Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Cleaning Purge {Week 3 Challenge}

Yesterday I had a teacher workday and I purged. Yes, I did it! I got rid of so much stuff! I threw it away without a second thought and moved onto my organizing. It took all day but it was so worth it. I confess I didn't stick to my rule about taking it step by step. I did it all in one day but I did take certain sections of my room step by step.

  • How much were you able to escort out the door this week?Tell us about what you purged and how you felt doing so. I was able to get rid of so much stuff I didn't use anymore from my cabinets, desk, and entire room. Paper copies I don't need, things that were broken that I was hanging on to, old stuff that I just don't use and is out dated now. I felt great doing it like I was just in a cleaning frenzy to get organized. I felt super productive and I really like the outcome. 

So now the results:
*Warning this is a lot of pictures because I'm really happy with the end result.*

Super clean desk drawers no more mess where I can't find anything!

Okay so to some people this may not seem like improvement but I did throw stuff away I didn't need or didn't have to keep anymore. I have to keep all the books in here (this is like my storage closet) but it is easier because this cabinet is behind my guided reading table. So starting at the top I have craft supplies and a parachute. Moving down I have word work games I don't use all year, phonics books, extra school supplies, and my reward box. Then I have my leveled readers and balls/chalk for recess. Then I have professional books and my students Houghton Mifflin books. 

This is a huge change! I turned my desk around after I cleaned it out. It now faces the bullitin board which I don't love because it takes away from it but I like how it opens up space. I got rid of a plastic storage thing that was falling apart and kept the other one that wasn't and organized literacy games by month in the drawers. Then I put my printer on top of it. I used to have my M-F bins on top but realized they became a catch all because I didn't have to look at it. So I moved the M-F bins to above the cubbies, clean them out, and organized them for next week! I also clean out the cubbies that I use so I can actually find things! This area makes me happy now! :) 

Up close! 

I cleaned up my listening area. I took down the sign and put in on the table to then hang up these hooks that were so cute but serving no purpose before. Now they are going to keep the headphones from getting tangled and getting mixed up with the computer headphones. They look the same so I have actually had students sit down at the computer and put on the listening station headphones and vice-versa it causes for confusion which is now eliminated! I also placed all the books/CDs/tapes  in one storage bin and then my teaching CDs/tapes to the side in a basket. Before they were kinda mixed up and didn't have much organization now they are organized! 

My work word folders are now clean and only hold this weeks word work! Previously they were a little messy and would get older word work placed in the top folders so I didn't have to put it away. I like how it looks when it is neat and clean so I will have to put all games away on Friday when my students are done with them.

I'm loving how my math centers are organized now! Previously they were out of order, messy, and too full. Well I purged math supplies, materials, cards, and games that I was not using anymore and now I have room! I organized them by month now which works out so much better than by topic. I can reach in and grab that month's games and get ready to teach and play with my students. I also organized my flashcards that were all out of order and placed them on top for easy access. I changed the location of this as well to free up space in another area. 

This is my writing station that I moved earlier in the year and previously in front of it was my class jobs. Well that didn't really make much sense to me to have class jobs in front of the writing table so I changed it to our word wall! This will be useful for my kids during writing and is in the front of the classroom now so it will be easy for the kids to use at any time. I can also refer to it more when teaching since it is in the front of the room too. Please excuse our recycling since we have gotten back to school our recycling team (4th/5th graders) haven't come around to get it. 

Now for a full tour around the room! If your still with me you are awesome! 

Class jobs were moved to this bulletin board, math games are in the nook, guided reading table and materials behind. I clean out all of those cabinets above and below the sink but didn't want to bore you too much with pictures of tissue paper, art supply, construction paper, cleaning supplies and the such. 

The front of the room now. 

Desk area, cubbies, whole group space hence the rocking chair and easel. I wish I was better at taking pictures...this doesn't really do it justice. 

Listening area cleaned up and looking good. 

Back of my room. Mostly my library and cabinet that holds teachers editions and more books. Not a great quality picture but the iPhone does what it can. My man has the professional camera and always take the nice photos. I kinda wish now that I had taken a picture of all the crap I actually threw away and of the two extremely full overflowing garbage cans. But this is what you get! 

Well I hoped you've enjoyed my improvements I've made on my classroom! I can't wait to see all of your classrooms. Thank you for all the sweet comments and support. 


  1. I LOVE how you divide up your weekly printables! I need to do this!

    1. Thanks! I used it all last year and it was so helpful and this year I dropped the ball on using them. Now that they are organized though I'm excited about using them again! They are just cardboard boxes and I can't remember now where I got the labels from but I just slapped them on there and volia! Thanks for commenting!

  2. WOW!
    You've been working hard!
    Your work really shows... even though it might look even better in person than it does in pictures.
    You've inspired me to keep going...

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comment. Keep going because the end result will be wonderful!

  3. Looks great Jess! I did the same thing to my desk! I actually had a table and a desk. I got rid of the desk and turned the table around to face the wall. I have so much more room now. I will post an after picture on my blog next week. My math centers are organized the same. I have the same organizer as your do. I literally pull out a drawer and the kids come get what they need. I love all your pictures of your room. I am unable to do guided reading in my district (I know right!) but I enjoy looking and hearing about your guided reading. What guided reading series do you use if you use one? Oh and also what math series do you use??

    1. Thanks Kelley! I can't wait to see your pictures. I love looking at other classrooms. I can't believe that your district does not allow guided reading....what?!!!!? This is just so crazy to me that I would do it illegally. What are you supposed to do instead? Haven't they seen all the research about guided reading, small groups, reading instruction in general? I am just appalled! I'm so sorry you aren't able to do it. I use Houghton Mifflin for whole group and guided reading. For guided reading they have 3 different levels below, on, and above grade level. I do supplement for my higher students with chapter books or other leveled readers though. My math series is Envision math. Thanks for your sweet comments!

  4. Oh Jess, it looks marvelous! Wanna come to Georgia and straighten me out? ;) As soon as I am well enough, I'm doing the same!! My room looks like a train wreck right now. I have soooo much to throw out, some more stuff to organize, and no energy to do anything but teach and come home to rest. Thanks for sharing! Your room inspires me to get with it in my own.


    Stapler’s Strategies for Sizzlin' Second Graders!

    1. I know how you feel having no energy at the end of the day. It was such a blessing that I had this teacher workday! If you take it little by little each week I'm sure you'll get a lot done. Good luck and thanks you for your nice comment.

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  6. Looks awesome! Way to go! I wish we had a day I coud use to work in my room!

  7. You have made progress! It is a marathon not a sprint, your first leg looks great! I really like the idea of turning your desk. I have been thinking about doing it myself. It looks so much more open.


  8. Wow, I can't believe you accomplished that much in just a day! It really looks amazing, and I love the change to the listening center. I hope I can purge and organize half as much as you did!

  9. I almost died when I read your blog because not only did I also have a teacher work day on Friday but I too decided to use the day to purge and clean and reorganize! I'm not using your 3 step method though but I did do a lot of similar things. I also turned my desk 90 degrees and made a nice small corner that I can't fill up with junk. I moved my reading table so I can see what my class is up to at all times. I have two sets of mailboxes so I use one for the students and the other one I use for my printables. It has three columns so one is for math, one for language arts, and the other is for evertything else. It works for me. And, get this, we use Houghton Mifflin for reading in our first grade class too!
    Oooh! I have goosebumps! You aren't from Ohio by any chance, are you? I wish I could show you pics of my room but I don't have a blog (that's next summer's goal). Thanks for sharing! Your efforts look GREAT!

  10. BEE-YOU--TEE--FUL!
    I worked all day Saturday in my room, too, and got a lot done.....but there is oh, so much more to do!

    Pitner's Potpourri