Classroom Cleaning and Packing Made Easy

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!

My leveled library stays on a rolling cart all summer. A plastic table cloth cover from Dollar Tree covers the whole cart! I just tape down the excess. You could also use these covers for anything big in your classroom that needs a little protection.

Putting shower caps on open supply bins is a trick that I use all year! You can drop the whole bin on the floor and 249 paintbrushes and markers don't go flying across the floor! They also keep dust and busy fingers out your bins when they aren't being used. You can get 8 shower caps for $1 at Dollar Tree! 

This tip is even better than Thanksgiving leftovers! I wrap my teacher toolbox with Glad Press 'N' Seal. I first figured this out last summer when I excitedly packed my teacher toolbox at home and then realized it was ALL going to spill in my car! Wrapping the whole thing keep the draws from sliding, and it seals the back shut!

I secure my supply drawers by taping them shut with washi tape. It keeps everything safe and snug when they get moved for summer cleaning! Just pull it off for a residue free handle.

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 I threw away a lot of outdated and unused items (think lesson plans from student teaching).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!

You can check out all of the labels here! They are available in 3 different styles to perfectly fit your classroom design style!

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 store bulletin board letters inside coupon files from Dollar Tree. It makes is soooooo much easier to find the letters you need. Kids also love helping you put letters away!
I used to think I would remember everything until August. As it turns out- I don't remember anything! I started making myself detailed reminders so that even if my brain turns to mush, I can still whip my classroom back into shape.

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!


Thank You Teacher! Giveaway

Thank you tired teacher! You've almost made it through another year! May your iced coffee be extra cold this week, and may the Target Dollar Spot be filled with all new arrivals-- you deserve it!

To show my appreciation for your endless hardwork, I am teaming up with my some my teacher-blogger friends to give away some of our Teacher Must Haves! It's going to be a week filled with awesome prizes, including a $100 gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers!

I am so excited to be giving away a Boogie Board to one lucky teacher! It's helped me so much! If you have ever stopped by my blog before, you may know that I like writing to-do lists. I used to write them on cute paper all the time... then immediately lose them or forget them. I repeated this process for years! Then I discovered the Boogie Board! For the first time ever, I can write a list and NOT lose it!

If you don't have a Boogie Board, you need one now! It's a type of eWriter that never needs charged EVER. You write (or doodle) on the screen with the stylis. Then erase the whole screen and start again whenever you're ready! It even comes with magnets so you can stick it on your board or fridge at home!

I write my list on my Boogie Board and then toss it in my teacher bag. Sometimes I will snap a picture of it if I need to send a list to someone else or if I need to remember something later. It's great for school and for home (and church or restaurants for kids!) It's my Teacher Must Have and I think you must have one too!

Ready for some even better news? If you win the Boogie Board, you also win Dry Erase Pouches from the sweet and talented Peppy Zesty Teacherista! Click on her button below to find out what makes them a Teacher Must Have!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to enter to win a $100 gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers!

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My favorite teacher friends are all giving away our Teacher Must Haves! Don't forget to check out the other amazing prizes up for grabs and enter to win them all!

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