1. Do a small amount each day: instead of looking at it as one major move in one day, if possible start earlier and do a small amount each day. I selected one area a day to pack up, clean and cull. One shelf, one box or a few folders. Whatever it is, try to start small and the earlier the better of course.
2. Clean as you go: this was the most obvious and easiest thing but can often get overlooked. Once you have cleared the space, clean it immediately. This helps to make the process run quicker and build momentum. It also makes you feel like you are making progress which makes the job seem a little less overwhelming.
3. Cull before you pack: if you have the luxury of a little time or at least a spare few minutes don’t just shift things into boxes and dump it. Over the years I had accumulated so much stuff that I didn’t even realise. I found the best part was sorting and culling things before I packed. You can donate items that you will not use to the art teacher or offer them to other teachers if they are still in good condition. I looked at the condition of the items and either threw them or donated them.
4. Box according to year level: I have been lucky enough to teach grade one to grade six so I have resources that span across all year levels. It is easier to box my resources according to the year level. I boxed up all the junior items that I won’t need for now. That doesn’t mean that I keep everything. Worksheets and little things that I could locate and find again I throw out. Books, manuals, supplies and games are the only things that I tend to keep. After all, you never know when you will get that call to move.
5. Ask for help: if you are lucky enough to work in a team, ask for help. Whether it is shifting boxes or needing time. I was truly blessed to have understanding leaders who gave us a little extra time if we needed to move. My teaching partner was very helpful as always and of course, I had some older kids come and move smaller items of a trolley. This made the transition much quicker and smoother.
6. Negotiate with the teacher whose room you are moving into: this is essential. Again, I had an amazing teacher on the other end who was flexible and made small amounts of space at a time for me even though he was moving himself. You can’t just go and dump all your boxes on the next teacher and leave them to work in that space. On the same token, you have a responsibility to leave the space clean for the next teacher. Think of how you would want to walk into a that space.
7. Establish areas: I found it easier to fully clear one space and then work from there. I packed my office into boxes and used that space to leave anything that I needed to move. Then I used a spare table to make a donate pile. Finally, I just threw what I needed to each night in the bin or the dumper.
The good news is that you will survive a move and that it will get done. It is an enormous job that many people underestimate. Support is a huge key and if you are moving, I hope you get some! Good luck if you are moving year levels or classrooms this year and feel free to drop us a moving tip if you have any. #survivethemove #twocreativeteachers