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.
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!
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.
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!