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End of the Year Organization

At the beginning of every year I love to hop from blog to blog and look at all of the pictures of the beautifully decorated and organized classrooms.  I imagine that it must take weeks and weeks to get rooms that look like that!  For the last couple of years I've planned to do a little bit of organizing at the end of the year to better prepare for the next school year.

 At previous districts we've had at least one day before classes started that was strictly a teacher workday.  Teachers could unpack, organize, decorate and plan without the interruption of staff meetings or insurance meetings or any one of the dozens of meetings that have to take place during that time.  At my current district we don't have that.  Actually, we have open house before school starts and after only one paid day back at school.  This means that unless we come in on our own or are crazy super organized and preplanned that we will have to come in a day or two before that on our own.
I don't mind coming in before that.  I enjoy decorating and getting things ready.  I don't want to give up a week or two to do that!  Last year several teachers came in to work 10-12 days before they were required every single day all day long to work in their rooms.  Wow!  I don't want to do that either.
Some things I've done in May to get ready for August:
  • Put up bulletin boards and then covered them up so they wouldn't fade.
  • Made copies of class syllabi and filed them.
  • Created my Song of the Week (now Song of the Month) display and laminate it.
  • Copy Recorder Karate Books, listening worksheets, etc... anything I could think I might need in the first few weeks.
  • Plan a theme or color scheme for next year.
This year I decided to organize all of my materials in a way that made sense to me.  I have a lovely wall of storage with big deep shelves. I am so fortunate that the teacher before me insisted on great storage and left me a well-stocked classroom.  The problem?  It was kinda all over the place!  Take a look.

This is behind my first set of doors.  I keep my office and craft supplies here as well paper, folders and a spare computer.  This area also houses my microwave and refrigerator.  On the left is the slow decay from about a year and a half ago when I half-heartedly threw some things in containers.  On the right is my newly organized, easy to get to set up.
These containers are from Sterilite and you can get them at Walmart among other places.  I tried to place like things together (glue sticks and glue guns, labels and dot stickers, etc...) but most importantly tried to have a PLACE for everything.
The picture below shows how I have organized my crazy amount of books, center supplies and games.

So remember those hundreds of books that were stacked or sliding or just crazy in the before picture?  Well...now they all have a home!  I used magazine boxes and labeled them by topic.  The flowers are just from those notepads you can get at teacher stores.  I thought that gave them a cheery look and a degree of uniformity.  Right now they are in alphabetical order (starting in the back), but I imagine as I use them next year I'll pull the ones I use the most to the front.
Above and below all of my books is where I store things for workstations.  These containers contain workstation materials sorted by topic.  The labels say:  Bingo Games, Rhythm Pins, Old Flashcards, Pitch Workstations, Rhythm Workstations, Music Dice and Clothespin Rhythms, Christmas Centers and Cool Compositions.  In the bigger containers below that are Noodle Notes, Rhythm Blocks, Bop-It and Simon Says games and a box for supplies that I'll use to make more centers.  This box has fun things like ice cube trays, foam dice, cards, baggies, etc...

Games, lap packs, Star Spangled Banner Workstations (all in folders. I do them with 3rd grade every year), reading supplies for workstations and miscellaneous worksheets and direction sheets for centers.

I spent a little bit of money from my fabulous PTO to get containers and finally moved my puppets (used in my singing centers) and beat buddies (beanie babies) into proper homes.  Now they are easy to get out and put away and store nicely in the space I have for them.
Last year my room seemed pretty organized on the outside.  I'm happy to say that when I start this year it will be pretty organized behind the closet doors too! :-)

Do you do any organizing or preparing for the new year at the end of the last?  Blog about it, grab the image at the top of this post and link it back to my blog.  Link us up with your ideas below.  If you don't have a blog, feel free to share your ideas in the comments.



  1. Thanks for the inspiration, Tracy. I'm being transferred to another building and I will be combining two buildings worth of stuff that I've been collecting for the past 20 years. Seems like a daunting task, but now I have some ideas. Enjoy your summer!

    1. When I moved from my last school I purged like a maniac. There were many things that I hadn't used in 5 or 6 years. They were easy to get rid of. Other things....well....I have to squash my tendencies to hoard! LOL. Good luck!

  2. I am moving back into the music room in the building after being in a portable for almost 4 years. I had to pack every single thing in boxes. By the time I finish all of that, I don't really have the energy to prepare for the following school year. However, we get a full week of preplanning. For the first time this August, one of those days is professional development. I usually go in the week before preplanning to begin to get stuff ready. With moving, it'll take me a good while to decide how I want things.

    1. At my last district we had a work day in our rooms which REALLY helped with planning and organizing. Hope it is a magically productive day for you!

  3. Ha! I saw this post after I just made a post on my blog with pictures of my classroom at the end of the year! But, the pics I posted are not my typical end of the year procedures. We are getting new floors this summer (moisture in the foundation is causing glue to seep up through the tile). All of my cabinets had to be emptied and all furniture must be removed. My room is a HOT MESS! I would love a week or so to get the room back together for school, but I fear the floors will not get done on time. Here's a link to my post: http://musicwithmrsdennis.blogspot.com/2014/06/anti-pinterest-classroom-pictures.html