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May 1, 2015

Classroom Spring Cleaning as Easy as 1-2-3

By Rhonda Stewart
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

    I started out the year with grandiose ideas of staying organized. I really did try to stick with it. But along the way, I got sidetracked. With June just around the corner, I am trying to get a jump on end-of-the-year tasks. My motivation for this comes with wanting to be a great role model for my mentee, Ms. Carter, and also my student teacher, Jaclyn Corsini, who will be teaching with me this fall. I decided that I wanted to efficiently pack up my classroom so that in September, unpacking and setting up would be a breeze.

    Teachers have the capacity to become pack rats. I am so guilty of this. I often see items at garage sales or on clearance and wonder how they would look in my classroom. More often than not, it is a "want this thing," not a "need this thing." I am realizing that I need to ask myself: “Is it a want or a need?” This is not going to be easy, but I know it must be done. Looking at closets overflowing is stealing valuable time that I could be using to plan, grade, or meditate. Yes, I did say meditate. Be sure to take a moment during the day to just be still, gather your thoughts and re-energize

     

    The Keep It Simple Way to Spring Clean and Organize

    I am starting out with baby steps because I do not want to overwhelm myself and become discouraged. Success is needed. A sense of accomplishment would put me on the trajectory of staying the course. I am completing one task and then I will be ready to tackle the next one.

    Step 1: Select a Space to Tackle 

     

    Step 2: Create Piles of Donate, Keep, and Trash

    When was the last time an item was used? If it has been more than two or three years, donate it to another colleague or your teacher resource center. If it's in too sad a shape for that — trash it!

      

     

    Step 3: Label and Place Items in Their New "Home"

    First, I placed sticky notes on the areas that I thought would work. Once it was a done deal, I used Word Workshop for labeling. I will not have to pack this closet in June! An added bonus: I have an extra shelf. (I know what you are thinking. I am making a promise to myself not to “junk” the space, but to keep my options open.)

      

      

     

    Final Step: Admire the New Space and Plan Next Steps

     

     

     

    My file cabinets are next on my spring cleaning list. Baby steps towards an organized and clutter-free classroom.

      

     

    Pearls of Wisdom — During the warmer weather, think about eating lunch outside with a colleague. Fresh air is a great rejuvenator!

    Do you have any organizing tips that work for you? I enjoy sharing ideas that make all of our lives easier!

    For additional tips on staying organized, check out fellow blogger, Alycia Zimmerman's post, "4 Classroom Organization Ideas That Really Work."

    I started out the year with grandiose ideas of staying organized. I really did try to stick with it. But along the way, I got sidetracked. With June just around the corner, I am trying to get a jump on end-of-the-year tasks. My motivation for this comes with wanting to be a great role model for my mentee, Ms. Carter, and also my student teacher, Jaclyn Corsini, who will be teaching with me this fall. I decided that I wanted to efficiently pack up my classroom so that in September, unpacking and setting up would be a breeze.

    Teachers have the capacity to become pack rats. I am so guilty of this. I often see items at garage sales or on clearance and wonder how they would look in my classroom. More often than not, it is a "want this thing," not a "need this thing." I am realizing that I need to ask myself: “Is it a want or a need?” This is not going to be easy, but I know it must be done. Looking at closets overflowing is stealing valuable time that I could be using to plan, grade, or meditate. Yes, I did say meditate. Be sure to take a moment during the day to just be still, gather your thoughts and re-energize

     

    The Keep It Simple Way to Spring Clean and Organize

    I am starting out with baby steps because I do not want to overwhelm myself and become discouraged. Success is needed. A sense of accomplishment would put me on the trajectory of staying the course. I am completing one task and then I will be ready to tackle the next one.

    Step 1: Select a Space to Tackle 

     

    Step 2: Create Piles of Donate, Keep, and Trash

    When was the last time an item was used? If it has been more than two or three years, donate it to another colleague or your teacher resource center. If it's in too sad a shape for that — trash it!

      

     

    Step 3: Label and Place Items in Their New "Home"

    First, I placed sticky notes on the areas that I thought would work. Once it was a done deal, I used Word Workshop for labeling. I will not have to pack this closet in June! An added bonus: I have an extra shelf. (I know what you are thinking. I am making a promise to myself not to “junk” the space, but to keep my options open.)

      

      

     

    Final Step: Admire the New Space and Plan Next Steps

     

     

     

    My file cabinets are next on my spring cleaning list. Baby steps towards an organized and clutter-free classroom.

      

     

    Pearls of Wisdom — During the warmer weather, think about eating lunch outside with a colleague. Fresh air is a great rejuvenator!

    Do you have any organizing tips that work for you? I enjoy sharing ideas that make all of our lives easier!

    For additional tips on staying organized, check out fellow blogger, Alycia Zimmerman's post, "4 Classroom Organization Ideas That Really Work."

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Susan Cheyney

GRADES: 1-2
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