Sunday, January 6, 2013

Tell Your Clutter to Say Cheese!: It's Picture Time

Welcome to our first weekly challenge for the 2013 Clutter-Free Classroom Project. If you are just joining us, you may want to read my introductory post explaining the Clutter-Free Classroom ProjectRemember, you can jump in at anytime.

The next two weeks are all about getting started, getting motivated and making a plan.

Did I mention that one lucky friend will receive a prize for participating? More about that on Friday. :)

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.

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  1. This is my second year of teaching but my first year having my own classroom and I cannot wait to begin this challenge. I will be taking my before pics in the morning :) I am also new to the blogging world, but I have given you a shoutout on my blog

    Thanks, Ashley

  2. Oh Lord, that's going to be horrifying! There isn't one square foot of my room that I'm happy with. This will be like taking a picture in a bathing suit! But I can see how it will help...

  3. I am very excited to participate in your challenge this year! I can't wait to share all my messy (and soon to be organized) classroom pictures! My room started out extremely clean and organized and now it looks like a tornado blew through. I love to organize problem is keeping things organized!

    Elementary School Garden

    1. Jennifer, that is my problem, too...keeping organized! Good luck! :)

  4. I didn't do the project with you last year, but I'm definitely going to this year! My "visible" spaces are ALWAYS neat and tidy -- I can't stand it if they aren't. But my cabinets are a mess...because I just shove stuff in and hope I have time to organize (which I don't). So I'm all over this one!

  5. Thanks for getting us started. I will be snapping away first thing in the morning!


  6. Great idea! I'm going to do a before picture of my home work area while I'm at it. I think I'll put my before picture in the same file since I'm trying to get myself into shape too.

    Can't wait to read more!

    Kelly @ I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

  7. Can I do a room in my house? My room is quite clean...don't hate me. I can not stand a messy classroom.
    My Second Sense

  8. I'm in! Except, I'll be participating with my home office since I'm not teaching full time. My office has become my "classroom." And, this project comes that the perfect time, actually, because before you posted about taking "before pictures," I had already snapped several pics of my office torn to pieces as I started trying to think "organization." I purchased you blog and store organizer pack from TpT and have that part of my organizational plan up and running. I looking forward to getting clutter free! Thanks for hosting such a great project!

    The Classroom Game Nook

  9. I am so excited you are having this challenge again this year. I will be participating again. Last year I purged, and this year I moved into a new classroom and some of my clutter prevention ideas work in the new room, others don't. Looking forward to getting some new great ideas this year!


  10. Kind of a scary thought! I moved to a new school this year, but didn't have enough time to unpack correctly before the new year started. Everything I didn't know what to do with,
    I crammed into my closet and piled it up to the ceiling! It's a disaster! I think this project will help.

  11. I'm due back to work this Monday! The first thing I will do is take pictures. Just thinking about it makes me scream and say No!!! My room is a work in progress, some areas are ok others are still way in the making. For sure, I will be blogging about it :) thanks for this wonderful challenge.

    Vanessa @

  12. I'm taking the challenge this year! It was actually scary how many organized nooks and crannies I have in my classroom right now. But I am more determined than ever to de-clutter! Thanks so much for all your wonderful ideas :)

  13. Thank you for doing this - I desperately need the challenge to get my room organized. I am a second year teacher but this is my first year at this particular school and I did not finish organizing my room before school started so lots of things just got shoved in any nook or cranny and I have not had the time or the energy to go back and work on any of it. I am also new to the blogging community but I would love for you to check out my blog - I gave you a shout out today :)


  14. I'm in!!! I am taking over a junior high classroom Monday that has been with a long term sub for 3 months, let's just say I nearly died when I walked in today! I have a serious amount of work cut out for me so I'm super excited for the challenge!

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  16. Just posted half of mine! The other half will hopefully be up tomorrow. Darn camera on my phone decided to start going nuts. I can't wait for the de-clutter challenges to start coming! Thanks :)

    Primary Teacherhood

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  18. I will definitely be participating. I need to get my classroom organized and this is the perfect excuse! :-)

    Darling Little Learners

  19. Okay. I am coming in late, but I can do this. Monday I will take my pictures. I am frightened. I teach Resource Math so I have manipulatives hiding in every corner. I really hope this pays off for me. I need professional help.

  20. This is my 3rd year teaching, but my 2nd year in the same classroom and my 1st year year repeating a grade level. That being said, I didn't organize very well last year - my 1st year in 3rd grade. Basically, I've spent this year running around and scrambling for the SAME information and papers that I was gathering LAST year! I am switching grade levels for the next school year and will be moving classrooms. I would love to make a clean, easy move! With everything already being nicely organized!!! Thank you for this! I had already downloaded the TPT Organizing kit last year, but it got lost in the mess!! :)


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