Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Clutter-Free Classroom Project Week 1:

Before Pictures!
I didn't want to post any before pictures but I saw some brave blog buddies doing it so I had to!
I am joining The Clutter-Free Classroom Project!
I am so nervous to post these because what if I don't organize and my room keeps looking like a hot mess??? Hopefully you all will keep me motivated! :)
Here we go!

This is right by my door and my coat rack. It used to hold my math manipulatives but it is now the cubbies! I have gotten 3 new students in the past few weeks and the 4x5 wasn't cutting it! I love this 5x5 but if I get more than 2 new students I will be in big trouble! I still need to add names and numbers. I have my orange "turn in" tub on top, some tissues, hand sanitizer, a tub to hold some awards, and the purple envelopes hold their class money! I really need to pass them back out! I would really like to put some sort of decorative contact paper on top and on the bottom of the cubbies but I don't know if I have the energy for that! Maybe!
This is {supposed to be} the bookshelf where I keep all of the guided reading books and other Harcourt materials. The books are pretty organized by level and lesson but I hardly use them because they are just too hard for my ELLs. I also keep random stuff in there so I want to make it a little more efficient by keeping the books that I use more often. Right beside this bookshelf is my horseshoe table that I {am supposed to}use for small groups. I've had so much junk on it that I have been pulling my small groups on the carpet and on the students' desks! That is soooo bad!

So this is the infamous horseshoe table that needs to be cleaned up so I can use it for my small groups! I want to make those cute Pinterest snowmen with the shaving cream {as you can probably tell}. I am organizing my emergency sub plans in the red tub! The rest of the stuff is just miscellaneous cra... I mean, stuff!

This is my portable bookshelf/storage-thingy. I have a love-hate relationship with this thing. I love that it holds a ton of stuff (there are shelfs on the front and in the back-this picture is of the back) but then I hate that it takes up sooo much space! I am in the process of organizing this bad boy! I plan on having all of my art materials in their own little tubs with labels! I can't wait! I just have to make the labels and organize them... such hard work! I have a tub of books just hanging on top. I either need to organize them in my library or donate them!

This is my Sand and Silt FOSS kit. It is an awesome and easy way to teach science and it correlates to our standards! :) We are all finished with it so I just need to fill out the paperwork so it can be sent back to the district warehouse where they replenish it and send it off to another teacher!
That big ol' pile of paper on top is {ungraded} homework!! I need to fill up their sticker chart so this pile is a priority!
My sink and counter area are just a places that hold random things. I have some danish butter cookies a container with paint cups that was left by the old teacher.

More random stuff, disinfecting wipes that don't fit in my newly organized cabinets, more hand sanitizer, a basket, papers, and my pencil sharpener! Blah! I need to clean, clean, clean!

This cabinet is also portable and it holds lots of stuff, which is good because we don't have any built-in shelfs and stuff (beside the teeny ones above and below the sink). I have tubs of math manipulatives that I don't use in there and my bee-u-tiful construction paper! I will take a pic tomorrow!
Above the cabinet is where the mess is! As I was organizing, I put all of the stuff I didn't know what to do with up there! I want to go through and either throw it away or find a place for it all! 

The baskets under my calendar wall are supposed to be the classroom library! I need to organize them, label the books and the baskets, and keep it that way! I just haven't had the motivation to label each book! I would really enjoy seeing my kiddos using it efficiently though!

Here are all of my math manipulatives and my old cubbies {the 5x4}. I need to re-label the ones on the left and need to throw out some stuff on the right! If you look closely on top of the right shelfs you can see me as a first grader! I keep my Kindergarten and First Grade picture for my kids to see so they are reminded that I was once their age too! I love my heart pillows but they are such a pain to keep on the floor! I hang my read hearts on the coat rack but they take up so much room!

This is a bookshelf that is behind my math manipulatives. I keep crayons, scissors, markers, notebooks, and junk all over it! I know I can find a better place for all of those materials!! I just know it!
There is also a pile of picture dictionaries on the floor. I need to start using them!
If you squint you can see a picture of my sweet Alyssa on the whiteboard! I love that child!

This table is supposed to hold my daily plans and materials. It is just under my whiteboard so when I try to write I have to be on my tippy-toes. It is a mess. I still have stuff in the baskets that I was supposed to use before the holidays! I want to get rid of the baskets and use hanging file folders for my daily materials!

Now to the scary part of my room -my desk area! I just use it to hold my lesson plans and the rest of the stuff that doesn't have a place! Good news is that all of the drawers are empty and I just need to organize the stuff on top and this baby will be GONE! The table behind the desk is where I keep my laptop, the document camera, projector, and speaker. I didn't take a close up picture but there is always junk on that thing!

This is a side view of my desk area. I stuff all that wonderful fadeless paper in the corner, leave all my junk (bags, cart, and Target shopping bags). Sometimes I can't even walk through there! YUK!

This is another messy bookshelf behind my desk. I have teacher resource books, Harcourt teacher editions, markers, Biffytoons, page protectors, CD's, airfreshner, and a collection of stuff on the surrounding floor area! I know this space can be used more effectively!!

This is my writing table and next to it is my listening center. I need to get rid of the extra boom box, get rid of the rocks my sweeties brought from home during our Sand and Silt unit, and find another place for the paper and my box of borders that is overflowing!

I don't even want to talk about this picture of the stuff on top of my filing cabinet! Blah! Gross! Mess!

This is a close up of the bookshelf behind my soon-to-be-gone desk! So many note pads!

WOWSERS!! Those are a ton of "MESS" Pictures! I really hope blogging about my progress makes me have progress! LOL

I wanted to show you all my class rules with the updated picture for Rule #5! Yes, I did tape my face to the rule! :) They walk by it every morning and see my face! Ha!

I would love to hear some encouraging words about my hot mess of a classroom!

So I don't know if anyone got to the end of this *HORRIFIC* post but if you did, I thank you!! Yay! It's almost FRIDAY!!!



  1. You'll get there! Baby step will get you going and once you see the improvements you'll hopefully keep it that way! I was worried too about not cleaning up my mess and finding time to organize but I think since we are all posting we'll hold each other accountable and we just have to do it little by little. Good luck and happy Friday! :)
    Rambling About Reading

    1. Thanks! I think we are way more accountable when we post pictures! :) YAY!

  2. You can do it - me too! You are so brave to post pictures! I just couldn't do it...Areas in my room are SUPER scary.

    I think that I am going to make a goal of one thing a day to organize. Even if it just one shelf of a cabinet, or one of my counter tops. That way I don't get too overwhelmed. Then I am going to continue to follow the minute rule: If it takes less than a minute to put it away, do it right then!

    Happy Friday!

    1. I didn't NOT want to take pictures but it wasn't that bad!! It could always be worse. I LOVE the one minute rule!! :) I'm going to keep doing it!! Maybe I should make a poster or something to remind me!

  3. Well, it looks like you some great storage areas. You just have to figure out how to utilize it better.

    Ms. M
    Ms.M's Blog
    A Teacher's Plan

  4. I want to come help you!!! Az isn't too far! I can't wait to see your progress!! First things first, throw some stuff away!!!

    1. Come and help!!!
      I've been throwing stuff away! I seriously can't believe that I have accumulated all of this stuff in less than 2 years! YIKES!

  5. You will get there! It is scary how much stuff we accumulate. Just take baby steps and it will all get done and your room will look amazing. No more being scared to show your wonderful classroom! We are all in this together.

    Apples and Papers

  6. I am in the SAME boat! This is my first year teaching and I am having a tough time finding an organization system that looks nice and works! Good luck to you, I am sure your progress will be great!

    1. Thanks! My first year (just last year but seems so long ago lol) another Kinder teacher that was leaving the school gave me a ton of stuff- files, manipulatives, games, supplies, a ton of stuff! I'm still going through it and getting rid of stuff I won't use! I am such a HOARDER!

  7. I am sharing the Versatile Blogger Award with you! Hop on over to my blog to pick up the button and get the rules! :)

    The First Grade Diaries

  8. I am glad I am not the only teacher that is a hot mess! I feel like everyone else is on top of their game and I am just trying to keep my head above water! So you have inspired me! My room looks crazy and I don't feel like I have the skills to organize. I am going to give it a shot! Good luck!