Friday, January 20, 2012

Clutter-Free Classroom Week 3

This week's Clutter-Free Classroom Project challenge was Start to Purge the Clutter. This week ended up being busier than I'd anticipated, and I actually didn't get to begin purging until today. But what a day it was!

Today the kids had a half day of school; in the afternoon, we had a records day to get report cards and IEP goal reports completed. Well, I brought home report cards and goal reports to do this weekend, because my classroom staff and I used the afternoon to purge our storage closet, instead!

In my "before" post, I mentioned that I inherited my classroom from a retiring teacher who'd left 30+ years of teaching stuff in the storage closet. After that, and after eight years of my teaching in that same room, I could barely walk into said storage closet, let alone find anything in it (evidence photos in the "before" post). And this is what it looked like when I left school today:
Wow. WOW! Floor space! Empty shelves! All afternoon, I kept saying to my staff, "I'm so excited!" and I think they thought I was very strange and/or scary. They were good sports about it all, though. I became the Purging Nazi. I printed off my rules for purging and made them stick with it. I paused at the most, maybe two seconds, before declaring something fit to be thrown away/recycled/given away. Sometimes, I barely looked at something before waving my hand in the "get rid of it" gesture. Later in the afternoon I had to go to a meeting, and asked them to continue without me.

"But, what if we get rid of something you want to keep?" they asked.

"GET RID OF IT ALL!" I responded, complete with flailing arms and crazy-person eyes (I can only assume. I was in the zone.).

Our biggest rule of the day was, if we haven't used it in the classroom this year or last, IT'S GONE. No matter how potentially-awesome.

It worked. I'm so, so pleased with our newly-purged storage closet. Of course, it still needs to be organized (the photo above, with its boxes and bins all lined up, gives the impression of organization, but that'd be a lie). But it's purged! I'm so stoked.

I forgot to take photos until the very end of the day, so the custodians had already hauled out some of our garbage bags, but here's some purging evidence:

And here's our "free table" we set outside of our classroom - again, taken at the end of the day, so it'd been very picked over by other classrooms already. What's left at the end of the day on Monday I'll bring to Goodwill:

...I haven't yet told my classroom staff I want to do the rest of the room next...Oh boy.

Have you started purging? Head on over to the Clutter-Free Classroom Project to link up!


  1. Well done!! I am still waiting for access to my classroom so I am waaaay behind!
    ✪ Liam ✪
    Twist of Liam

    1. Liam, when do you get access to your classroom? I hate when I can't get it mine!

  2. Very nice!!!!

    Kara - are you in MI?

    1. Rachel - I'm in MI, yep. You too, right? Where? I'm in Grand Rapids.

  3. Oh my gosh...that closet!!!! I love that you set up a free table! Thanks for linking up!

    ❤Jodi from...
    ★★The Clutter-Free Classroom★★
    Helping Teachers Get Organized

    1. Jodi, thank you for running this project! I know it'd just be something I put off another year were it not for this.

  4. Wow, you did an amazing job purging! That table full of VHS tapes reminds me that I have a box of those on a shelf that I need to eliminate...

  5. That looks great! I should have taken pictures of my full garbage cans!
    Rambling About Reading


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