This could not have come at a better time because I had to move rooms this summer already. I honestly did not think I had that much STUFF! I was told to put it into boxes and the custodial staff would move it over the summer. Well, I decided to take things into my own hands since I was moving to the room diagonal from the one I was in. So, a friend of mine, who also happened to be in my new room (also moving 20 feet down the hall) decided to help me, and I am SO glad she did! She has an amazingly organized and clutter-free classroom. When we got all my stuff laid out, we were both in shock. It wasn't as nearly as much as some other teachers have, but it was quite a bit. She started organizing and throwing things out. Now, my cabinets are pretty and I can easily find what I need. Here are some things she taught me:
- The first thing she did was make piles around the room in categories such as manipulatives, arts and crafts, recess toys, etc.
- Part with it!
- As she was categorizing, she continuously asked me if I had used it in the last year...
- Yes - Keep it!
- No - Is it usable?
- Yes - Donate it!
- No - Toss it!
- If I hadn't used it in the last year, but it was sentimental, it went into the memory box.
- Label it!
- Don't fret about unused storage!
- We have a LOT of storage in our classrooms. The reason I didn't think I had much STUFF is because I didn't use all of my storage. Well now, I have almost a full cabinet empty! Someday, I will have to post pictures. This Organizational Angel told me again and again that empty shelves weren't bad... and now I believe her :)
I also got rid of all my secondary materials finally. If I ever do go back to the upper grades, I will get materials from my team as I go.
I hope these tips help you as much as they did me! I was so overwhelmed at first, but thanks to her, I got through it and I am SO happy with how my cabinets are. I can barely wait to set up my new room for a whole new group of smart cookies!