Clutter Free Classroom Project 2013: Week 1 Challenge

When I linked up my New Year's Resolutions for organization, I mentioned that I'm happy with my organization in so many areas of  my classroom--but there are a few problem areas that I'd like to re-organize and initiate a PURGE!!  

I decided to join the Clutter Free Classroom Project for 2013!  

The first week's challenge was to take a few before photos... so I will start with my first priority:  My Classroom Closet.  I LOVE my closet, but unfortunately, it often becomes the "dumping grounds" for my classroom (ugh!).  So, here goes nothing (the good, the bad, and the UGLY)!!

The Good...
Monthly materials

Monthly thematic books

Listening station books and CDs/tapes

The Bad...
Hodgepodge of science materials, paper, etc

Nightly reading books, with random items thrown in

Arts supplies and office supplies, but no labels

Class store items, pointers, and a slew of randomness!

Said "dumping ground"!
Disaster of Science materials!

Now, I know that this week's challenge was to just take photos... but I was all sorts of inspired to begin--so I did!!  I did an initial HUGE purge of items that I just didn't need any longer.  I helped keep myself on track all week by sending out an email on Monday to my entire teaching staff Announcing--FREEBIE Friday--in the hallway outside my door on Friday afternoon!  This did wonders to keep me on track... and to keep adding items to my Freebie Friday giveaway.  (We have 4 new teachers on my staff this year, so they got a special "Sneak Preview" email so they could snag goodies 15 minutes before it started!)

It felt so good to know that the items I was purging were going to classrooms where they would be utilized!  The saying IS true--one person's trash is another's treasure.

Just look at my science materials now (This is the same, exact shelf as the previous photo, it just needs labels)!

PS Time's running out... 4 Picks 4 You 400 Follower Giveaway (with 4 winners too)!


  1. How nice of you to give some goodies to the new teachers on your team. I hope someone will be that nice to me in the future!

    You have such an amazing closet! But it's totally true that if you have more space you just throw more random junk in there and don't keep it very organized. Best of luck with the organization! I can't wait to see the after pics!


  2. My husband would LOVE for me to have a closet like that! Good start that's a huge job!

  3. OMGoodness, you're inspiring me! I love the idea of giving it away to other teachers. I need to do some work in my new classroom!

    Extra Special Teaching

    1. It feels so worth it when you see how excited others are about your "extra " stuff!

  4. Loving your closet space! I'm telling myself that if I had a huge closet like that my classroom would be much more organized. But who am I kidding? My closet would be just as unorganized as my classroom. Good luck with the project! I'm sure you'll do well, you're already ahead of the game!

    Your newest follower


  5. OMG your closet is amazing, I would love to do this also, but who has time?!?!? I also love your free Friday idea! At the beginning of the year every year i clean some things out and distribute them to new teachers - they get SOOO excited!

    1. You'd be surprised how excited the "veteran" teachers get too!

  6. Wow! I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one who has dumping grounds!!! Looking better all ready!

  7. Thanks for sharing! It's nice to know I'm not the only one fighting this battle! I did a lot of purging last year and labeled everything! then as the year goes on I'm rushed and don't get everything put away so I've been doing periodic cleanings and finally have started pitching again. Unfortunately I don't have any new teachers interested in my Kindergarten things (they're all in 3rd and 4th this year!). I loved having student teachers they would always take anything and everything! My current issue is I have empty bins missing tops or tops that don't match bins.... the never ending cycle!
    Whyte Water in Kindergarten

    1. I sent an email to my entire staff--and you'd be surprised, but I had teachers from almost every grade and area of the building (even Art and Computer lab). Sometimes things are looked at in different ways by different people!! :)

  8. I love all of the labels you have for the bins!
    Apples and ABC's

  9. Hi Karen,

    I just heard about this challenge and I thin it is wonderful! Thanks for your bravery in sharing your classroom photos. I can't WAIT to see the after pictures. I'm your newest follower :)


    1. Welcome!! I'm working on posting this week's after pics as we speak! :o)