Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Helping You Get Organized in 2013 - The Clutter-Free Classroom Project

Last year I debuted The Clutter-Free Classroom Project which included weekly tasks for helping teachers get organized.  This year I am taking that same concept, reorganizing it and making it bigger and better. So many of you were new to the blog during the summer of 2012 and the New Year is always a great time for a everyone to get a fresh start (which is not to say you can’t jump in at anytime). In fact, I go through this very process in my own classroom annually to keep the clutter at bay.

So if you are looking to...
  • become more organized in the classroom
  • be more efficient with your time
  • be a more effective teacher
  • be viewed by parents and administration as a teacher who "has it all together"
...then you've come to the right place

Most of us are passionate about what we do and are lucky enough to have been blessed with a career that is also a hobby. We don’t mind the hard work and are dedicated to our jobs. However, as teachers we face many challenges that are out of our control.

I started the Clutter-Free Classroom to help teachers be more effective with less stress and less mess. One of the greatest obstacles teachers have is the clock. There just aren't enough hours in the day. Therefore, it is important to be efficient and organized in order to make the most of the time we do have.

My goal is to assist you in creating a learning environment that is beautiful, well-planned, organized, and purposeful. I’ve composed and compiled a collection of tips, tricks, and ideas to help and inspire you on your path to a “Clutter-Free Classroom.” (with oodles and oodles of photos of course)

Since starting this blog and opening my store, I’ve been humbled by the response, support, and feedback. I receive so many emails from amazing teachers telling me how motivated they were by something they read in my Clutter-Free Classroom Guide or on this blog. They often share something they had done as a result of a picture or idea I had given them and the positive impact it had on them.

While it is awesome to receive these messages, I began thinking about how inspiring these teachers would be to other teachers who are in similar situations. The fast-growing community of teacher/bloggers has been an inspiration to me and I feel that my teaching has improved greatly as a result of the thoughts, pictures, and ideas that have been generously shared by so many of you on your blogs.

I want to continue with my goal of helping teachers become more organized and effective, while at the same time taking advantage of the benefits of learning and gaining motivation from each other.

Many of you made last year's Clutter-Free Classroom Project awesome and with the increased audience that has joined us since then I am really looking forward to this year's PROJECT!

I've been working diligently over the past couple of months to plan out this year's project so that it will be bigger and better than before. My Blog/Store Planner for Teachers is chock full of posts, freebies, giveaways, guests, featured classrooms and more for 2013.

I’m hoping to continue building a community of teachers sharing what they are doing in their classrooms to be organized, effective teachers. We will continue to learn from, encourage and inspire one another. I want to give you a place to share your organizing projects, your struggles and your success stories in a simple and easy way while creating an ongoing resource for others to learn from.

Each Sunday I’ll put up a blog entry specific to the Clutter-Free Project. Each Sunday post will pose a specific topic/challenge and FREEBIES to help in completing the task. We can talk in the comments about anything related to classroom organization and management that relate to that week's challenge. Organizing is not a means to an end. It’s an ongoing process that involves habits, routines, and maintenance.

Throughout the week I will be posting tips, links, videos and photos related to the weekly topic. After we get going, I'm looking forward to hosting some guest bloggers do the same.

Each Friday I will host a Linky Party based on the Clutter-Free Project Challenge for that week. Those of you who have a blog can post about your efforts taking on the weekly focus tasks and share your experiences with others. If the weekly topic is something you already do or if you have additional tips to share, you can blog about it and link up as well. Doing so will automatically give you something to blog about each week and will drive tons of traffic to your site, but most importantly it will help other teachers in the process.

While I’m kicking it off at the start of the year, the intention is that teachers will join in at any time. I am hoping that each topic/linky will continue to grow and grow throughout the year as more teachers find it and add their thoughts and ideas. I want the project to be an ongoing resource and source of inspiration.

Feel free to visit previous posts and link up when you complete a project or have a related idea to share at any time during the year. I'll have a page dedicated to the project with all of the weekly challenges listed and the links needed. You don’t even need a blog to participate. Simply post your thoughts, ideas, questions, and words of advice to others in the comment can even do so anonymously. Easy Peasy!

Also, be sure to follow my Facebook Page and Pinterest Boards for additional content, inspiration and motivation

Spread the love. The more teachers who participate, the more we will all learn from each other.
  • Blog about The Clutter-Free Classroom Project and link back to this page. Let other's know what it is all about and encourage them to participate as well.
  • Please consider adding my button to your blog by copying and pasting the code listed in my sidebar to the right. This will let others know that you are "Creating a Clutter-Free Classroom." Being accountable will keep you motivated and inspired.
  • Add the Clutter-Free Classroom to your blogroll.
  • Encourage your colleagues to participate. Snag my Free Printable and post it in your teacher's room or copy room. Imagine an entire school of organized teachers! All that additional time on task will be so beneficial to the building as a whole.
If you've been thinking about starting a blog this might be a good time to start. You can use it to track your progress. It's super easy to do (although slightly addictive).

I'll be back on Sunday with the first challenge. In the meantime...

Questions for the Comments:
So what do you think...will you join me back here on Sundays for some organizational fun? Could you use a little motivation and inspiration? Do you have ideas to share that will help others? 

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  1. I cannot wait to join in on this challenge!! I could use some help in this area. Like you said, there is just NOT enough ours in the day! Can't wait until Sunday.

    Primary Teacherhood

    1. Hi Ashley! So glad you'll be joining us. :) Jodi

  2. I'm doing one of these for my house also!! Hopefully I can get organized this year!!!! Thanks for doing this!!

    The Daily Alphabet

    1. Hi Angela,
      No matter how organized my classroom is, my house is always a work in progress. I blame the kids lol :) Jodi

    2. Angela, are you going to be doing the same things in your home as you are in your classroom, or have you found a Home Challenge somewhere to follow? I'm in desperate need of help in both the classroom and home too!

  3. I can't wait to join the project! I love organizing, but it's been falling to the wayside when I'm busy (which feels like all the time lately!). Thank you!!

    The Resource Room Teacher

    1. Hi Ashley,
      It's a Catch need to be organized to have more time BUT you need time to organize. I've broken everything down into manageable steps so hopefully that will be helpful. :) Jodi

  4. This sounds great!! Organization goes to the wayside when things get crazy (like a normal day!)so we need to be held accountable. AND it's one of Stacia's New Year's Resolutions so we will definitely be linking up!!

    Amanda and Stacia
    Collaboration Cuties

  5. I am so happy that you're doing this! I read all of your new posts and have gotten quite a few ideas from you! I'm in my first year of teaching and I'm having such a difficult time getting my classroom organized, so I'm looking forward to your weekly topics!

    1. Hi Rachel,
      Congrats on your first year of teaching. It takes some trial and error when you are new, but you've come to the right place. Thanks for reading along. :) Jodi

    2. Hi Rachel! I'm also a first year teacher (3rd grade), and I'm having a difficult time as well. Excited about this challenge!

  6. OMG! I found you and the blogging world in July of last year and I was inspired by your posts. Now, I have my own blog and store and a very unorganized classroom!! I will definitely be joining your project!

    My Journey to 5th Grade


    1. Hi Julie,
      Thanks for commenting. I always love to hear that I've inspired someone. Congrats on starting a blog and store...such fun isn't it? :) Jodi

  7. yeah . . . I can't wait!! Following you has changed my teaching life for the better . . . I can't wait til start the challenge with you!! I can't wait to learn more and become more organized again with your help! Until Sunday!!

    1. Oh my gosh Mama Tuttle...such a sweet compliment! It's so nice to hear that I've made a positive difference. I'm glad you'll be joining us. : ) Jodi

  8. I'm super excited to start this challenge! I found your blog this summer and have gotten MANY good ideas. I'm hoping that this challenge will help me to not only become more organized, but also help me get started on creating my own blog. I'm excited for Sunday to get this organization party started!

  9. I just purchased your newest project of getting organized with the blogging and TpT store! It is AMAZING!! I have almost everything put together. Spent the day going through my 3 foot pile of "stuff" that was next to my bed. Lol!! I just added your info onto my calendar so that I don't forget.
    JD's Rockin' Readers

  10. I am ready to start my blog AND get organized! How did you know I wanted to do both? Thank you for the inspiration!

  11. I am SO in! I try to stay organized, but by the end of the day, I'm so tired, I don't always follow through!
    Mary Pitner's Potpourri

  12. YES! I am so ready! I have been wanting to do this since I first read about your challenges a while back. Now I am in the position and mind frame to finally complete the challenge. I super excited for sunday post!


  13. I did this challenge last year and loved it. It made me get rid of a lot of things the previous teacher left behind. I still have work to do and I am ready.

  14. I am in! When I first read your idea about taking pictures, it automatically stressed me just thinking about it. But today I was avoiding some grading and decided to do it. I posted pictures on my blog and linked back to this site. It does feel so good when you straighten up a neglected area!

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    ✿ Shari

    Keeping It Fresh in 6th Grade

  15. I'll be joining you too! We'll see how much I can get done before I am off on Maternity leave and then have to make up over the summer.

  16. Hello Jodi! I'm a first year teacher and have been following your blog since the summer. I'm so glad you have started this challenge because I so desperately need to get better organized in my classroom. In fact this is one of my goals for the new year, and now that I have someone who is going to help me there is no turning back. Can't wait to get started!

  17. Great! A challenge - support - and something I truly need in my classroom! Thanks for what you do!!

  18. I am so excited that you are bringing the Clutter Free challenge back! I started last year and made some really good progress purging my stuff and then doing more organizing over the summer...I am also excited to work on the clutter at home. I have piles of teacher stuff all around the house that hope I will eventually get to (and usually never do!)

  19. Here in NZ we are just starting our school year this week. Having just moved rooms I'm a tad up on the no clutter thing, but I am a very eclectic person and I am looking forward to doing this this year! Will sort out starting tomorrow when I go in for my last day of set up, before the kids start on Thursday. Teacher only days tuesday/wednesday... Wish me luck!!!

  20. Just read about the challenge and I don't mind starting late. I've been working on getting organized this year. Seems like the last few yeas, things are just too busy! Thanks, looking forward to it.


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