slice of life

SOL: D23, Good Bye Classroom Clutter 

I must admit that I am kind of a design overloader. Today I took down my word wall. And let me tell you, it waas hard to get off! (I had already sprayed cleaner on these FYI – I don’t just allow it to look like that always ?)

There isn’t a end results picture because the words were still lingering on there but I got most of them off and it looked significantly better.

Every year I usually decorate my class with so much stuff. And for the first time in ever, I am going to be staying in this classroom next year! So maybe because I don’t have to move rooms again do I think about de-cluttering it and making it look nicer? I’m not sure.

It just looks so cluttered! I can’t stand it! There are just things everywhere and books everywhere. My bookshelves look a mess. My walls are a mess. my board was too cluttered. Ugh! Maybe I am just having a moment where I feel the need to reorganize everything and make it look neater.

Any suggestions on how to get rid of clutter in my classroom. I am trying not to spend any more money on my classroom than I already have! But you know how that goes as a teacher…..

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I am writing in the Slice of Life 31 Day Writing Challenge with Two Writing Teachers.

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TWL Working Mom

Jennifer is the Owner of TWL Working Moms and Co-Owner of Influential Mamas.  Along with blogging + freelance writing, she is a mom, army wife and full-time teacher. Jennifer lives in Washington State and is a born + raised New Yorker. In her spare time, she loves traveling, yoga, the beach, writing, listening to books and drinking coffee.

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23 Comments

  1. Good luck with this herculean task. One thing that might help is to leave one wall rather empty – maybe just one beautiful picture.

  2. They don’t teach us design, do they? Not just classroom design but design of papers, etc. Look at this way: your clutter is visual evidence of learning going on. Time for some elbow grease!
    Kevin

  3. For the past couple of years, I assigned the students to redesign the classroom. We talked about what was needed. I told them my frustrations and goals. We formed committees. I let go. Each time I loved much more than I didn’t. They had creative suggestions to solve clutter problems and space issues. Wonder if that might work?

  4. Clutter is overwhelming. I think if you haven’t used something this year or last…like Frozen, “Let it go.” 🙂 Clean and streamlined has a calming effect. Go for it…make changes that will make you happier in your classroom world.

  5. Funny, I was looking at the clutter on my desk and one of my tables that has accumulated over the last few days. I need to organize and purge!! It really feels so wonderful when we de-clutter, clean and get it all organized and looking good. Now if only it would LAST! 🙂

  6. Having books everywhere does not equal clutter. Messy bookshelves means that the books are being circulated . Nothing at all wrong with that.

  7. It’s spring cleaning time. 🙂 1) Baskets helped me straighten bookshelves. Books have a number on the back that matches the basket number. They are organized in three general ways– level, topic, author. So some baskets are books by an author. Some have books on a topic, say weather. Some have books that are easy to read. Baskets are labeled by the sorting criterion, e.g, author name or topic. It was a huge job at first because I have hundreds of titles. 2) Then apply the clothes rule: If you haven’t worn it in the last 12-18 months, send it to good will. In other words, start pitching stuff that you haven’t used or is left over. Don’t save the left over copies of anything if you don’t have an immediate use for it. Recycle the paper. 3) I also eliminated baskets for student work. I taught students to maintain a 3-ring binder that I provided. We folded pocket folder backwards, trimmed them to fit the binder and 3-hole punched them. This created pockets in the binder to easily slip paper into without opening the binder all the time. They never turned in papers to me. I looked at their work in their binders. Often at the end of the day, they’d put the binders out opened to the work I wanted to look at after school. They took papers home once a week on “housekeeping day” when they emptied a week’s worth of work. And of course we had our composition journals. 4) And I apply the advertising technique of using white space to bring focus / attention. In other words, don’t over clutter the walls. I’m a charting queen. But charts were on collapsible cardboard displays, fastened to clothes hangers, and on pull down shades — all ways to store charts and still have them easily accessible. I can’t stand them hanging all over the room! We also put lots of charts into the composition books, and students accessed their copy when they needed to refer to them. … Hope some of it makes sense. Feel free to contact me if you want anything explained more fully. BTW: I did this with first – fourth grades.

  8. The whole everything has a place advice works best. I try to keep certain surfaces bare and the bookshelves very organized. I am all about a clutter free classroom. Good luck!

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