Classroom Supplies to Save Each Year

When the end of the year comes faster than you expect and you’re getting everything packed away, it’s easy to just throw away all old classroom supplies with the idea that you can start fresh next year. But what if you didn’t have to?

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There are so many ways to salvage or “do good” with supplies from your classroom from year to year. If you’re not sure what to save, follow the “Classroom Supplies to Save Year to Year” guide below. 

When the end of the year comes you’re getting everything packed away, it’s easy to throw away all old classroom supplies. But what if you didn’t have to? Click To Tweet

What Goes? 

Let’s start with the easy stuff! It’s always fun to throw things away and “declutter” our lives so if you can, of course throw some things away. Some great “throw away” or “delete” options include: 

  • Files that you haven’t used in the last 2 years. I know it can be hard to delete items off your flash drive or computer, but it is helpful to keep your files updated from year to year. 
  • Cut up paper that is not salvageable. The inevitable craft paper that you have to twist in turn to make the right shape can always go. While getting rid of this paper, you should always look into recycling options. 
  • Past papers and tests that your students did don’t need to be saved going into the following year. Having these extra papers around just adds clutter. If you have some exceptional work, you may want to keep it as an example. 

There are other things you can get rid of beyond the three items above. Of course anything broken should go if cannot be repaired as well as unneeded items. Always make sure you are disposing of items in the best way possible. 

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What Stays? 

Sometimes it can be difficult to find space to store items so throwing them away seems like an easier option, but there are some classroom supplies that you should save from year to year.

Items or files that should always be saved includes: 

  • Lesson plans from this year. It is always good to save your lesson plans from year to year (this doesn’t mean keep five years’ worth of lesson plans just the previous years will work). This may help guide you the following school year. 
  • Usable supplies such as markers, paper, pencils, pens, etc. Whenever you can keep supplies around it’s important that you do. It’s no secret that funding for education is constantly at risk and you don’t want to dig too deep in your own pockets (we do that enough) so saving what you can is vital. 
  • Posters and decorations are also important to keep around. Even if you decide to go with a different theme next year, you may want to revisit this theme. If you don’t have to reinvent the wheel at that time that’s the best yet. 
  • Classroom procedures and behavior plans that worked are also great to keep around. Even if the students next year aren’t as responsive to these techniques, you will have a jumping off point instead of having to reinvent the wheel. 
  • Blogs you started to follow or teachers on TpT you started to use. It’s important to use these resources to keep your classroom fresh. So, if you’ve found a favorite, make sure you keep up with that classroom so you continue to get great ideas! 

Salvaging as much as you can from year to year can make the overall year run smoother and it can save you some money in the process. So, make sure you save what you can from year to year to help you in the long run! 

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What and how to donate 

If you have some items that can be saved but you don’t want them anymore, find a place to make a donation. Often times children’s home societies and safe havens will have families in need.

Sometimes when families have to suddenly leave due to violence, they don’t get to bring supplies along so broken pencils, crayons, and partially used notebooks are very appreciated. 

Another way you can give back without too much effort would be to take companies up on their recycling projects. For example, you can donate marker casings back to Crayola and it only costs your time! All you have to do is follow the steps below. 

  • Step 1: Tell all of the other teachers about it. 
  • Step 2: Collect and count all of the markers that no longer work. You should put these in boxes with a limited amount of markings on the back. 
  • Step3: Once your box weighs between 8 and 10 pounds, print out a shipping label from Crayola. 
  • Step 4: Send everything out! The shipment is paid for by Crayola and you just helped save the environment! 

Donating items or recycling them will not only repurpose the markers, but they will also help save the environment. 

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Overall, it can be difficult to decide what stays and what goes when we go through out classrooms at the end of the year. Always remember you want to keep anything that can make your life easier next year.

Teaching should get less and less stressful and some of that stress comes from feeling the need to completely reinvent the curriculum.

While it is great to change things up, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. So this year when you are going through your desk drawers, art cart, cabinets etc., try to keep in mind that not everything has to go!

Choose to donate to a local group if you can otherwise always recycle. It’s the little things that tend to make a big difference. 

Are you gearing up to pack up for your summer break? Grab our FREE CHECKLIST for End of the Year Pack UP and make packing up your classroom a breeze.


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