There are two types of classrooms: those that have been meticulously organized by their teachers and those that look as if a bomb went off. What both of those classrooms have in common is that they need to be prepared before the last day of school. The last thing you want to do after the final bell rings is lug boxes around. Here are some things you can do now to make sure yours is one of the first cars out of the parking lot this summer.
5 Steps to Get Ahead on the Classroom Pack-Up
Start lining up boxes.
You know when everyone else will be looking for boxes? The last week of school. Don’t be that person. Get the jump on your colleagues and start stalking the supply rooms, office, cafeteria, and anywhere else that receives large deliveries regularly. Insider tip: ask the yearbook sponsor. The yearbook order is about to come in, leaving this poor person with 20+ boxes they won’t know what to do with.
Pull tucked away items out.
Whether you’ve been ignoring a small stack of items in a corner, or you haven’t looked in the back of the closet in a while, consider pulling out and organizing some of the clutter and items you haven’t touched in a while. Once you have taken account of all the supplies and tools that you have, it will make it much easier to get rid of what you don’t need.
Start tossing or donating.
The next step in any cleaning/organizing project is identifying what can be thrown away. It’s much easier to start doing this now rather than let an extra layer accumulate. Pull one of those big garbage cans into the room and then be honest about what can stay and what can go. Show no mercy! If some of the items haven’t been used up, or might be useful to someone else, ask around and see if anyone is interested in claiming them before you toss them!
Start enlisting student help.
Perhaps the biggest contributor to your classroom detritus is student work. Give the students a deadline to either take their work home or throw it in the trash, and establish that deadline to be a lot earlier than the last day of school.
They can also help organize things in preparation for them to be moved out or stored. Obviously they shouldn’t be looking at sensitive materials, but if there are books and other materials to pack up, utilize the free labor.
Pack with priority in mind.
When you have to pull all of your tools and supplies out at the start of the next year, you won’t want to be digging around in the bottom of full boxes looking for the most important things. Try to keep your packing organized by either keeping the priority items at the top of boxes, or by packing all of the important things together and labeling the bins so you know where to start when it’s time to unpack.
Need More Inspiration to Get Packed Up?
If you’re looking for more tips and advice for getting your classroom space in order before the end of the year, start by heading over to the End of the Year and Spring Cleaning pages on our blog. We’ve collected useful tips, tricks, and ideas for you to use as fuel for your motivation to end the year on a good note!