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5 Tips for Spring Cleaning the Classroom

Photo by misskprimary (flickr.com)

Break free of the dust and stale air of winter by giving your classroom a good old spring cleaning.  The tips and tricks below will make your classroom shine and invigorate you and your students for the rest of the year.  Make it a fun project and get your students involved in the cleaning!

Work From the Top Down

Instead of attacking the dust on the library shelves first, start by looking up.  Take a large duster and actually dust off the ceiling tiles.  If you have posters or artwork hanging, take those down first.  If, when you look up, you notice that your ceiling is exceptionally dusty, you might want to put plastic tarps or plastic tablecloths over students’ desks and other areas to catch the dust.  This will give you a clean ceiling and a reason to do a new, fun spring craft project with your students’ that can be hung up.

Wipe Down Walls

After the ceiling, move on to the walls.  When you clean, it is the perfect time to take down old posters and replace them with new ones.  Change your bulletin boards and dust off those letters hanging above the white board.  Your students will love seeing new visuals when they come into class.

Super Surface Cleaners

Make each child in charge of cleaning his or her desktop.  A few packages of baby wipes can be passed around to wipe down desktops, chair surfaces and counters.  Students can also help with wiping off center tables, bookshelves and other surfaces where dust has collected.  The baby wipes are gentle enough on their skin to not cause a reaction, but effective enough to get off even stubborn crayon marks.

Photo by Lancaster County Market (flickr.com)

Swift Sweepers

If running a sweeper is not one of the classroom jobs you have set-up, you may want to consider it.  When your class is spring cleaning the room, sweeping or collecting floor dirt with a handheld vacuum is a must.  Borrow a couple from other teachers to make short work of the cleaning that needs to be done.  As always, use caution with who you let use the sweeper.  If your students are too young to use a motor-driven vacuum, a dustpan and broom will work just fine.

Out with the Old

Out with the old air that is.  Open your classroom windows to let in the fresh smells of spring.  The amount of stale air that accumulates in a classroom can be astounding.  Since so many students have allergies, installing an air freshener or using a room spray may not be an option.  The best way to make your classroom smell fresh again is to open your door and windows to allow for new air.

Spring cleaning you classroom will give it a brand new look and feel.  Not only will you feel better in the space, but so will your students.  A fresh, clean working environment makes anyone more excited to work.


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23 comments
Amanda Lawson
Amanda Lawson

Clorox wipes are a great way to clean up. Working your way down is a great idea. I always get my students involved in spring cleaning.

D. Gordon
D. Gordon

To keep tables and desks looking the way I want, I have examples of what they should look like taped to the inside of each students desk, and to the caddy in the middle of each group of desks.

Elaine
Elaine

To Kay, yes you are spoiled and lucky. We have a custodian, but he doesn't have time to do more than sweep, vacuum, and clean the bathrooms everyday. He mops once a week. All the other tasks: counters, sinks, shelves, windowsills, and bathrooms (after 2 recesses) are done by me when I can with 24 Kindergartners in a full day program with an aide only 8am-11am. It is just understood that we keep our rooms clean. To others, be careful with Clorox wipes, if it gets on clothing it will leave "bleach" spots. During the day I let the students use the baby wipes and I use the Clorox wipes after school. I also love the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser for stubborn spots on tables and white boards. We will start this week spending 15-20 minutes dusting and reorganizing the puzzles, games, and math manipulative shelves. I start coming in a half hour earlier to go thru those "piles" with papers to file or recycle. It's always good because it feels good to have everything in its place.

schelly
schelly

My kids LOVE to clean. All I have to do is get out the Clorox wipes and they surround me!!! The sweeper is always being fought over. I share a room and I'm always looking for new ways to add clean and get rid of germs......we will be opening our windows as soon as it warms up just a little!!!! Until then, my little helpers and I will share the work...they will get the bottom (they are 3 and 4) and I will take the top!

Kay
Kay

Maybe I'm spoiled, but we have a custodial staff that sweeps, vacuums, and cleans the bathrooms, counters,sinks, etc. every day. I can't imagine that a district would expect teachers to clean their classrooms on top of everything else that is required.

Morgan
Morgan

I must get some spring cleaning done!!!! The piles are stacking up! I love the Clorox wipes for cleaning!

April Mann
April Mann

Great tips - I love reading these blogs!

Kristina Baldwin
Kristina Baldwin

I agree with Karla, I use Clorox wipes on the desks and chairs. They seem to get more off and last longer than the baby wipes. I do however use baby wipes on my white boards to clean them off.

Christine
Christine

Karla, we use Clorox wipes as well. Sometimes the Lysol version too. I haven't seen any issues this year and I have some doozies in my room re: allergies. I've been cleaning my room up the last few days-- making sure that all traces of SNOW and WINTER are long gone!

Colleen
Colleen

I have a broom in my room, and it is one of my daily jobs to have someone sweep up at the end of the day. Teaches them that they need to pick up after themselves, and it is always nice to lend a helping hand. If pencil shavings fall during the day, they know to get the broom and clean it up. I wipe down the desks and tables once a week, after the students have left, or more often if I have coughers and sneezers!

Allie
Allie

Great tips! I was just thinking about spring cleaning today when a huge dust bunny rolled across the classroom floor! It was disgusting. Needless to say, I gave the room a thorough sweep. I suppose our daily rounds with the push broom are not quite cutting it! I definitely will be using these cleaning tips.

cindy garcia
cindy garcia

Spring Cleaning = toss papers I have already brought out and used up my Clorox wipes. I don't have a window so I can't air out my room, but I do leave my door open to ventilate my room a bit.

Jennifer M
Jennifer M

Yes! I am ready to clean shelves and buckets too! A lot of dust can accumulate in the center buckets.

Maureen
Maureen

You mentioned students' allergies as a reason not to use sprays and air freshener but then said to just open the windows to change the stale air. Many children, like myself, have seasonal, often severe, allergies to pollen. While I know its impossible not to open the windows, especially in schools like mine that don't have air conditioning, it would be helpful to try to open them at times when the pollen count is low and try to have less windows open at times when the pollen count is at its highest. Weather forecasts will often let you know the pollen count for the day. Another way to freshen the room is to rearrange the furniture. Try moving things around to give it a new look and it might even work more efficiently.

Amber
Amber

I was inspired to start spring cleaning today!!! I started today and cleaned desks, rearranged some things and started looking forward to next year! Yeah!!! Now I'm ready for Spring Break!!

Lynn
Lynn

Do teachers in the states typically have to clean their own classrooms like this?

Kris
Kris

I'm a big fan of clean! When I had a first grade classroom we made cleaning part of our regular routine. At least once a week we did a total wipe down of our room with baby wipes. The students were responsible for their own desks and all shared areas of the room. Once they were gone for the day I would Lysol or Clorox the room so that any of my more sensitive students were not affected by the cleanser. I also encouraged keeping their books/notebooks extra tidy everyday. After all this was their first time to have their own desks, no longer shared tables. I would randomly surprise the students with "Neat Treats" while they were out of the room. The element of unexpected desk checks kept students constantly aware of their own areas and keeping them clean so that they got their reward. The Neat Treats were a small paper certificate I made with a little rhyme and a smartie candy roll attached to each. They loved them!

Melissa
Melissa

I have already started! Feels great to be freshening up...the students think so too. We have 3 weeks until our Spring Break. Our classroom goal is to be cleaned by then so we will be ready for state testing one week after we return and the last "leg" of the school year.

Carolyn
Carolyn

Our district has a list of "approved" cleaning supplies that may be used. As far as organizing, I am on a long-term sub job (looks like it will be 5 months in all) and I have started doing a little job or two per day. So that I don't get sidetracked, I use that old method of starting to the right of the door and working my around the room. I notice things I tend to ignore during the busy school day - the border that needs tacking down, the unifix cubes that fell under the table, etc.

Amy Scott
Amy Scott

I started my spring cleaning this week. I wiped down shelves and countertops. I dusted all areas and have been recycling old papers. Also, I took down old artwork to make room for new, fun spring artwork!

Karla Verchot
Karla Verchot

These are good suggestions. But are baby wipes as effective as Clorox wipes? That's what we use and the kids never complain about it irritating their skin.

Jessica
Jessica

This is part of my goal for Spring Break - clean and organize. I need something fresh and so do they.