Saturday, January 14, 2012

Plan to De-Clutter!

Today I am linking up the the Clutter-Free Classroom again for the Declutter Challenge
This week's challenge is to make a plan and some rules to help declutter our rooms.
After reading through the other links, I have comes up with the following.

My Plan to Declutter:
1. Start small. One area at a time. I am less likely to get overwhelmed.
2. Don't take out more than you can put away in 15 minutes. This is a rule from the Flylady, queen of home decluttering.
3. Use a timer. It keeps me motivated to work hard for that small amount of time, then take a break. It makes you feel like there is an end!
4. Find a home for everything! I started this at the beginning of the year. It worked well, but there are always new items needed a home.
5. Once a home has been found, KEEP IT THERE! That means returning items as soon as they are done being used. My students' favourite game is "Find Mrs. M's Stapler" as I am always sitting it down SOMEWHERE!
6. Teach others (students, volunteers) the system/homes for items. Teaching them the proper places saves having to clean up after them. This could include labeling items and/or their homes to make it easier.
7. Keep things neat by cleaning off tables and teacher desk EVERY NIGHT. This is tough. I have been doing pretty good with the tables each night, but my desk is a bi-weekly event.
8. Do Not Buy anymore bins or containers! I am horrible for this! I have so many that I had to get rid of a bunch, but I totally have the urge to buy with the great sales on right now. No! Stop!

What to Do with the Things I Purge:
1. Recycling Bin. I know that most of my purge items are papers.
2. Pass it on to other teachers. I have been handed down a lot of items, but no longer use them or never did!
3. Put it in the Art Room. Our school has a communal art supply room, but I tend to hoard things in my room (years of too many siblings!) The art room is well organized with labeled containters for things, including one called "Random Art Items"!
4. Garbage Can. Yup, worn out markers... "I can make it pretty and use it Someday" items... art samples that I have multiple copies of... you get the picture.

Rules for Purging Items:
1. Only One Paper Copy AND it must be in a binder! I have stacks of blog print outs and extra photocopies, etc. I will keep one copy but give it a home in a binder.
2. If I haven't use it, CHUCK IT! As I said...lots of hand me downs from other teachers.
3. If Someone else can use it NOW, pass it on!
4. If being kept for another grade level, it must be stored in bins. I have taught every grade from kindergarten to grade eight. This is my first year repeating a grade level (in the same classroom, no less). My attic storage space is next on my list!

I started writing this post with no idea what I was going to say and it turned out to be pretty lengthy. I guess I do have my own plan, but it's nice to write it down! Maybe it will give others ideas or simply keep me accountable. Maybe I should print these out and post them in my classroom...

Link up and start the Challenge!



  1. You have a great set of rules and plan for your de-cluttering! Looks like you are off to a great start! Good luck!
    Rambling About Reading

  2. Just know you are not the only one who has trouble clearing off your desk. I am with you. You have some lofty goals. Also, I totally agree about buying lots of containers thinking they will help! Good luck getting rid of your clutter!