I was in the classroom for 7 years and I had to completely clean up and move everything out at the end of every year.
I got to be a freaking PRO at classroom clean-up, packing up my (entirely too many) teacher possessions, and moving back in 2 months later.
If you also need to completely evacuate your classroom, here are some ideas to make it easy!
1. Get rid of anything you haven’t used over the past year.
Do you have posters that you don’t even put up because your walls are already covered? Donate them. Give them to a newer teacher who still has blank space.
Do you have an interesting activity hidden away in the depths of your closet that you’ve been meaning to use, but you already have 17 other interesting activities you use every year? Donate it.
Condense, condense, condense.
The less crap you have, the less crap you have to move. Either donate to another teacher or an organization.
Or “donate” it to the trash can.
2. Large ziplock bags and crates or bins are your friend.
I used have 2039480349 pictures (that’s an approximate number) for teaching vocabulary. I stored them flat in ginormous ziploc bags. (not an ad or affiliate link – just the greatest ziploc bags ever made)
Bags this size are helpful for organizing (all items from the same unit go together) and for keeping papers flat.
Throw small stuff into bags and the large stuff into crates or bins. It’s easy to carry, easy to transport, and easy to store.
Bonus points if they stack.
3. Label everything.
Label everything so that unpacking in the fall is easy.
You can write directly on ziploc bags with a sharpie and tape post-its to bins. You won’t wonder where you put all your (insert item here) when unpacking. In literally 2 months.
4. If you can keep posters flat, then congrats – you’re better than me.
They’re easier to store rolled up and rubberbanded, but that does not make them easier to put back up on the wall in the fall.
If you roll them up, you can lay them out flat on a table at home and stack books on each corner to re-flatten them.
5. Put students to work.
They’re eager to help if you give them specific instructions.
Also, it’s the very end of the school year. You’re not seriously still teaching, are you?
Do you have any tips for making classroom clean-up easy? Share them in the comments below!
Keep only 1 copy of each of your files or better yet, go digital! 🙂