Saturday, January 12, 2013

Starting the Clutter-Free Classroom Project- The Before Pictures!

I read about some teachers' organization resolutions last week, and had to laugh.

Some people have this natural affinity for organizing, and I just... don't. I never have.

I was that kid whose desk was dumped over onto the floor by her teacher.
I was that kid whose dad once took everything off her bedroom floor and took it away for two weeks.
I still am that teacher whose class actually comments when there aren't piles on my desk.

The thing is, I like when things are organized. And I have slowly found things that work for me in the classroom, but I've only been in my own room 2 years and I switched grade levels this year!

I've decided to take on the Clutter-Free Classroom Challenge for 2013, and it is scary.

When you first walk into my classroom, it doesn't look that bad.

The library needs some labels and some book box fixes, but overall, I don't think it'll take too much to get into shape.

The back of the room is pretty good...

... until you get to the sink area.

The front of the room isn't too bad, other than a quickly dying carpet and some books to be put away.

My small group area is recovering from some crazy time before break, but it the table itself is usually clear. (Right now, I'm working on MOY assessments, not groups, so it hasn't gotten back to normal yet.)

Behind the small group area is just a mess, though.

Annnd the worst part of the room? My desk area. See that pile on the left? It was actually twice probably three times as high when I came back from break, but I cleared it away somewhat before remembering to bring in my camera.

Both parts are a mess.

Behind the desk is bad, too...

And I forgot to get a picture of under the desk, which is just as terrible.

But, hey, this week I was already able to clear off one giant pile!

Look at the pretty desk space!

There's, uh, a lot of room for progress... right?

I'm embarrassed to put this out there, but, hey- it's part of the process. Maybe I need a little embarrassment as motivation :) I can't wait to show you the 'after'!

If you want to join the Clutter-Free Classroom Challenge, link up here! I'm excited to change the feel of my classroom, simplify my teaching life, and shop at Target and the Dollar Spot- I mean, be a better example to my students!

Please tell me I'm not the only one whose room looks like this? :)


  1. You are not alone. My room is just as bad if not worse. I am really good at cleaning up for a sub, but I can't seem to keep it that way. The papers are whet really seem to do me in. Also my unhung anchor charts are a pile of mess on my counter. If you figure out how to keep it organized I would love to know.

  2. As you witnessed from my pictures, you are not alone. I love your room, it's so spacious! I was going to go with the frog theme but I switched it to owls. Anyway, I'm excited about this project and I can't wait to see your after pictures. For some reason, I've never been more excited about organizing in my life. Lol! It helps when you have a group of people working towards the same goal. Again, good luck!

  3. OMG! Your class theme is frog yay! mines too. SO far I have stucked to this theme for 4 years. I learned long time ago to pick a theme and stick it to it! Its incredible how many things I have collected over the years.
    Anyways,I love your color scheme! and for your clutter do not worry, you have taken the first steps and that is all that matter. You are such in way better conditions that mine little classroom.
    I just became your newest follower, hope you can join me in my clutter classroom lol.
    Happy teaching,
    Vanessa @

  4. I am really bad, too. I can sympathize!! This year, I have gotten much better in my classroom and I actually hope to carry these organization skills back to my home. I think this is a great blog topic. Thanks for sharing! It will get better :)

  5. Isn't it always the behind the scenes areas that get the worst!? I can relate to your small group area!
    Good luck with the project,
    Karen :o)
    Mrs. Stamp's Kindergarten

  6. I like how your classroom theme is frog! I love reading your posts, pretty inspirational :) I'm not an actual classroom teacher yet, won't be long and your posts are making me so excited already.


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