It’s said that moving home is one of the most stressful life events you can face. But what about when you have to face a move at work too? While you may have the luxury of being able to choose whether to move house, if you work in the education sector you’re not likely to get much of a say when it comes to moving.
Uprooting a classroom or even a whole school, college or university can be a major upheaval. There will be furniture and items that have resided within their location for decades as well as a lot of important equipment and confidential files – and that’s on top of the potential disruption to students and education.
So how can you make a seamless classroom move without the stress which always seems to accompany the moving process? Here are phs Teacrate’s top tips for packing up and moving classrooms:
Plan in advance
The best time for a classroom move for minimal disruption is during the holidays, if your timescale allows it. But to take advantage of this window, you need to be sharp at planning in advance. Review everything that needs to be packed and dedicate resource to the task at hand. You’ll likely need to start sooner than you think. Plot out actions with deadlines, giving yourself a buffer should you fall off track. You can’t start your packing too soon; even if you’re still three months out, starting to organise classrooms now will help greatly.
Only move what you need
If you’re moving to a new premises, identify what furniture and equipment will be waiting for you so you only pack up what you need. Conversely, if there is any specialist equipment you’ve invested in such as orthopaedic chairs or white boards, mark down that these are to come with you. Next, work out what can be disposed of altogether such as old files that are no longer needed or broken items. Have an exit strategy ready so you know what you’ll do with unneeded items such as whether it can be repurposed or donated of if it needs to be recycled or even shredded.
Start with the archives
As early as you can, pack up items which are not used day to day. This gives you an opportunity to have a good sort out of your classrooms and storage facilities and what you really need. Now is the time to purge items you don’t use and maximise space. How much have you been keeping ‘just in case’ you might use it and how many paper files do you have which could be stored digitally?
Ditch cardboard boxes for reusable crates
Instead of using countless cardboard boxes, consider hiring reusable crates which will reduce the amount of waste you create. As well as being more environmentally friendly, they are designed specifically for moving so will be stronger, more durable and fit for purpose to better suit your moving needs. Lidded crates are ideal for files, folders, books and other classroom items with generous storage space and can be sealed shut if required. If you’re moving large collections of books or an entire library, consider using a folding library trolley which are robust yet easy to manoeuvre. There are also a range of specific crates and boxes to safely store and transport equipment such as flat-screen computer crates for monitors and IT equipment such as keyboards and cabling while lidded file crates are perfect to easily move hanging or suspended filing systems, Designed with integrated metal bars to store files, they can be sealed to keep the contents secure.
Using protective packaging
To take care of the contents of your equipment on the move, take care to ensure it is properly packed, using protective packaging where needed. Bubble wrap, acid-free tissue paper, anti-static bags and furniture covers are the ideal accessories.
Pack up each classroom by theme so everything is kept together and can be unpacked easier on the other side. If a cupboard or storage box in your classroom is already cluttered, sort through it and organise as you go; if you pack a mess, you’ll unpack a mess. Label everything so you can easily identify what each box contains so you don’t spend an age hunting for something when you get there. The more detail you include, the better. Include the room, location it was stored, box number and even the name of the person who packed it.
To ensure the classroom is set up the way you need it to be, take pictures of how it looks before you packed it up. Or if you’re going for a new set up, map it out. This will prevent you from needing to rearrange furniture when you arrive. Taking pictures of the contents of each box is also a great memory jog and will supplement labelling.
Track your items at all times
Make sure you don’t lose a single thing by implementing a tracking system for the move. For instance, phs Teacrate was the first company to introduce bar-coded crates so every single crate can be traced at all times. This use of technology offers full traceability and tracking for your crates, skates and cages so you can identify its location in real time – preventing loss.
Pack a moving day survival kit
When you’re moving home, it’s a good idea to have a survival kit with items such as a kettle, teabags and toilet rolls. Similarly, when moving classroom, a moving day survival kit can ensure you’re looking after yourself and your team during a stressful time. Ensure it includes water, snacks, mugs and utensils as well as essential classroom resources you couldn’t do without if you’re not totally unpacked on the first day back such as pens, scissors, a stapler and paper.
Protect important documents
Moving always poses the risk of things going missing. And when you’re a teacher, this can include important documents that are crucial for both your and your students’ futures. Your documents may contain personal data, years of notes, lesson plans and research, and even pupils’ work that could count towards their grades. Archive boxes are a must-have for protecting your documents. Not only do they provide sturdy support for your belongings, but they can be labelled and transported easily to help prevent things from going missing. They are strong and durable to help protect from the elements too.
Where to hire classroom moving boxes
If you’re looking for crate hire for your classroom, whether you’re relocating to a new premises, changing rooms and moving departments or just for storage during refurbishments and deep cleans, talk to phs Teacrate. We have more than 35 years’ experience and are the leading service provider for crate rental solutions, handling equipment and packaging products.
We offer next working day delivery on our rental crates and packaging with no minimum order quantities.
And no matter where you are, with a national network we are on your doorstep as your regional provider.
Call 0800 980 6996 or email firstname.lastname@example.org