Friday, March 11, 2011

About Us

Random Bullets About Me...
  • On a personal note I have been married for 9 years and have a 6 year old son and 2 year old daughters. We live in an itty-bitty house with a white picket fence in the neighborhood in which I teach at a school which I adore. All of those things make me very, very happy!
  • Teaching is not only my job, it is my hobby and my passion. I am so grateful to be in a position I love that also provides me the opportunity to spend lots of time with my family. I don't sleep much, but that's another story!
  • I have taught preschool, Kindergarten and grades 1-3.
  • My favorite professional experience was doing a 1st/2nd grade loop (the entire class sang at my wedding at the end of the 2nd year).
  • There were no jobs in Massachusetts when I graduated, so I moved to Florida to start my career with the plan to move home in 2 years. I followed the plan and regret it each winter.
  • The most unexpected thing that ever happened to me was finding out I was having identical twins. I'm a planner. Big time! This certainly taught me that I only have so much control over things.
My favorite teacher tools...

My favorite place to visit...
My littles...

Camden, Bailey & Avery

How I Spent My Summer Vacation...

A whole bunch of years ago I was asked by my former principal to put together a two-hour workshop on how to set up a classroom for the new teachers in the district as part of their orientation days. I instantly fell in love with working with teachers and helping to organize their classrooms. My two-hour workshop transformed into a week-long program where I was able to get into the classrooms and help them set up. I now also work with veteran teachers on decluttering and reorganizing their spaces. So. much. fun!
I started a website and then a blog for teachers. I was a bit of a blogging pioneer at the time (circa 2008) and am thrilled that the concept has caught on like crazy because I have gained so much and grown as a teacher in so many ways thanks to all of you.
My original blog included useful information for teachers and useless babble about my life...with a bunch of pictures of my cutie-pie kids (offspring not students) sprinkled throughout. I loved connecting with educators from around the globe, but was starting to feel that my blog was ironically becoming "cluttered." So here I am. I started fresh with a new blog that is purely dedicated to the classroom...specifically "THE CLUTTER-FREE CLASSROOM."
So here I am now. I post daily about ways to organize and manage your classroom. I'm looking forward to sharing what I do in my room throughout the year. I bombard you with photos and link you to amazing teachers who will motivate you to be the best teacher you can be.
Oh, and if you like the chatter and obnoxious "hey look at my kids" photos then by all means pop by the original blog. I'll still be babbling over there too on occasion.
I would love to hear from you:

Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.


  1. I just wanted to thank you for writing "The Clutter Free Classroom Guide" I just purchased & read it & I can't wait to get back in my classroom & start decluttering & reorganizing, based on your tips.

    Ms. Stephanie
    A Teachers' Tales

  2. Just what I'm looking for!!! Love to teach but paper work is not my forte.

  3. I left last school year with a pretty good sized to-do list, the first of which was to organize my classroom library. I've been researching various ways to do it since ohhh...the beginning of my teaching career five years ago. This is the year it will take shape! I had volunteers in my classroom today to help, and more are coming tomorrow. It will be done! And done right! And done well! Thank you :)

    I'm inspired too to declutter. I have obtained a ton of resources and such thinking that having some of these things would make me a better teacher. And the having of stuff isn't what makes a person a better teacher--it's the love of the profession, the students, and the passion to continue to learn and create opportunities for learning for the students that makes a better teacher. So, some of these things are going away. I'm getting rid of things that I will probably never use (or never used to begin with).

    And I'm organizing my desk :P Thank you for what you do!

  4. You are FANTASTIC! Aside from all your fantastic ideas and pictures, I especially love how you write. It's funny, sarcastic in just the right ways, and I feel like if I knew you in real life, we would totally be friends. :) Keep up the great work!

  5. Would love to see the Patriotic Theme ideas/photos. That is my theme this year.

  6. Hi! I just came across your blog and I LOVE IT!! I love organization and management! I just posted about you in a blog. Check it out!

    If you don't like the way I've represented you, please let me know and I'll remove it!

    Thanks so much!

  7. Hi! I love getting more ideas for organizing and simplifying. I would love it if you would stop by my blog and read about my favorite organizational resource that I found when I was teaching overseas (everydayPORTFOLIO).


  8. LOVE LOVE LOVE your ideas. I was wondering what font you used for the classroom supply labels. I wanted create to more and I want them to match!


  9. Loved browsing your blog and loved your tips for organization...Gotta try the paperless clip board!
    I wanted to share with you some information about BRAG TAGS (plastic laminated award "Dog-Tags"). I have been involved in the printing industry for many years, and have been able to use my contacts and save my daughter's school a significant amount of money on their laminated tag costs. With school budgets being so tight, I wanted to offer other schools the opportunity to take advantage of the savings as well. The costs are over 50% off any other companies making them now! The designs are so fun and you can even personalize or customize make any tag. Contact me for more info and special discounts!


  10. Love your blog! I've been reading for a long time, purchased Clutter-Free Classroom Guide over a year ago, and love what the new blog has become! In fact, seeing your adorable set-up inspired me to change my own. I also teach in Massachusetts and the stakes are just so high here that I felt like I never even had a second to think about what my room looked like after September. Updating and keeping it fresh and engaging, keeps the kids interested, and I can breathe a little easier knowing how beautiful it all looks. :) Thanks for your inspiration!

  11. Hi there...

    Now that teachers are gearing up for another school year, the folks at OfficeMax are eager to spread the word about a couple of special promotions that can help teachers (and schools) save a few pennies. Since your blog has drawn a captive audience of teachers, we thought we’d share the details with you in case you’d like to inform your readers—the deals were created just for education bloggers and their audiences. I’m more than happy to send along a PDF of the coupons so you can run them on your site and readers can print them for in-store use.

    Through the OfficeMax ImPress Print Center, teachers can take advantage of three deals:

    • Between August 21 and 27: $0.29 on color copies (regular price is $0.49)
    • Between August 21 and September 24: $8.99 on 18”-by-24” posters (regular price is $17.98)
    • Between August 28 and September 24: 50% off on lamination services

    Inside of every OfficeMax store, teachers will find a full-service OfficeMax ImPress Print Center staffed by experts who can help them with any of their classroom needs, including exhibits, posters, workbooks, laminated learning aids and more.

    Since I work with the OfficeMax brand, feel free to contact me with any questions about the promotions. In the meantime, I hope the start of your school year is a terrific one!

    Jess Wangsness

  12. I just wanted to tell you how much I love your blog. I am constantly implementing so many of your ideas.

    I know that you were doing a series for classroom themes and I wanted to show you mine. I would have gotten pictures sooner but I just finished! Whew! Getting ready for school is hard work!

    I am a teacher/cartoonist and all the pictures in my classroom are my own. I am in the process of setting up my website to sell my artwork. It is almost ready...

    ~ Shaunna

  13. I'm very excited to have Mystery Readers in my room this year:) I purchased it and it has appeared on my credit card statement, but as of yet I haven't seen the product. School started a week ago and I'd like to get started.

  14. @Terri...When you purchase an item through Teachers Pay Teachers you need to download it. I'm sorry for the confusion. They're customer service department should be able to help you. Best wishes on the new year. :) Jodi

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  16. Ugh...I LOVE all the purchases I have made. But you mentioned somewhere that if one has a Mac you may have to download a special Adobe? Well, I didn't and cannot retrieve from my downloads. Can you give me that info again please? Sorry to bug you!

  17. How do I purchase some of the clipart you use on the website and in your downloads?

  18. I just blogged about you and your amazing unit! Thank you for such great ideas and resources!

  19. This is my first year teaching and his blog will feed my organizational tendencies. Do I follow with my email or just check the site every week? Also, am I subscribing to something? And does it cost? Thanks for the insight and great ideas!


  20. I am changing grade levels from primary to intermediate next year and have been so thankful for all your creative ideas to refresh my classroom. I am thinking about doing en exploerer/Egyptian theme this year. Do you have any pitching ready to go for that? I did see the jungle theme but want to go more with the archeological "look what we discovered" , building knowledge.....undiscovered sites idea. Hoping your creativity will give me some starter decorations.


  21. Can you tell me where you got your black pocket chart from? I LOVE IT

  22. Can you tell me how you made that tree? I would love to make one like it!!

  23. I have just found your blog, and LOVE it! I have been going into my classroom this summer, organizing and cleaning/purging things that were left in the room when I moved in three years ago. (I did the "I might need that" when I moved in. My goal is to be very organized this year, so that I can focus on teaching instead of the clutter that has plauged me in the past! Thank you again for all of your ideas and resources! :)

  24. I have been reading your blog for about 6 months now and just started up my own blog about a month ago. Just wanted to stop by and say how much I enjoy your blog- I would even use the word inspiring! :) I referenced Clutter-Free Classroom in my post this morning as being my favorite blog. Stop by and take a look if you get a chance!


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