Tips for Boxing Up and Moving Your Classroom

Hey Friends!
This year, I am moving from third grade to second grade.  I requested the move when a position became available, but it wasn't approved until after school left out.  I had packed up my room the normal end-of-the year way when I left in June.  Nothing was in boxes, it was just all put away.

Last week, I had to go into pack up my room so that the custodians could move it for me.  This is not my first move.  In fact, over the past 10 years I've moved classrooms 4 other times, so this was nothing new. Throughout those moves, I've learned a lot about packing and moving efficiently.  This is crucial, because you never know how long you may or may not have to prepare your new room for the year.  Below I have a few of my best tips for packing and moving classrooms.

1. Get your boxes ready before you start clearing things out.  You'll fill up boxes faster than you think, and it's a big pain the rump to put together boxes when you're on a roll.  It's so easy if you have a big pile of boxes to grab from as you need them.  Use one of those packing tape rollers with the easy tear blade.  (I forgot to snap a photo of mine, sorry!)

2. Invest in large Rubbermaid tubs.  These are fantastic for moving large items that aren't box friendly, and they double as attractive storage in your new room.  I've had a bunch for years, and I love them.  They *just* fit in the space between my cabinets and the ceiling.  If you're changing grade levels or positions, they're perfect for storing items that you're not currently using but don't want to throw away.  This is a great time to pick some up, because they have them on sale for college kids.

3. Label, label, label!  Label the tops, and label the sides.  It may seem like a no-brainer, but seriously, it's probably the most important tip.  This is so helpful when you get to your new room.  You can easily sort through boxes to get to what you really need.  Be specific with labels, as much as you can.  Example- Math Manipulatives instead of just Math....Multiple Copy Chapter Books instead of just Books.  At the same time, don't waste a ton of time detailing exactly what's in each box.

4.  Pack as much as possible before loading up the boxes.  You'll want the heaviest boxes on the bottom of the skids, flat beds, or whatever you're using to move.  It's so easy to stack this way if you have a bunch of boxes packed. Then, you can organize them by size and weight on the skid.  You'll have a lot less spills this way.  It also prevents your materials from being smashed by heavy boxes.

5. Throw stuff out!  Purge, baby, purge!  If you haven't used it, and you don't forsee using it, throw that junk away!  Torn books, load of extra crayons, old posters, faded borders...pitch it!  You'll be so glad to have less to unpack.  I had 4 big bags of trash, and I've only been in that room for 3 years.

6.  Make friends with your movers.  In my case, the custodians move our skids whenever one of us changes classrooms.  Be kind to these people.  It's hard work moving somebody's stuff.  You're trusting them with your entire life of school things.  Thank you notes and treats are recommended!

7.  Ask for help.  More likely than not, some of your colleagues are going to be more than happy to help you.  You'll appreciate the help, even if it's just to put together boxes.  Don't try to be a super hero.  Boxing up a classroom is a big job, and it's exhausting.  Say yes, please, and thank them when you're finished.

8.  Dress comfy.  I hate sneakers, like really hate them. I only wear them for exercise.  Wear sneaks and old clothes for packing up your room.  It is way dustier than you think, and you'll do a lot of climbing.  I was pretty sore for a day or so after I packed up.  Boxing up a room isn't a beauty contest...thank goodness! I'd have lost if it was.

I hope this was a little bit helpful to you as your make a big move.  Moving is a lot of work, but change is always an opportunity for growth.  I love setting up a new room.  Get in touch if you have any questions!  Thanks for reading!


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  1. This is spot on! This is my 5th year of teaching and I have set up a new classroom every year! The best thing I ever did was invest in rubbermaid totes too! They are such a lifesaver. On the bright side I have not collected lots of junk because I have purged each year!

  2. Ugh, Katie, that is the worst! I moved so much my first few years, too, and I think I was spoiled. I hadn't moved the past 3 years. It has hit me hard this time! LOL! I'm still finding spots for my stuff.

  3. Make sure that all the packing boxes can close properly and are sealed from the top. If you over pack a box, you risk damaging your own property.

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