Packing Up the Chaos: 3 Storage Solutions for the End of the Year

Okay, teachers, we’re almost there! We are so close to the finish line it’s time to start thinking about packing up the chaos and closing for the summer. This is both a welcomed and daunting task if we aren’t prepared. Here I will give you three helpful storage solutions for end-of-the-year preparations.

Solution 1: Clear Plastic Containers with Labels

Invest in some good quality clear plastic containers of various sizes. Rubbermaid and Sterilite have held up well, and this is one time I avoid the Dollar Store selection. I use these throughout the year, so I ensure that what I purchase fits on the shelves I use in my classroom and my storage closet. I just close the lids and put them in the closet, and it’s that easy. I keep everything in a clear storage container with a label and picture. The picture is also on the shelf where the box is stored in the room so students can return them independently, and I can remember where they go in my storage closet.

Solution 2: Ziplock Bags

If you have games, small manipulatives, or anything small you want to keep track of, put it in a Ziplock bag. I then stack the Ziplock bags, put them in clear plastic storage containers, and label them with whatever is inside. My labels are sometimes more a list of what’s in the box and less a cute label that says “puppets.” My labels usually say frog puppet, dog puppet, etc. I have a terrible memory and a ton of stuff. I will forget I have it if I don’t label everything very clearly with a small inventory of what is inside the box.

Solution 3: Large Instrument Storage

When I pack up my drums and Orff instruments, I always clean them thoroughly before storing them for the summer. My drums collect dust sometimes, and I don’t want to store them with dust on the drumhead, so I use a microfiber cloth and wipe the drums down before storing them stacked on themselves. I place one drum upright and stack another upside down so they are head to head. This protects the drumheads from dust and anything falling on them in the closet.

Orff instruments, I remove all the bars, wrap them together in bundles with rubber bands, package them inside Ziplock bags or pillowcases, and then place them in a box. I clean the metallophone and glockenspiel bars with a gentle cleaner like Sprayaway Stainless Steel Cleaner. I vacuum inside the sound box and wipe all the wood, even the wooden bars, with a suitable wood cleaner like Murphy’s Oil or Old English. I give the bars time to dry, bundle them, and place them inside Ziplock bags and into a box.

My sound boxes do not fit in my storage closet, so those are labeled with my room number and stay out on their carts, covered for the summer. My custodians are very gentle with them when they wheel them in and out to clean my room. It has never been a problem.

What are your favorite storage solutions? What would you add to this list? Happy end of the school year, teachers. Have a great summer; you’ve earned it!

Sing, Say, Dance, Play, Care!


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