Is this what your classroom looks like at the end of the summer when you get it ready for a new year? 

This is what my first classroom looked like. This was the "before" picture I took... but the scary part is that this was after 2 FULL DAYS of cleaning from 7 AM to 9 PM with the help of my family members. You can only imagine what was in this room. Here are some more normal (and more accurate) before pictures of some of my previous rooms...



Seriously. Who has time for it? The shoving things into the closet in a rushed tizzy, the throwing caution to the wind and putting anything and everything into unlabeled, disorganized boxes. Why do we do this to ourselves every year?  I don't even want to put my logo on those awful pictures!! They raise my blood pressure just THINKING about it. This year does NOT have to be the same.

I challenge you to do these three things:

1. Get rid of unused and unnecessary items.
2. Organize bit by bit every day.
3. End your year with a calm smile.

Okay, so that's only actually two things. But I highly recommend the smile anyway! The best part is I really don't have to elaborate more on this. It's actually really easy to do.

I've been in the midst of a crazy time in my personal life. I've been MOVING! Mr. Word On Third and I are moving into our first home on May 7th. I'm packing like a crazy woman. I could not be happier for the move to be happening before the school year ends. WHAT!? DID I REALLY JUST SAY THAT?

Yes, I did. And here's why. I'm thinking of decluttering in a new way. Because I'm seeing how much easier this is making my move, I'm realizing this transfers over to my classroom too! I've been reading a book that has been really helping me to get rid of my stuff. And the best part? When I am organized in a way that makes sense for me and that makes me happy, and when I'm surrounded by ONLY the things I really like, it is so. easy. to keep the clutter away.

I recently started reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, and it's really helpful. I like that it's a fast read (the author has a conversational tone) that helps in a practical way. Kondo comes up with tons of strategies to help you clean and declutter effectively, but she also helps you through decluttering in an emotional sense. We all hang on to stuff because someone special gave it to us, because we think we might need it later, because it works well and we feel bad getting rid of stuff... Well, it's got to stop. And what a better time than to start doing this in my classroom now? I've already gotten rid of 2 boxes of charts and cleaned my whole closet. I did that in 30 minutes. This approach is working for me!

It's simple. You get rid of the stuff you don't need, want, use, or love. Go through items categorically. (All books first, then all art supplies, etc.) Then, and only then, do you find a permanent home for these items. Seriously, go read that book. It was so worth the read! You might not agree with Kondo 100% of the time, but her book didn't become a best-seller by repeating the same, old, boring information you're used to.

Need a simpler place to start? Check out this post I like by Making Meaning With Melissa!

I promise you, though, if you do a little, and you do it every day, your classroom will be so easy to pack away until August! If all you can fit in is 5 minutes a day, I promise you won't regret it!

Here's a scope I recorded on this topic a few days ago. By the way, did you guys know that Katch is disappearing!? Save your videos now before it's gone for good!

So what are you going to do to clean your classroom first? Comment below! And make sure you subscribe to my blog by midnight tonight... I'm giving out a freebie for my birthday today to all of my subscribers. It's a paid product in my store, but I love my readers, and I want to take care of you! Enter your email on the right sidebar where it says, "Don't miss a post!" Alright... off I go for my morning run with my dog Ruffles! I'm trying Couch To 5 K. Have you guys tried that program?


  1. Congratulations on your new home! I got this book out of the library and really liked it as well. I'm determined to get rid of as much as possible so I LOVE your ideas! Good luck with the packing!

    1. Thanks so much, Susan!!! It's a good one, I agree. I am determined to get rid of as much as I can too! I just tackled clothes in my home... 166 clothing items! Holy cow!!! That's a lot! On to media and kitchen toys next.

      What are you getting rid of?