what could wait until after the move.

Focus

Focus on one area and stay on task! Packing can make more of a mess so stay on task and don't create "piles everywhere you go". You could make the last two days with your students "Bring a Board Game Day" so they have something to play and yours can be packed away. Close to the last day I have packed most of my desk and left out only the essentials: tape, post-its, pens, chocolate.  

Enlist Help

Enlist your students to help! In Kindergarten I would have a puzzle check station and any puzzles with missing pieces didn't get to go back in the cabinet. My kids this year will check all the markers and retire those not in good condition. 

Label "Unpack First"

Make an "Essentials, Unpack First" box. Just like when I moved my house there are things you need immediately like toilet paper, dishwashing soap, and the coffee maker. I use a clear tub and bright masking tape labeled "1st Day". For the classroom I put masking tape, sharpies, scissors, stapler, hot glue gun with glue sticks, and any bulletin board material you need to do first. You could bring this one box home if you think it may get lost.  

Label Everything!

Label everything! Blue painter's tape is easy to peel off even after hot summer days when masking tape will be hard to take off. Anything that can move gets put in the hallway to wax the floors and you would be amazed how far your trashcan can travel down the hall if not labeled! Then draw a quick map and label where your furniture goes and take a picture on your phone. Even though it feels like I spend my life at school, I forget every year how I had things arranged. Plus if you have help setting up your classroom in August, others can follow your map with little need for directions from you.  

Decorate Now

Decorate now. If you can, go ahead and set-up your bulletin board, calendar, or word wall letters now and cover it with butcher paper. I like to cover my boards with fabric (a twin sheet works great and is sometimes cheaper than fabric by the yard). You will feel so accomplished when you start your planning days in August with the calendar and alphabet already done. 

Purge!

Clean and purge! If you didn't use it this year, get rid of it. If it's from a different grade level you used to teach, get rid of it. If you have a year's supply of paper towel tubes, get rid of it. When I left Kindergarten after 6 years I had things left from the previous teacher I never used. "Maybe the next teacher will want them," I thought to myself.  Guess where I saw them in August? Yeap, they were in the teacher's lounge donate pile. Just save everyone the time and ditch the old now. If it's something valuable, but you just don't use it, offer it to others or donate to Goodwill. I've had success with online yard sales via Facebook.  Search your town and "sale" or "trash to treasure" and see what you find. 

Organize!

Organize. A few plastic containers can go a long way. For my reading and math manipulatives, I take them out of the original box, put in Ziploc bags, and place all the same skill in one labeled tub. This helps so much to cut down on the empty space boxes create and visual clutter too. Plastic shoe size boxes are great for office materials. Plus you can find tons of cute free labels on TpT too here!

Make First Week Copies!

If you can, try to make copies now for the first week. Laminate and cut your name tags now so all you need is a class list and a sharpie. Make and assemble your writing journals. Make those adorable "Get to know you Booklets". Put everything in a box labeled "1st week" with a class set of sharpened pencils and you'll be patting yourself on the back in August!

Ask for Help

Don't be afraid to ask for help. Take turns with your teaching bestie to move the big things in your rooms. You'll both be done faster, plus you can gossip about all your exciting summer plans (napping and watching netflix for me!) If you can have a non-school friend or spouse come in for a few hours. When you're done you can treat them to a dinner out together as a thanks for their time. 

If you have ideas that work for you please share in the comments. Happy almost summer and take time to relax and rejuvenate :)

3 comments

  1. Love some of your ideas...some I already have implemented!!

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  2. We always have to leave a classroom map of where we want our furniture to go (for the custodians). It's so helpful for them when they are putting things back in our rooms after the floors have been waxed, and you feel like you're halfway there with the furniture already arranged!

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