Five For Friday: Unpacking My Classroom…Check!

Okay, I’m trying something crazy here. I am morphing my classroom progress post into a Five for Friday post…let’s see how this goes!!


To start my week, I unpacked my classroom and I am happy to report it was a total breeze! Taking time to clean and pack everything neatly when moving out made moving in tidy and quick. Here’s the process I used to get the job done:
I took a peek inside each box, dropped it in the area of the room where the contents would be stored.
Then, I unload the contents of each box one at a time. If I had a spot to put an item, I stashed it! If I wasn’t sure exactly where it should be stored, I placed it one a table close by (pretty simple).
Once everything was unpacked, I got those empty boxes out of sight. It’s amazing how getting rid of trash clears the mind and boosts efficiency!
Next, I worked around the room, starting in one corner and organizing each cabinet. So much space opened up once there was a place for everything and everything was in its place. I usually scanned the “homeless” items after organizing each cabinet and stashed them if they fit with the theme of the cabinet/shelf I was working on.
Once I got my groove going, I whipped through each cabinet and I was done with them all in one day. ONE DAY!!!!!

Before, During, and After organizing my classroom cabinets.


An essential ingredient to this tidy packing/unpacking process is purging. If I haven’t used something in the past year, it gets kicked to the curb! Actually …it usually ends up in someone else’s classroom where it becomes a “new” item once again. That’s the beautiful thing about being a teacher; when we don’t need something any more, we share it. >WarmFuzzies!!!<

It is such a cool feeling to be the one who gets to do a little giving now that I have a few years under my belt. Although I did most of my purging during the packing phase of my move, I found I had to do another round when I unpacked. Here are my three signature purging categories:

  1. Garbage
  2. Give away and say, “This is really old and kinda nasty and you probably don’t want it, but maybe you do… I couldn’t help but ask”.
  3. Give away and say, “This is a gem, I hate that I have to give this up but I really don’t need it, you will love this and you better take good care of it”.
>>End sidenote<<


The the next logical thing in my mind was to arrange the desks so I started to get that classroom vibe going. I must have had one too many sips of coffee that morning or something but things just weren’t working for me.  I started with arranging the desks. Three hours and 40,000 burned calories later, I finished arranging the desks. Then, I hit the stores to stock up on containers and decorations that fit my new space. I returned half of it two days later.

Setting up classroom desks.


Wednesday rocked! I got to label like a crazy person. I’ve always been a labeling fanatic, but this year I am going to take it over the top. Of course, this means I need to make MORE LABELS. 🙂 I have a long list of additional labels I will create on Sunday. This means my already substantial classroom labeling kit will be bursting at the seams! I also got to sort my classroom library and make an inventory of how many bins I need to purchase for this new super schnazzy cubby set up. I may have had a mini panic attack when I went to Really Good Stuff and discovered the bins I need are out of stock until August 28th. This means my library won’t really be ready until the third week of school. Boo that.


Thursday was a day filled with visits from my classroom decorating consultants. First, my husband dropped in a made some rockin’ suggestions on furniture positioning and thought up a ridiculously inspiring statement piece for the front of the room. I can’t WAIT to create it next week (for now it is top secret). Then, my Mom helped me paper those walls. We had to call it quits when I ran out of borders but we got a ton done a week ahead of schedule!!!!
A peek at my decorated classroom bulletin boards.


Now, I am heading up to Lake Tahoe for my beautiful friend’s bachelorette party. This is my last summer hurrah before I buckle down and get in the zone for back to school.
Stop by next week to take a peek at my decorative accents that transform my classroom into a home away from home, along with more labeling, and getting those first week plans down on paper (I hope)!

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18 Responses

  1. I've admired your classroom from last year so many times!! I love all of the plants you use…I'm working to add more to my class last year. I wanted to ask, is the grass plant real or faux? It is so cool, I would love to add that to my flower collection. Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful room!!

    1. Oh Laura, you made me feel so much better….I was thinking they were all real plants and I pretty much kill all of those, so faux is the way I go every year! Thanks so much!!

  2. I forgot to add! I laughed at the desk arranging because I just did the same thing with my tables the other day!! I love how it ended up for you 🙂

    1. I went in this weekend and changed it AGAIN because I got a new table for my projector. 🙂 Desk arrangement is definitely one of those things that has to be just right and one little inch makes all the difference in the world. My final arrangement (fingers crossed) is pretty similar to the one I loved. 🙂

I’m Laura Santos

I’ve been an elementary teacher for ten years, and love sharing tips and resources that make differentiated learning more manageable for you. Thank you for visiting.

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