Wednesday, January 4, 2012


If you are just joining us, you may want to start here to learn all about the Clutter-Free Classroom Project for getting teachers organized.
I promised you a FREEBIE yesterday and I am here to deliver.

The two key ideas in the Clutter-Free Classroom Guide is that you can't organize clutter and the less you have the less you need to manage.

Simple enough.

Except it's not.

Purging is challenging. We get attached to our stuff. We think we might need it. I get it.

To make the process a bit more enjoyable (not to mention fancy), I've made you a gift.

I created labels reading, "keep, give away, recycle, and trash."

Sure you can write those words on bins and boxes.

But this is way more fun.

Plus they can be attached to a bunch of different containers and reused over and over.

I got even fancier by attaching a little scrap of patterned paper to my clothespins.

And then I glued the tags onto the clip.

It looks all fancy pants, but it literally took me about 10 minutes total to print, mount, and trim the labels and then to add the scrapbook paper and label to the clip.

Here's why I like them:
  • Your eyes get used to seeing the different colors on the tags which makes sorting faster.
  • They'll make you take your task more serious which means you'll get rid of more clutter.
  • They allow you to reuse your storage containers and makes them more flexible.
  • You can clip them onto a variety of containers.

Like copy paper boxes.

And milk crates.

And plastic shoeboxes.

Oh and laundry baskets. We can't forget laundry baskets.

To snag these labels and a whole bunch of other freebies...Click here.
It's listed under the FREEBIES!

Question of the Day: Do you have an item in your classroom that you anticipate will be challenging to purge, but yet you realize it's just taking up valuable space?

Keywords: classroom organization tips classroom organization ideas classroom organization supplies classroom storage classroom management classroom arrangement classroom organization skills organization ideas for the classroom organization ideas for teachers organization ideas for elementary classrooms decluttering a classroom declutter classroom before pictureskindergarten first grade second grade third grade fourth grade fifth grade sixth grade preschool 1st grade 2nd grade 3rd grade 4th grade 5th grade 6th grade time management, professional organizer, ways to get organized, organizing products, helping kids get organized, organizing teachers, the organized classroom, tips for getting organized tips for classroom organization storage manipulatives school supplies free printables

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. My office! I am lucky enough to have a separate "closet" in my classroom that used to be my office but now its jusy storage. I would like to make it an office with storage again but its going to take a while. With your challenge I am confident that it will finally get done!

  2. Love the clothespins!
    (I am holding on to an overhead
    First Grade Blue SKies

  3. LOVE these! So cute! Thanks for sharing!!

    I'll be entering this challange next week! I have a home office CLUTTERED with teaching stuff they I have no space for in my classroom & Filing cabinets {who uses those anymore?!!?} in major need of my organization & decluttering skills. I need to take pictures and get to work!!!!

    ❤ Mor Zrihen ❤
    A Teacher's Treasure

  4. Super cute! Must make these!
    I have double sets of math manipulatives. I have the ones that came with the old series that are already all organized in bins and I have the ones that came with the new series that are all still in the bags taking up VERY valuable real estate in my closet. I also have class sets of novels from when I taught upper grades that I don't want to get rid of, but haven't read in at least 6 years :/
    Sunny Days In Second Grade

  5. I have a closet and a set of shelves that were full of stuff from my predecessor (some very old stuff!) that I have started going through to reorganize, but I still have a lot to go! :)

  6. I am looking forward to reclaiming some of the cabinet space in my room by going through the growing numbers of teacher books (the ones with lesson ideas and printables) that I have and DON'T use, or keep for one or two ideas that I could scan and place in my digital files. So excited to get started purging and cleaning. :)

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Loving these! And...I throw away EVERYTHING! And I do mean EVERYTHING! I am not saying that is a good thing, but I just can't take clutter!!


  9. Love the signs! The first thing I did on Tuesday when I walked back into my classroom was take pictures of the clutter. Between the holiday debris, papers to file and correct, dated materials left behind from the previous teachers, and general chaos of mid-school year, this is the perfect challenge for me. Now if I could only find the time to sort through everything!!

    Oh & I'm hanging on to an overhead projector (my principal bought me a new one and then bought a document viewer the next year), about 15 class sets of novels that I don't use anymore, and too many boxes of math manipulatives that I've never even opened! Ahh!

  10. I am looking at my "art supply" drawers full of random bits and pieces, also my "to be sorted" basket of papers...


  11. I am hanging onto my teacher desk. I did decide over the break to get rid of it so Monday I began to empty it and when it's's gone! I'm very nervous though.

    2B Honey Bunch
    The Best Endings

  12. Love these! I'm having a hard time getting rid of my kindergarten teaching supplies. I know I will never teach kinder again (I like bigger kids so much more!), but I spent a lot of money on all those puppets and blocks. And what if I DO end up teaching kinder again. This is soooooo hard!
    Thanks for the encouragement :)
    Teaching With Style

  13. These are great! Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to begin decluttering my room. I do have a question, where did you get those frames you used for these? I have been looking for some and have had no luck!

    Twins, Teaching and Tacos.

  14. I love the labels. Thank you. I have a thing for books and there are so many in my room (teacher and student) that are not and have not been used in years. I am looking forward to going into my classroom on Friday to get started.

  15. I am holding on to my teacher desk. I can't get rid of it, principal says. (Yuck!) I keep copies from year to year, some of which I end up not using the next year. My eco friendliness is making me cluttered!


  16. Ooo, I love the signs and attaching them to clothes pins... genius!

    Ladies who commented before, I still have an over head too, but I use it as a student center now.

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

  17. I love your clothespin idea - thank you! I, however, can't seem to locate the download. Everytime I click on "freebies" it leads me to the blog post but I can't find the download for the labels. What am I doing wrong?

  18. The stuff I have spent money hours creating, but have not used in a while, are VERY hard for me to get rid of...

  19. THANK YOU for the clothes pin idea and labels!

    I have math manipulatives I haven't used in the 3 years I've been teaching, and cupboards FULL of books that need to find a new home--it's so hard to get rid of books because of the money and time investment. But they need to go to a new home.

  20. I nominated you for an award. Stop by my blog and check it out! :o)
    Hangin' with Mrs. Cooper

  21. I have had to move several times to different classrooms over the past few years. So the last time I moved I saved the nice copy boxes with lids in case I had to move again as these boxes are at a premium at the end of the school year. Now they are sitting on shelves and hidden under tables "just in case" I need them again. But I would like to get rid of them instead of taking up space.

  22. I just found this blog, and I'm addicted!! Thanks for sharing your ideas!!

    Kindergarten Is A Hoot

  23. Super cute! These would be perfect for my family to use in their bedrooms too. It reminds me of that show Clean Sweep.

    I have lots of stuff in my room and hall closet that I could fget rid of.. The problem is/ i seem to change grade levels. I left Kindergarten, got rid of all my stuff then 11 years later I was moved involuntaruly back to K and had to start all over. So now al my 2nd/3rd grade curriculum, books, listening centers is all packed into paper boxes in classroom closet.

  24. Printed and ready to go with me to school tomorrow!

    Fun in Room 4B


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