Saturday, July 18, 2015

HELP!! I am drowning in clutter!

I am a hoarder....There I said it.  I am not really proud of that fact, but I have a Bright Idea on how to fix it.

I searched high and low for ideas and a plan of action that would work for me.

I read blogs, checked pinterest, and ended up back where I started 30 years ago when I first realized that my kindergarten stuff wasn't fitting very well in file folders.  I kept my samples and stuff in paper boxes (have your custodian save them for you), then labeled them by months.

In the mean stuff has expanded and the boxes are gone (three schools, and two states ago).

True confessions....Do you have a mess like me?  Maybe not this bad, but teachers are notorious. We save things because we might need them.  You never know....projects, grade level changes, and just the money invested.

That is why I came up with this Plan of Action!!  Join me on this journey (it is not over yet).

It is hard.  I am not going to lie, this is not easy on me emotionally.  I have a lot invested.  I am afraid of changing grade levels.  I am afraid of not having something I need (or want).  But speaking those fears out loud, make them seem not so scary.  I am already getting psyched for this journey!!   I can do this!

Don't take too long on this step.  Don't think too much, there is more sorting to come.

But what about the things you don't use every day??  Set them aside for now....and when you are done with yes and no, group those seasonal things into categories that seem to make sense to you.

My thought is one tub for each month (right now my stuff is scattered in lots of different tubs and all mixed up), but I may need to add one for holidays that have lots of stuff (like Christmas, Halloween, Easter, and Thanksgiving).  I may also designate a tub for math and reading, so I can store things that do not fit a month or theme.  My tubs must fit along my garage wall, and I will bring them to school as I need them.  I do have a craft closet at home and my supplies will have to fit in there.   My space available will determine my limits.

Now comes the hard part.

Keep getting rid of those NOs

There in a nutshell is my plan of action.  And I am already getting started!!

Join me on this journey by following me on facebook or here on my blog.  I will be posting pictures of my progress.  Now that you all know my troubles.....I don't think I can quit.   I have someone watching me.  I can do this.

Check out these other amazing bloggers and their ideas.



  1. YES!! That's exactly what I need to do...keep asking myself did I use this last year! If the answer is no...keep asking! I have so many things in my closets...I need to get to it!
    Curls and a Smile

  2. Great tips for organizing your materials! And the longer you are in the classroom, the more you will accumulate! Start organizing early! ;)

  3. Great way to organize! I think I need more "NO" stacks from looking at my closets at the end of last year.
    Deb at Fabulously First

  4. Oh man, this is so timely as I move next week. I will be leaving 10 years of teaching in a classroom and moving into a teeny tiny intervention room and I'm scared to death about all my teacher goodies. I think my NO pile will be huge...

  5. Love how you laid it out step by step for everyone trying to purge and organize. I am the total opposite. I love to throw things out or give them away if I don't think I need/want it. I hate having extra "stuff", but I have noticed that usually by the end of the year I have accumulated quite a bit of extra "stuff" this will help me when I go back in a week and start to organize that "stuff". :)
    Mrs. Pauley’s Kindergarten

  6. Terri! I think we are living the same life! (Except for the fact that I currently have a good number of school boxes in the middle of my living room and it appears I have lost track of the dining room table!!!) I used to have whole boxes labeled "toilet paper rolls," baby food jars," and "film canisters." Teachers used to come to my room to browse and borrow! I, too, am working on cutting back, but the process is slow. Thanks for the encouragement to keep moving forward. I love the pic of all those bins standing ready. Good luck with your adventure! :)

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  7. great post! love the tips! I feel like I am already becoming a hoarder of school things even though I haven't started teaching yet haha.

  8. You are after my heart! I love to organize and purge! I'm the teacher on my team that tells the others "Throw it OUT!!!" LOL! I love how you took pictures of each step. Thanks for sharing this idea!
    Happy Teaching,
    Adventures in Teaching (A First Grade Blog)

  9. Great plan! You can do it!

    I used to have waaaay too much stuff. I didn't use a lot of it because it was such a pain to get it out-- even when I knew where it was.
    Last year, I switched to a new building and got rid of the classroom. I didn't bring anything to school until I needed it. I was so less stressed and could keep organized. This summer, I went through everything else at home and got rid of 95% of it. The stuff I kept is more sentimental than anything!

    My Bright Blue House