School's Out for Summer Part 2: It All Must Go?

Welcome to part 2 of my School's Out for Summer series, It All Must Go?

Do you have to pack up everything and take down everything just to unpack and rehang everything come August?

Yeah, me too.
(If not then I applaud you and I'm jealous of you!)

So after ten years of doing this year after year, I have developed some fast tips for myself that I would love to share with you!

First, packing up the kiddos. You've shared your classroom and your supplies and your ideas with your students for 10 months. This has resulted in a lot of stuff. There's writing portfolios and projects, craftivities, drawings, other artwork, etc. They've also collected things in their little desks or seat sacks or book boxes. Not everything will fit in their book sacks nor should it because they're 6 and they only have 6 year old backs and muscles. So we start to gather their things together in one spot.

I went to our local Trader Joe's and asked ever so nicely if they would consider donating 24 brown paper bags for my students and they DID!! I absolutely adore TJ's and they have the best staff around.
About a week before school lets out, I write student's names on the bags and then set them up against the wall. We start putting things in the bags like their writing portfolios, center folders, math folders, take home papers folders, etc. We also put any other art projects or writing samples or other things that need to go home in the bags. 

On the day of the awards ceremony, we send the bags home with the families. All that's left in the room are pencil bags because we still have some fun stuff left to do :)

Oh, the packing. Well, this is the fun part. NOT. We have to take everything off furniture like the shelves or the desks. The cleaning company removes everything from the classrooms to wax and buff the floors and if stuff isn't tied down, wrapped up, covered, etc. it will get lost. We are allowed to leave things up on the walls as long as there is no chance of it falling down.

My absolute favorite tip to give, is to keep things you know you will need the second you walk into your classroom post summer in a box. Labeled, ready for me to open up and get started. 

The things I put in this box: 
- scissors
- scotch tape
- mauvalus/duct/masking tape
- stapler/staples
- sticky notes
- sharpies
- pencils
- wipes for cleaning the dust that has collected over 8 weeks
- any trinkets that I don't want lost or broken (I have some Star War's Bobble Heads that are the bee's knees so not wanting to lose those!)
- Back to School To Do Lists (more on that below)
- any important cords for setting up laptop or sound system (for music to play while unpacking, of course!)

When I come back to my classroom, I grab this box first and open it up. Everything is there for me to get started with organizing for the new school year. 

Did you get moved to a new room or grade level or school???? How, like, where do you even begin?!?!

I am moving from first grade to Video Production! Yeah, huge jump and I'm pretty sure I've lost my mind but just in case I haven't I'm staying sane by packing smartly. 

Luckily, my new classroom is literally 10 feet across the hall from my old classroom :)
Unluckily, the rest of my first grade team is moving to a completely new building next school year. 
So the stuff must go. We started by packing parts of the room in boxes.

The math center was packed in boxes labeled MATH CENTER. 
Science/Social Studies center was packed and labeled SCIENCE/SS CENTER.
And so on and so forth. 

Yes, this took a lot more boxes and many more trips back and forth to the new classroom, but it so helps out in August when all you have to do is unpack that one box in that one place in the new classroom. No need to tote things around the room while unpacking only one box. 

When I moved from Alexandria down to Baton Rouge 3 years ago, I did NOT do this. And oh em geeeee was everything in chaos!!! It took me FOREVER to unpack and the boxes were heavy and things were lost. So I vowed to always pack like things together. Every May this is what I do and it has saved time and sanity. 

Packing up to move grade levels is definitely something for which I was not prepared! Apparently, 6th grade Video Production students don't really read a lot of Biscuit or Dr. Seuss or Pete the Cat books. 

I mean, really? So my library of carefully and painstakingly accumulated books has to be packed away foreeeevvvvveeeeerrrrr. Or until I go back to the classroom. 
What do you mean 6th graders don't read Gregory the Terrible Eater?!?!?

These books are coming with me because they are Star Wars and everybody loves Star Wars. Duh. 

It didn't all fit!!!!! This box was half full of books and half full of stuffed animal reading buddies so it wouldn't be heavy when carried. 

This was the last box and I was gonna make it all fit, with or without closing!!!!!!!!!

My car looks like this right now. 
This load is heading to my parents' attic. More went there this past Monday with my sister. I can't bear to give it away yet and I can't store it at my house. 

The book boxes are moving with me and I'll find something to put in them. 
This is my little corner of stuff in my new computer lab. I am keeping some reference books and Louisiana Books and Science Books for when we create video book reports or need to research, etc. 

These are the best boxes (from Big Lots) and I've yet to figure out what I 'm doing with them in Video Production. Suggestions?

Finally, I have my end of they year to do list! 

The end of the year comes with an unbelievable amount of things to do. My principal is so awesome that she gives us a list of these things in a nice little end of the year folder. 

However, ALL the info is in that folder. Things I need to do get lost in all the words and dates. So I highlight what is important to me and then sort it out. 

I use this handy little list to write down everything I need to know and do. 
Grab a copy that you can personalize for yourself {HERE}!

I put a few blank copies in my Start of Year box so I can organize my life then, too. 

I hope I have given you some tips for the end of the year to make life a little easier. Let me know what you think! 

Tune in tomorrow for Part 3: Celebrate Learning!

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