Physical Space

8 Helpful Tips for Packing Up Your ENTIRE Art Room

You’ve heard rumblings, but now it’s official: you need to pack up your art room…completely. Whether it’s remodeling, maintenance or a complete move, the idea of packing up an entire art room is overwhelming. The following is what I’ve started to do, and plan to do, as I begin the process of packing up my entire room. Nothing can be left on the floor, in the closets, or in the cupboards while my floors are redone over the summer. Hopefully the following list and downloads can help you wrap your head around this challenging task too.

art room pack up

1. Breathe.

Take breaks when needed, and if you need motivation, check out these tips!
keel calm

2. Make lists.

I made a prioritized list of what needs to be done, and also the materials I would need up until the last day of school. I streamlined these materials across grade levels, so I wouldn’t have to pack too much in the last week of school. Also, don’t forget to make a list of questions as you go, like, “What do I do with my kiln?”


Click the image below to download your own free, customizable “materials needed” template!

Materials Needed
Click to Download Free Customizable Template!

3. Purge as you go.

Alternately, you can do this before starting to pack. Not only is purging cathartic, but you can make donations or host an art teacher swap. But make sure you don’t acquire more stuff! I also plan to use sandwich-sized plastic zip-top bags to send home some used materials with students.

4. Develop a packing plan or system.

You may see yourself bouncing between this and #5. My plan is to go through my room by area. I listed these areas on a calendar, with a nice time-cushion at the end. If you’d like, click the image below to download your own customizable packing plan template.

Click to Download Free Customizable Template!
Click to Download Free Customizable Template!

5. Organize and sort ‘like’ materials.

This will make unpacking so much easier! Some materials may also have to go into climate-controlled storage. Make sure to note special instructions on the outside of the boxes!
organize by material

6. Label, label, label.

Our district employs a staff specialized in moving and storing furniture and materials. They have a fantastic system of worded and color-coded labels. You can develop a system of your own with blank labels from somewhere like Office Depot.

7. Plan ahead.

Bring home materials you’ll need at the beginning of the year next year! In case remodeling falls behind schedule, have a flexible curriculum plan for the first couple weeks of school. I plan on making a few versions of my digital calendar.  My options will include having my room and supplies, my room and no supplies, or no room and no supplies.
Weekly Calendar

8. Make a map or take photos.

Think about where you want your materials to go back into your room now, instead of during the craziness at the beginning of the year. I plan on taking pictures of my room, especially my storage spaces. I’ll print them off on normal typing paper and write directly on the papers.

Don’t underestimate the power and time-saving effect of extra hands.  See if you can recruit coworkers, friends, family members, or students. You can even assign them tasks from your lists to ensure the streamlined packing process you planned for stays on track!

What is your best tip for packing and unpacking?

Have you had to pack up your room before? What advice do you have for others in the same situation?

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Alecia Eggers Kaczmarek

Alecia Eggers Kaczmarek, an elementary school art educator, is a former AOEU Writer. She is passionate about teaching and reaching students through an innovative and meaningful arts education.

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