Clutter Free Classroom Project

I am joining this party just a little bit late, but let me tell you. . . . . I really need to get my organization under control. I have been stalking Clutter Free Classroom's CFC Project for a couple weeks now, thinking, "I should jump in on this", but I've been dragging my feet. Well, early this week, I reached up for one of my resource books so I could grab a copy, but it wasn't on the shelf where it belongs. Hmmm. I looked in the stack of books that are sitting on my shelf, the stack that's on the corner of my desk. . . . . but no book. Maybe I took it home. Nope-- it was not to be found at home. Several days later, as I was talking to one of my kiddos, I noticed the corner of the book peeking out from under some student work on a book shelf.

That was my signal. It's time to join the Clutter Free Classroom Project.
I'm going to try to get all caught up. . . . 

Week 1 Challenge was take pics to document the current stage of my classroom. Yikes. That's probably why I was dragging my feet. Embarrassing. 
Embarrassing as it is, I do appreciate the fact that looking at pics allows you to step 'outside the box' and look at it with a different perspective. So here are my dark secrets:
I'll start with a virtual tour of my classroom:

The SMARTboard at the front:

The left & right front corners of the room:

The large bulletin board on the left wall. Notice how I haven't got my bulletin board materials up yet. Boo.

 This is the back wall. My desk area is in front of the window. I have several panels of magnetic white board on this wall. Our word wall is magnetic so kiddos can take words that they need when writing.

 The back corner. I have two book shelves of math manipulatives there and I'm trying to do a writing center on the flat file there by the closet and door.

Here are a few of my "problem areas". You can see I am a stockpiler:
This is actually a small table & short file cabinet to the right of my SMARTboard. My document camera is on the table, & I put my materials for the day there on the right & in the black organizer in the corner. You can see I also have a stack of Math Vocab Cards on the table, & a stack of crap student materials on the file cabinet. YUCK!

My desk. Here again.....stacks of stuff. Yuck. You can see I have a couple stacks of what I am sure is important papers that should be filed away. . . .also the bracelets that we made as part of our Economics unit & are planning to sell. . . a few toys that I took away from students. . . Yuck. It drives me nuts.

My classroom library is right in front of my desk and kind of curves around in front of the adjacent wall. All of the bins are labeled and the  books are organized according to level. . . . . but look at all the miscellaneous stuff I have on top of the book cases!

It looks like a big mess! Boo! (By the way, that resource book I told you I was looking for? It was right there in that stack of books by that red basket the whole time!)

Another area that just drives me nuts is the coatrack. I keep the indoor recess games in the cubbies underneath the coatrack. Since we've been having so much inside recess, I'm finding that the area is getting more and more disheveled. In addition to that, I've got a couple things out & instead of putting them away, I've set them on the shelf there.

And here is THE most embarrassing area in my room. Hello, my name is Brenda, and I have a serious problem with re-filing! This is the top of the tall file cabinets by my desk. This is all stuff I have gotten out of the filing cabinet and just haven't re-filed it yet. There are a couple of new items here that I just haven't gotten into a file to begin with. Yikes! I need an intervention!

And now for my plan and non-negotiables:
  1.  A place for everything and everything in its place. I've got to make sure everything has a home & get it back to where it belongs. No more piling!
  2. Create a re-filing station.
  3. Set time each week to re-file & put things away. Write it in the plans!
  4. Only keep one copy of an item. If there are digital copies, there's no need to keep the hard copies.
  5. Learn how to use the scan option and the school computer so that I can create more digital files and eliminate paper.
  6. If I haven't used an item/material in the last 2 years, it's got to find a new home!

Clutter-Free ClassroomSo, there you have it. I am SO in need of this Clutter-Free Classroom Challenge! Since I'm getting a late start, I'm trying to catch up. This has been Week 1 & 2 Challenges. The next challenge is to make a clean sweep. I'm planning to get that done quickly this week. Stay tuned for the pics! Hopefully, you'll see a big improvement! I think I'll tackle this file cabinet issue and the document camera table first thing.
Make sure you check out Clutter-Free Classroom's amazing tips and hints for de-cluttering and organizing your classroom. And remember. . . . . . it's not too late to start! You can jump in, too!