As the school year comes to an end, it’s natural to want to relax and take a break from the routine of teaching. However, the end of the school year is also the perfect time to get your classroom organization game on point for the next year. It’s a time to take stock of what worked well and what didn’t, and to make plans for the upcoming school year. Luckily, getting organized doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Follow these 6 steps to get organized to start the next school year with ease.

Step 1: Clean Out Materials and Purge

The end of the school year is the perfect opportunity to clean out and purge supplies, manipulatives, and curriculum that are no longer needed. Think like Marie Kondo. Sort through materials and be honest about what you actually used and what can be let go of (do you need to hang on to that bag full of yarn for one more year? Probably not). Donate those items that are still in good condition and toss those that are no longer functional. Your future self will thank you.

Step 2: Take Inventory and Assess classroom Organization Needs

Take inventory of your current organizational systems and ask yourself, what works and what doesn’t? Do you need more bins or containers for supplies? Are there areas of your classroom that need better organization? Use this time to identify what changes would make your classroom a more efficient and productive place. Make a list of what you need and where you need it, so you can be prepared when it comes time to shop for back to school.

rolling cart drawers for organization

Step 3: Decide on Room Layout and Decor Scheme

Once you’ve purged and inventoried your materials, it’s time to think about how you want your classroom to look and feel next school year. Use the last week of school to try out different layout ideas by either sketching them out or moving student desks and tables. You may even consider asking your current students for feedback about what they liked and what they would change. You don’t have to have your layout nailed down before summer vacation but setup for next year will be much easier if you have some idea of how you would like to layout it all out.   

Don’t forget to think about decor! Will you keep your current theme, or will it be time for a change? Spend some time scrolling Pinterest or Instagram to get a feel for what classroom decor options exist (or check out these blog posts) then make a plan and start shopping for any necessary items now.

classroom decor and organizatio collection

Step 4: Set Aside Back to School Materials

Start the next school year off on the right foot by setting aside materials you will need for the first few weeks of school before leaving for summer break. This could include specific activities, lessons, and read alouds that you know you will want to use. Make sure to keep these materials in an easily accessible place so you can find them quickly when you return for the new school year.

Step 5: Create a Classroom Setup Kit

Another helpful way to stay organized is to create a classroom setup kit that includes all of the tools you will need to set up your classroom quickly and efficiently. This could include items like scissors, hot glue guns, staplers, etc. Having everything in one place will save you time and prevent frustration when it comes time to set up your classroom.

You might consider storing these in a plastic shoebox or caddy. Make sure it’s clearly labeled and the first thing you’re able to see when you walk in your classroom for the first time after summer vacation. 

classroom setup kit box

Step 6: Put Together Back to School Information for New Families

Finally, one of the best ways to get organized and ease the transition back into the classroom is to put together as much of your back to school information as possible. If your school typically holds a meet the teacher or open house event to welcome students and families for the new school year, consider putting together those materials before leaving for summer break. You may not have all of the specific information for the new year (like specials schedules) but for all of the information you do have, like policies, procedures, and curriculum, go ahead and put it together now. Your future self will thank you! 

Not sure how to share information with families at the beginning of the school year? Or even what type of information might be useful to share? Check out these classroom forms:

classroom forms for parent communication

The end of the school year can be a stressful and overwhelming time, but it’s also an opportunity to get organized and prepare for the next school year. The six steps we outlined in this blog post can help you do just that. By cleaning out materials, taking inventory of your organization needs, deciding on a room layout and decor scheme, setting aside back to school materials, creating a classroom setup kit, and putting together back to school information for new families, you can start the new school year feeling prepared and organized. Good luck, and happy organizing!

 

2 Comments

  1. Thank you for this!!! I struggle with keeping organized (what teacher doesn’t? lol) but these were very helpful to try and do as much as possible before leaving for summer break!

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