As you count down to the end of the school year, make your time as productive as possible by doing a little bit of prep each week. We’ve got a few ideas and resources to help you get started, so your classroom will be spotless and ready for next year in no time.
The first step in any big organization project is to trim down the amount of “stuff” you have to store. If you have supplies that you haven’t used in a couple years and don’t have any solid plans to use in the near future, consider donating them to another teacher or organizing a supply swap. You can also use surplus odds and ends, like pencil toppers, as parting gifts for your students. Where possible, cut down on paper clutter by scanning documents into a digital format.
There are dozens of methods for organizing classroom supplies – the trick is finding what works best for you. Some teachers swear by a color-coding system, while others prefer labeled folders and crates. Don’t forget to take advantage of vertical space with shelves, stackable trays, and hanging organizers. For more ideas, check out our list of 16 teacher-tested methods for whipping your classroom into shape.
Having dedicated storage for various types of supplies is one of the best ways to ensure you’ll be able to find something when you need it. Clear storage totes are perfect for this because you can see at a glance what’s inside and whether you need to restock. You can subdivide inside larger bins with sandwich bags, dividers, or small bins such as pencil cases.
If possible, enlist your students’ help in cleaning up on the last day of school. While it might be like pulling teeth for parents to get kids to help out at home, it somehow becomes a special job at school. Provide non-toxic surface cleaner and rags or paper towels and turn them loose to clean desk tops and shelves, and assign other age-appropriate cleaning tasks as needed.