There is no tired like first week of school teacher tired….but the last month does come pretty close! Between report cards and data reports and end of the year activities, it can be tempting to just throw everything in the closets and run home for a much deserved nap!
My classroom is closed from June to mid-August so it’s important for me to get supplies organized and protected! I try to do as much as I can to make the transition back to school faster and easier! Here are a few tips and tricks I have tried over the past 9 years.
I got almost all of my supplies for packing up and organizing at the Dollar Tree! It’s worth it to spend a few extra bucks in May to keep everything fresh for back to school time! Here are my best tips:
I have big book bins from IKEA that fit perfectly into pillowcases from Dollar Tree! If you have smaller bins, you could probably slide 2 or 3 in each pillowcase. My firsties love helping me get each bin nice and neat. I just tie the pillowcases with some scraps of ribbon to keep dust out!
This spring, I organized my closests in my classroom. I was experiencing some serious classroom nesting! I threw away a lot of outdated and unused items (think lesson plans from student teaching). As I tried to find a home for everything that was left, I realized I needed a lot more labels for my closets!
I got clear storage bins from Dollar Tree. (Except for the boxes with blue lids– they were originally for individual student math manipulative kits.) My favorite bins are the shoe bins and these tall cylinders designed for storing food. All of the new labels have pictures so that my kids can help me keep things organized too!
Setting up bulletin boards and hanging decor always takes me a long time! I try to put all of my decorations to hang up right away in one giant tote. I try to label something if I might forget where it goes. These curtain panels all look the same so I added a note to remind myself where they go.
I put big display items in giant folders that I made with bulletin board paper. Just fold a giant piece in half and staple the sides. It makes a big envelope that is perfect for holding posters, charts, etc.
I created several different lists to prevent complete memory loss! I printed them on bright paper so I don’t lose them as I am packing up! You can grab these printable lists for free here.
Whether you despise a space in your classroom or it just needs freshened up, it can be hard to remember how you wanted the area to change. I write my idea on a post-it note and than snap a picture of the space. You can look back at your ideas and the space at the time. If I am shopping, I can flip back through my camera roll to see how something new would look in the space.
A fresh clean classoom is so refreshing. A few extra steps before you close the door for summer makes back to school must easier! I would love to hear your tips and tricks for packing up too!