Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Clutter-Free Classroom Project: Week #1 Challenge


Welcome to our first weekly challenge. If you are just joining us, you may want to read my introductory post explaining the Clutter-Free Classroom Project. Remember, you can jump in at anytime.









Grab your camera or iphone and start snapping pictures that document the current state of the areas you feel need to be decluttered or reorganized. Does the thought of doing so give you hives? I can relate. I always take before pictures when I take on a project and I cringe each time I look at them. However, there is a reason we're doing this.

Perhaps you are happy with the current state of your classroom overall, but there is a closet or drawer you've been meaning to get to. Maybe you have some things that you want to update, refresh or change up a little. Snap away my friends.

You'll be glad you have those pictures when your space is neat and organized. Talk about satisfaction!

Having photos of your cluttered up nooks and crannies will allow you to "step outside the zone" and really analyze the area. I can stare at something in my classroom for hours, but when I get home and look at the same thing on my computer screen, it is as if I am looking at it through new eyes.

It's important to plan and prepare before you jump in. These photos will be a great tool in planning your attack on the areas of your classroom you want to tackle.

Your pictures will serve as motivation and ispiration for others.







  • Create a folder on your computer titled, "Before Pictures" and put all of the pictures into the folder. This will make them easier to find as you continue with the PROJECT.


  • Stand on each side of your room and take a full view picture of the opposite wall. Continue around your room snapping pictures of each wall.


  • Next pick a corner to start in and take close up pictures of each and every area in your classroom: every shelf, closet, drawer, etc. I truly believe that there is no task too small or project to simple when it comes to improving your organization. You'll be giddy when you compare the finished product to the before shot.


  • Take your pictures in natural light and from interesting angles. Get some close-ups. If you're going to be blogging about them. you'll be happy to have some cool pictures to go with your post.


SNEAK PEAK/TIMESAVER: We're going to be listing the areas to declutter and improve in a future challenge. You can get a jump start by jotting them down as you go. Otherwise the pictures will help you with that task next week.









On Friday, I'll put up the first Linky Party related to the Clutter-Free Classroom PROJECT. The Linky will be ongoing and you can always jump in and link up at anytime. If you don't have a blog you can respond to the prompt in the comment section on Friday's post. Below is this week's prompt. Keep these questions in mind as you take your pictures:

What were your thoughts when you took your before pictures? Was your "current state of affairs" better or worse than you thought. What are you most excited about tackling?

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36 comments:

  1. Oh girl...I am ON this! This challenge is right up my alley. I am so OCD, but when you some of the pictures I plan to take tomorrow, you're going to think a slob teaches in my room. ;-)

    Loving this so far!

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  2. I love this idea. This will be some good encouragement to tackle some of those projects I try to ignore.
     Chrissy

    First Grade Found Me

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  3. Ok, I pinky promise we will meet up girl!! As for this week's challenge YES! I can't wait to take pics of the areas I need to sort out!
    Kristen

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  4. I am going to join in on the fun, but hate me if you will, I don't go back to school for another week! I won't be able to get into my room til the 9th. I guess I will have to play catch up the next week! ;)

    Kristen

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  5. This project is perfect for me. I get so caught up in making learning fun that my collections are getting out of control. I hate to admit it, but it just recently came to me that when I bring in something new, I need to get rid of something. My room is clean, but cluttered. I'm more of a germaphobe (fear of germs) than OCD. I need my room to be just as clutter-free as it is germ-free. I will be taking pictures tomorrow.

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  6. wait...I won't be going back to work until middle of Feb (on maternity leave)...but I'll keep all of this in mind in the duration! :)
    The Teachers’ Cauldron

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  7. I'm super excited! Getting my folder set up and ready to snap photos...
    I am also super-jealous...tomorrow is it for me...the last day of my vacation! So much to do...

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  8. I can't wait to get started! I just spent 12 HOURS cleaning closets and putting away Christmas decorations. I am on a roll and can't wait to purge the junk!

    Katie
    Queen of the First Grade Jungle

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  9. I am so excited about this! I have one more week of vacation and I already had plans to rearrange and organize my class this week. I am definitely going to take pictures before, so I can really appreciate the after and continue to work on those problem areas.

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  10. I am so excited to join in. I am new to the teacher blogs and this is my first post. I will take my pictures this week

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  11. This is awesome! I love that you are breaking it down into manageable steps - exactly what we teach the kiddos when they tackle a big project. I can't wait! :)

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  12. I can't wait to see some of the photos - what a great idea! I am sad that I have no classroom for next year - I am on maternity leave for the year. Perhaps I should take a photo of the HUGE pile of resources that are currently residing in my garage until I get around to sorting them ;)

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  13. I am so excited about this! I've been slooowly working with cleaning up the classroom. This is exactly what I need to get myself in gear! I made a post on my blog. Now I HAVE to do this!

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  14. Taking pictures tomorrow of that center cabinet! Oh my ! I try to keep it neat but then I buy more! Lol this should be fun! Thanks again for this opportunity!

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  15. I don't go back until Friday. I better start writing stuff down so I don't forget.

    Ms. M
    Ms.M's Blog
    A Teacher's Plan

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  16. I cannot wait to see this project evolve! How exciting! As I do not yet have a classroom of my own, I will be watching--and learning--from the sidelines!
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas and inspiring us all!
    Kimberly :)
    http://creativeteaching-kimberly.blogspot.com/

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  17. I'll be the one to admit, I'm freaked out because I'm the OCD type of can't do one thing without doing another, and then won't do the one thing until I figure out how to do the other. And if that doesn't make perfect sense, I'm so looking forward to this challenge!

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  18. Wow! This is definitely the challenge I need!!! My room is in " the first semester is finished " shambles!!! I go back Wednesday and will get my pics then!!! Super stoked about this one!
    LaKeta
    thepolkadotdesk.blogspot.com

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  19. Jodi...this is the best idea ever!!! Ummm...I'm a little scared to actually document the scariness of my house, though. It's TERRIBLE...absolutely yuck. I'm willing to do anything to get myself...and this house...organized!! Thanks for the challenge!!!

    Cara :)
    The First Grade Parade

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  20. Love this idea! Can't wait to start taking pics tomorrow! :)

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  21. Love this idea! Organization makes me smile :) Count me in!

    Jamie at 2nd Grade Stuff

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  22. Over vacation, i went into school to declutter and clean. I managed to get the math, science, writing, and library areas done but my corner is still a disaster. With report cards due at the end of this month, it will be much easier to work if my area is also organized. I go to school armed with my iphone and ready to take photos of my guided teaching area.

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  23. Oooooo just took some pictures.... I think another teacher came in my room over break and ransacked my room (hahahahaha! I wish!) If anyone is in need of some organization, it is moi! Looking forward to these challenges!

    Haley
    followingoptimism.blogspot.com

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  24. I will be joining in soon! I am one of the lucky ones who doesn't go back to work until the 9th so I'll be a little slow in getting started. I have been in the same classroom for 9 years now and it needs a whole lot of purging. I try a little every year but it's never enough. (and I'm stuck in the "I-might-need-that-someday" mode!) Best wishes to all on this journey!

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  25. I go back the 9th, so I will take pics then - cannot wait to join in!!!

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  26. I'm heading in to school tomorrow armed with my camera! Will link up soon...
    Elizabeth

    Fun in Room 4B

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  27. I am so disappointed in what I thought to be a neat and tidy classroom. I have SO MUCH work to do!
    Beth Ann
    Taming My Flock of Firsties
    bakteach16@gmail.com

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  28. I'm jumping in now . . . taking my camera to school tomorrow. I'm NOT looking forward to facing all of my junkiness! I hope to see more teachers joining in as the month(s) go on.
    TerriBrownFL

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  29. I am jumping in now. I took a few pictures

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  30. I discovered your web site via Google while looking for a related subject, lucky for me your web site came up, its a great website. I have bookmarked it in my Google bookmarks. You really are a phenomenal person with a brilliant mind! novasure arizona

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  31. I'm joining in.... Better late than never, right? My problem is I get so caught up in hands on and moving on that things get piled, stacked, and pushed aside. I'm hoping to get a jump start and take control of my room again!

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  32. I've just started reading your blog and visiting your shop at TpT. I purchased your book about decluttering and I'm going to shoot pictures all day tomorrow! My goal is to document the wonderful changes that take place when someone's intention is to create a clutter-free environment in the classroom. Ever since I left kindergarten 8 years ago after spending most of the 26 previous years in kindergarten to begin my first grade journey, I have never felt completely at ease. I've never found the just right place for my items and the paperwork in first grade is SO WHELMING (not over-whelming), but WHELMING just the same. I so look forward to your advice, the help of others and using my will to turn myself to the task at hand! I love thinking about the next year as this year ends - it helps me keep a balance in the circle of life in a first grade classroom. Thank you so much for thinking of this great organizational trip - I'm glad to be on board! I've not gotten a blog yet, but am wanting to look into starting one this summer...after 34 years of kdg and first, I think I have a some stories to tell!

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  33. Just found your site as well, I am not a teacher but a new librarian. I took over a school/public library from a librarian who had been there 25 years. I have been the first 6 months learning the job and now I am ready to make it mine. That includes cleaning up! It is going to be a huge job, but I am ready!

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  34. Just found out about your clutter-free classroom project and I am excited to use the strategies I will learn. I am starting over in a new classroom and grade, so I can start off right! At the end of this year I went through and chucked or gave away a ton of stuff. I am so excited to have a fresh start!

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  35. I just found this. I start school in a week but I am ready to start right. Every year I try to get more organized by stealing ideas and/or tweaking them for my benefit. Thank you for all the tips for organization. This is my weakness and I struggle with it every day of my life.

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  36. I just found this as well and have challenged myself to work on 'decluttering' my room and making it more organized this year.

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