Summer is drawing near, and that means it’s time to start getting everything packed up for summer. I know how important it is to keep your materials organized. However, storing teacher resources over the summer in a way that will make sense again next year can be a struggle. These five tips for getting your teacher resources organized will make getting ready for summer a breeze!
How to Store Teacher Resources Over the Summer
Storage can be a tricky thing to master. These five tips to store teacher resources over the summer are stinkin’ simple and will make the beginning of next year easier too.
- Sort and Organize
- Clean and Sanitize
- Use Climate-Controlled Storage
- Label Everything
- Create an Inventory
1: Sort and Organize
To store teacher resources over the summer, you’ll want to sort and organize everything. At this point in the year, most of our classrooms look like a tornado went through it. There are materials here and half-used glue sticks there. It’s hard to know where to start! Never fear! I’ve got your back! Review your classroom library, manipulatives, bulletin board decor, and other materials. Then, decide what to keep and what to toss. If you’re a bad tosser, maybe bring a friend!
Sorting Through Your Classroom Library
When you start going through your classroom library, you’ll want to first organize everything into categories like fiction, non-fiction, and leveled readers. Then, create bins with labels for each category. This will make it easy to find the right book when you need it next year. Plus, putting them in their bins will make storing teacher resources over the summer way easier! While you’re going through books, make sure you set aside books that need to be fixed, donated, or discarded.
Another piece of your classroom that might be in dire need of sorting is your manipulatives. I like to store my manipulatives by subject. For example, you can have a bin for math manipulatives and another for science. Having separate bins can make finding your manipulative way easier!
2: Clean and Sanitize Teacher Resources Before Storing for Summer
Once you have everything sorted, it’s time to clean up the germs! When you are going to store teacher resources over the summer, you’ll want to make sure you are not storing those last-minute cases of flu, colds, and miscellaneous stomach bugs. In addition, cleaning and sanitizing will prevent pests and mold from taking hold while your materials are packed away.
For anything stuffed or fabric, please give them a good wash and dry them thoroughly. Anything that can’t be thrown in the washing machine is wiped down with a disinfectant of some kind.
Paper-based materials, like books and posters, air them out in a well-ventilated area or outside on a sunny day. This will help get rid of any of the musty smells and prevent mold from growing.
3: Use Climate-Controlled Solutions for Storing Teacher Resources Over the Summer
Now that you have everything cleaned, it’s time to talk about actually storing teacher resources over the summer. Whenever you can, you want to store your resources in a climate-controlled environment. This protects your resources from extreme temperatures and humility, which can cause damage (and more work for you) over time.
If you have access to a storage room at school with climate control, make sure you are taking up that space! Make sure you don’t over-store because you don’t want to take someone's space, but you’ll want to make sure you use that space for valuable resources like books, electronics, and delicate art supplies as well.
If you don’t have access to a climate-controlled area for storing teacher resources over the summer, make sure you find a cool, dry space at home. If you can store your materials in a closet or under your bed, you’ll save a ton of time next year.
4: Label Everything!
When you are finally putting things into containers, you’re going to want to know what is inside them without opening every single box. How are you going to find it all when you need it? Simple! Label, label, label!
For your books, label each gin with the category and reading level they are. This will help you know exactly where to find the perfect book for next year’s lessons.
When it comes to art supplies, use clear plastic containers and label each one. For example, you can have a container labeled markers and another labeled glue sticks. This will make it easy to see what’s inside and grab what you need for centers, an activity, or an art project with ease.
One of my favorite storage items for math and literacy centers are my 12×12 Iris Boxes! These cases are large enough to hold a TON of center activities. Plus, with the cute labels I’ve created for you, you can have your centers for kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth, and fifth grade with ease! With Iris Boxes and labels, these stored centers will look like decor on your shelves! Check out this link to get these labels for your classroom and learn my 3 Steps to Organizing Your Math and Literacy Centers with ease!
5: Create an Inventory when Storing Teacher Resources Over the Summer
Finally, once everything is put away, you need to make an inventory for all of the materials you are storing. This should include where you put them. By doing this, you’ll keep track of what you have and avoid unnecessary purchases.
For your classroom library, you can create a spreadsheet with all the books you have, their reading levels, and the bin they’re stored in. You can even include a column for notes about each book. For example, you might note if a book is a class favorite.
For your manipulatives and other supplies, make a list of what’s in each bin or box. Keep this information in a binder or digital document. This way you can refer to your inventory when you’re lesson planning or shopping for new supplies.
Storing teacher resources over the summer might seem like a chore. It is. However, with these five tips, you’ll make organizing your resources over the summer way easier. Plus, you’ll be starting your school year off ready with all the different supplies you need in an organized space. These five tips for storing teacher resources over the summer will save you time and stress when you’re trying to get back into the swing of things. So, get organized! Your future self will thank you!