Thursday, February 14, 2013

Clutter Free Classroom #5

***I don't have class on Fridays, but put in a few hours of work time.  Today I went in to clean my desk and finish up step 5 of your challenge.  I left at 2pm. I just (at 4:30) got a text from my principal....the janitor commented to her how clean my desk was!  Wow, the work is paying off!

Step #5 "Create a clutter-free organized workspace for yourself."

I started with switching the sides of my drawers....I originally had all my personal items (meds, emergency snacks, etc) on my right hand side.  I did this because this is the side furthest away from the kids.  Unfortunately, these are the bigger drawers, and they are under the pull out table top I have my laptop stored on and the access to these drawers is limited.  (My class is the only one that still has a desktop computer.  This desktop is, unfortunately, to old for the network drive which we use to store school materials.  The laptop does this, but it is one of the student's computer on wheels.  Therefor, I can have the laptop to use but not keep in the situation a student would need it so when it is in my room it sits on the pull out table top)  This means I didn't have access to the items I use more often than the ones on the left.  

I found that if I label something I am less likely to put other junk in there because it doesn't match the label. Keeping that in mind, I knew it was essential that I sort and then label my drawers first.  This would help me get organized and stay organized.  

Top Center:  I labeled the baskets in which I will hold: pencils, pens, and markers. The markers are highlighters, dry erase, and permanent markers.  No crayola, they have their own drawer.  I got rid of: a stapler, a stapler remover, a tape dispenser, and three whole punch.  I threw away all the random stuff I had collected or put them where they belonged (toys, broken toys, etc). 

Top Left: I have made this the adhesive and notes drawer.  Tape, velcro, labels, stickers, labels, and the various types of tape needed are the adhesives in this drawer.  Clothes pins are also in here as they are used for student centers as well as art projects.  Post it notes, to do lists, and small paper is also in this drawer. 

Middle Left:  Teacher Needs.  The label on the drawer says: "teacher needs."  I have my meds, cough drops, food, drink flavors and feminine products all in this drawer. I realized this drawer does not open if the top middle drawer is not open.  That drawer is often blocked by the chair, so it is rarely open.  This mades having these items safe.  Also, the kids are really great about never going behind my desk. 

Bottom Left: The back has my sweater.   Ziplock bags and a roll of paper towel.  There is also the box of cords for the iPod, the books on tape to go to through the CD player and iPod case.  Love how EMPTY it is!

Top RightTeacher Crayola.  I love my some crayola! I am particular about the tips and state of my materials.  This is why I need my own set.  Now, this looks like a lot of crayola, but it ranges from crayons, colored pencils, bold colors, original colors, etc.  Again, this is the drawer under the laptop so it is not needed often, but is there when I do need it.

Bottom Right:  This became the paper drawer and the contact paper drawer.  This is also where the abundant happy birthday donations went.  I am still just starting out, so I can't pass up a donation and this really will save me for next year.  I put them all in one bin and it is in the back of this drawer.  Also, this is where my new labels live (I got a 2 page pack from the dollar spot at Target!)

And the rest of my workspace includes that pesky under the stairs space.  I did discover/purchase these crates to separate the space and organize it.  Again, I went to the label it and that is all that is allowed there method.

Under the top platform of treehouse:
Pink box: zipper bags I get donated by a student and use for a large variety of things.  These need to be on hand, but if they don't fit in here, they go in a box in the closet.
Green box: grocery bags I collect as things come in.  I need this to send home wet/soiled clothes, extra materials, and garbage. Again, if they don't fit, I don't need that many.  They go to the garbage (or home for doggy walk bags ;) )
Left Crate: Dryer Sheets and table cloth: for art on the table and those smelly areas.
Right Crate: Books on Tape/Cd Books and Binders.  Binders are newly labeled (and used!)  I will get labels to match soon.  Baby steps ;)
Bottom Shelf:
Left Green and Pink Boxes: open and waiting for a need, but not going to fill if I dont need to.  
Right Pink: Books on tape CDs Right Green music CDs.
Bottom Shelf Left Crate: Text books, curriculum, lesson planning tools, etc.
Right of the crate: Continued Textbooks on the left.  Mimio boxes and guides on the right.

Under the actual stairs:

Crates on the Left: ABC Books for students.  30 books with 78 pages each takes up space!

Green bin on the right: Our journals.  Left is the AM class (they all have green covers and there is a green tag on that side) and the right is thePM class (they have yellow covers and there is a yellow tag on that side).  Pencils (sharpened) and an "oops, my pencil broke" bucket in between the journals.  On journal day, I put this on the front table and they can find and return their own journal easily.

Ahhhhh, much better workspace!


  1. Hi I just found your blog from the Clutter Free Classroom Linky. Is 4K the same thing as Pre-K? You have a terrific blog, I'm going to share it with the pre-k teacher at my school. I'm your 2nd follower. : )

    Kelly @ I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

    1. Yes. 4k is 4 year old kindergarten here, but is the same as 4year old preschool. I would love for you to pass it on, and thanks for following!!

  2. Wow! You really put in a lot of work this week! I'm picky about my own art supplies, too. Your space looks great!


    1. Thank you! I am really proud of how it is looking. Thanks for coming to my blog!