Have you wrapped up your school year yet? We just did and just like every other teacher who has to pack up the classroom, I dread it every year! I have learned a thing or two over the years to make this packing a bit more organized and easier to do. As you pack up, keep the next school year in mind. If you do your packing with in a way that makes the unpacking easier you will help save yourself time, effort, and maybe your sanity!
First, clean everything! This is easier to do if you can have your students help you. They can do the easy cleaning with gentle cleaning products- cleaning inside and tops of desks, baskets in sinks, easels, tables, etc... Students love to help out and this will save you some valuable time for when you unpack.
Next, get rid of anything you are not using. Teachers tend to keep EVERYTHING just in case we might need it later since we don't have enough budget money. But get rid of the clutter, things you don't use, broken or missing piece items. Give away to other teachers anything in good shape, but get rid of the extra. I love to throw away clutter and get it out of my room!
Label all your boxes. Not just what's in it, but where it goes. That will help you when unpacking to get everything back like before and if you are lucky enough to have someone help you unpack, they will know right where to put it.
Use nice looking labels on everything you have to mark with your name or room number. If they look nice enough, you can just leave them on all year and you won't have to repeat this step the next year. Another time saver
Create a classroom map for the custodians so there is no confusion as to where to place your furniture. Save the map on your computer so it can easily be changed from year to year so you don't have to start all over if you change some of the layout in your classroom.
Do you use Interactive Reader's Notebooks? Have students take their pages out and then help you get the notebooks ready for next year. Much easier to prep these notebooks when you have extra hands to help you than at the beginning of the year and no help. You can have the notebooks ready to pull and use!
Along the same thinking is to prep your box or crate or whatever you use to house your extra copies of papers you use frequently, like Interactive Reader's Notebook pages, running records sheets, graphic organizers, etc...
One last tip, hang up a sheet in an easy to use place and record supplies you are low in and will need to order. Makes it a lot easier when you go to fill out your requisitions for next year.
Good luck with your packing as you wrap up your school year and head into your summer!