Now Teach! Organizing when you are not organized!

I am by no means an organized person.
I do however hate clutter
hate stacks
and hate messes
you will find all of this in my calssroom until I go into some mad rampage and trash everything around me!
but just to prove I am messy and UNorganized, I'm showing you what no other blogger will! These are all pictures I took last year as I was packing up for the summer. I wanted to remember where the messes tended to build up so I could prevent it this year!
So get ready! I really did not even need to watermark these babies cause no one else will claim them for sure!
solution-I got rid of my desk! Sort coming soon!

problem-my writing "center" bookshelf became a dumping ground for things that had no other home. It was never used because it was inaccessible
solution-I broke out more containers and moved the privacy shields elsewhere. I also added a writing table.

problem-this is on top of my cubbies. I would not have cubbies if they were not built in. They are only wide enough to fit a smooshed backpack!
solution-all this is gone! I moved the leveled readers to my closet. The unused textbooks to the hallway supply closet aka land of the lost textbooks, and the rest of the goodies are in their rightful homes. Why did I have lotion sitting there anyway? The bookshelf is now on the floor.
problem-I love these cubbies, but this green basket is where I throw work that needs to be filed. It became where I put copies I never used, stuff I laminated, and anything else that had no home. Now, no more basket! 
solution-my sterilite drawers! I also use the extra spots to keep writing products for portfolios and fliers to go home! Oh, and the blue basket was trashed, the little dictionaries I copied and never used are on student desks, the flower bucket is given away and the old non sticky notepads were sent to the writing center!

problem-Ok, these seriously haven't been used in 4 years...I have labeled and relabeled. See, it's been since before I even made pretty labels! I'm really ashamed! 
solution-So I made some new labels using my Schoolgirl Style pack. But here are some free ones that fit these! They are now M-F labels for my read alouds and minilessons!

problem-Since I have a 20 gallon aquarium with heater, filter, lights, and bubbling shell, there are lots of cords. I am also in charge of the grade level walkie, plus that terrible sharpener. 
solution-moved the aquarium over in front of the cords. Fixed both my hand pencil sharpeners, and asked to not have the walkie! The hanitizer is gone {to the sink}, and the power bar sits on the back ledge of the aquarium lid!
Now, not all of my classroom is this bad! ONE area I worked really hard on was my guided reading table. Now I do consider myself lucky because we use Fountas and Pinnell LLI kits and there is no choice on lessons. While most teachers would cringe...I never have to pre-plan the lessons, all the books are right there in the folder as well as any word cards and response sheets. All I add are notebooks!
I have to have every student in a group that meets daily. You do the math. But that's another post! So I meet with 3 groups and our title I teacher meets with the other 2 in my room. I cross my fingers we will still have this support this year!

each group has a "locker crate" basket from walmart. they are slimmer that regular crates. 

 I also emptied all my craft supplies from drawers and organized them into these babies from Walmart! They have labels now, but not when I snapped this!
and I purchased these wall pockets from Staples for all my super duper important paperwork! Notes from home, field trip forms, and emergency forms. Labels from Schoolgirl Style!

Each of these drawers used to be filled to the brim with random office supplies like reinforcement dots and old ink pens. No more. I set it all in the hallway or kept it and put it in it's new home in the closet. I used my Schoolgirl Style labels and sorted all my bulletin board stuff into these. That may seem like a waste of space to many teachers since this is out in the classroom, but the drawers are super shallow (top three) and lots of other people borrow from my embarrassingly large amount of decor! Plus my mom usually stops in to change out my hallway board! I'll get a picture of the insides later!

Well, if I haven't scared you away, then yay! I still have lots to do and I am refusing to go back to my room until Thursday so these pictures will have to suffice until then!


  1. Hahah this made me laugh because I, too, have been an unorganized mess. My goal this summer was to get it together because I wasted SO MUCH TIME last year searching for things that were not put where they belonged.. I sent all my unused textbooks to the land of the lost this summer! Best.decision.ever!

    That's So Second Grade!

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have a couple of those areas myself. The spots that piles seem to migrate to. You are awesome to post those pics! The rest of us all feel better for it!
    Tanya ☺
    First Grade is Fantabulous!

  3. I'm already creating dumping grounds and school only started last week! Help!

  4. You're off to a great start! I have piles everywhere and we're only a week in!
    I LOVE your little tree pocket chart!! Where did you find that darling thing?
    Can't wait to see it all prettied up and finished!

  5. I have worked all summer to get a home for everything and figure out what works for me. I tell you how that goes later.

    Ms. Chae Charges In

  6. We use LLI (last year we only had the kits through P/Q), but I LOVE THEM. Especially as a first year teacher, they were super helpful in writing lessons for my higher-level readers. :)


notes to the teacher

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