Saturday, January 19, 2013

Clutter Free Classroom Challenge...My Plans

I'm linking up with Clutter Free Classroom to help me get more organized in 2013!

HERE is my post from last week's challenge (If you REALLY want to see my clutter...ugh! I'm closing my eyes!).

This week's challenge was to simply share your plans on how you plan to get more organized.

Well, let's review....

My Clutter:


So here is my plan to tackle this clutter:

#1 Bring one basket home a night to go through and decide which books to keep and which to donate to our Great Book Giveaway that is housed in our Media Center.  I will keep only the ones that are used and pertain to my theme instruction.  Also, I have a large basket of books that need to be DRA labeled and added to my leveled baskets that stay out all year.

#2  Walk around my room and find all the different nooks and crannies where I have books stored.  I will house ALL MY BOOKS in the same location, unless they are books that stay out in my classroom all year (which I do have many of those as well).

#3  Look at the baskets that I do have and see what I ABSOLUTELY need.  Now, I know my OCD just doesn't like this mismatched basket issue, but I keep telling myself that the themed books are hiding behind curtains at the back of my room.  It really shouldn't matter to me that they don't match because nobody will see them but me.  So I have convinced myself to compromise (for now).  I will try my best to make each storage shelf unit (there are three side by side) have matching baskets.  This will at least make me feel a little better.

Does anyone else have this problem with basket that don't match?  Please tell me you do so I will feel normal again. Ugh!

#4  Make labels for all of my baskets.  I already have a label template that I used around my classroom for other book baskets.  I will use the same one and make theme labels, laminate them, and attach them to each basket.  This will make it so much easier for me...right now, I have to pull down a basket and look at what is inside.  CRAZY!

So that's my plan and I am sticking to it (or at least I will try to)!

Well, for those of you who know that I am not a procrastinator...I found a few extra hours on Wednesday, so I HAD to get started!  I was excited!

Of course, what did I start with?

Not concern #1!

Concern #3!

First, I appraised my unmatched basket situation and did a little reorganizing to see if I had enough baskets to SOMEWHAT match each shelving section.  

Here are my findings!





Last shelf section (sorry no before picture).

I think it is starting to look a little bit better.  I still don't like all the mismatched baskets in the second section but I will see what I can find.  Ideally MY OCD SELF would love to find four more blue baskets and then that entire section will match.   However, I might just have to settle for two white baskets for the top shelf.

So that is my's getting better.  

And I LOVE that there are others out there that are just as motivated to organize their clutter thanks to The Clutter Free Classroom.

Go link up, get rid of your clutter, and share your ideas.

Happy Blogging!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Office/Craft Room Tour

After yesterday's post, I got inspired to start cleaning and organizing.

It would have been nice if I was in my classroom when I got that inspiration, but unfortunately it wasn't.  So I organized my next favorite space, MY OFFICE/CRAFT ROOM.  I am very pleased with how it turned out, so I hope you don't mind if I share some pics and take you on a tour.

This shelf is on the entry way wall.  

The top shelf houses all embellishments: buttons, flowers, ribbons, tags, brads, eyelets, sequins, wordfetti, etc.  

The bottom shelf has many smaller albums; some are complete, some are ongoing projects.    The file system on top of the shelf has any new product that I bought and current oversized pictures that need to be scrapbooked.  

You can see the closet doors.  I didn't do too much organizing in it yet; therefore, I was too embarrassed to show you the inside.  That will be a project for another day.  It mostly has many shelves of completed albums, new albums, additional product, my scrapbooking totes and other bags.  

This is the shelf to the left of the closet doors.  

The bottom shelf has many completed albums that my children love to look at.  They are all the current ones beginning with the birth of my son (who is now 13) and extend all the way to the current date.  

The second shelf has two large file system crates.  I have one for each child.  Each one has file folders labeled from Preschool all the way to 12th grade.  It is where I house all of those school keepsakes for each child.  The two trays above each file is where I place stuff that needs to be filed in each crate (I file maybe once a month).  The two red albums on the left side of that shelf are their school photo albums. I scrapbook their school pictures in those albums.  I pre-made them so it is quite easy to stick in the pic and add a few embellishments.  I leave those out because they love to look at them and so do I.  I love to see how my two littles grow through the school years and what clothes they loved to wear.

The third and fourth shelf has all types of products that have to do with lettering on pages.  Some of the products include:  letter stamps, chipboard letters, letter stickers.  I love the smaller sterlites on the fourth shelf.  They house all kinds of chipboard letters and the letters are filed in alphabetical order.  This makes it very quick for me to find what letters I need to make a page.  Also, I love to mix product, so this allows me to do just that.

The fifth shelf has books and magazine that I refer to for inpsiration when crafting and scrapbooking.  It also houses a teddy bear that one of my children bought me for Christmas one year as well as some other memorabilia that makes me smile.

The next two shelves are memorabilia shelves as well.  The top shelf houses half of my Boyd Bear collection.  You will see the other half of the collection in a later pic.

This is my worktable.

Not much to explain here.  I got it from IKEA as well as the chairs.  It is the perfect size for this small room.  I had another one prior to this one, but it was WAY TOO LARGE.  I felt like it made the room look even smaller than it already is and I kept bumping into it every time I turned around.

On top is a spinning tool organizer.  It houses my most used tools.

Here is the other side of that shelf.  The shelving unit encompasses the entire wall with a doorway in the middle.  It's huge and it provides me with a lot of storage space.

Again, starting at the bottom, this shelf houses my cardstock sorted by color and the white boxes have various cards that I have made sorted by purpose (i.e. birthdays, holidays, thank you, congratulations, thinking of you, etc.).

The next shelf has a lot of oversized pictures and memorabilia sorted into those sterlite drawers that needs to be scrapbooked.  I also have a magazine holder on that shelf that has my most recent copies of Creating Keepsakes.

The third shelf has my colored cardstock scraps sorted by color into the sterlite drawers.  This is great because my eight year old daughter likes to scrapbook/create with me.  I always encourage her to use these drawers first (it helps to keep her out of my new stuff).  There are also two containers of word stamps that I use A LOT on the right side of those drawers when making cards.

The fourth shelf is my picture storage shelf.  The three baskets have currently printed photos that need to be scrapbooked.  The white boxes house older pictures that didn't get scrapbooked but could be used in other projects.

The fifth shelf mostly has my Creating Keepsake magazine collection and a few memorabilia pieces.

The last two shelves are memorabilia and the rest of my Boyd Bear collection.

This is the computer area.  It is hard to see the computer because of the large chair, but I promise you, it is there.

Again, there isn't much to tell you about this area.  I keep a bunch of CD's and my scrapbook DVD collection on the shelves above the computer.  I love to listen to music as I create and sometimes I even throw in a scrapbook DVD for inspiration.  The funniest thing is that my daughter loves to watch them as well.  I have a feeling that my daughter will definitely keep the crafting stores in business in the future.

The white three ring binders house a variety of personal home information that get's printed and filed.

This is the printer and current scrapbooks area.

I LOVE the saying at the top.  I actually have it in two locations around the house.  The shelf below it has five pictures of my family.  I need to change them out, but that will be on another day.

The two sterlites on each side of the printer house my various copy paper and cardstock needed when I print out all those wonderful workstations from TpT.

The albums are my current albums.  The blue ones are for my son and the pink for my daughter.  The black ones are general family ones.  The striped ones are places we go and things we do.  The little ones in the middle are for "My Favorite" photos.  I have one for each of my children, one for my family, and one for anything else.

The drawers underneath house other tools needed when creating:  paint, chalk, glitter glue, punches, decorative scissors, inks, adhesives, etc.

This is another work space in my room.  It is really too small to do anything but I sit there when I am laminating or using my cricket because there is an outlet underneath that I can access.

Of course you can see some of my punches out and displayed on bars from IKEA.  I love the 12 x 12 Sterlite drawers.  They house my scrapbook papers by theme.  The two black boxes on top of them and the four trays to the right keep my current projects organized.  On the left shelves I have two matching scrapbooks, one for each child.  These are their birthday books.  The three small cubbies have little baskets for extra adhesives, 4 x 6 photo paper and my small paper cutters.

The six drawers underneath house more letter stickers and cardboard embellishments.

If you are wondering what that thing on the wall is an old fish aquarium.  It has been in that wall for over 20 years.  We use to have fish in it, but we started having issues with it and my husband finally gave up.  He keeps saying he is going to take it out and just put shelves there but he hasn't found the time yet.  That another project for another day. :)

And lastly, here is a look from the doorway.  

Well, that's it!

This is the place where I create!

This is pretty much the place where I live when I am away from my classroom.

Thanks for taking the tour with me.

Do you have a special place where you create?  If so, share!  I love to see how other's organize and decorate their special places.

Until next time, happy blogging!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Books, Books, Books

I want to begin by saying...I LOVE ORGANIZATION.

However, finding the time to organize is difficult.  Other things seems to be more important and sometimes organization just gets placed on the back burner.

Over the summer, I had a little extra time and I was able to go through MOST of my theme books.  Now...just to go through my theme books is an AMAZING task in itself since I have been teaching for over 20 years and have collected QUITE A FEW BOOKS (I think I could open my own library).

So as I was saying, I reorganized them.  I sorted!  I purged!  I even threw some books away (they were simply unsalvageable).  By the time I had done all of that work (which I think took about three days), I was:


Yes, you guessed it, ALL OF THE ABOVE.

I simply put all the books back up on the shelves in any basket I could find. Ugh!

What I don't like about this project is that IT ISN'T COMPLETE!


The baskets don't match!

There are no labels on the baskets!

A few baskets didn't even get sorted! 
I found these hiding in my girls bathroom after the fact.

And, I was going to add my listening books as well to each theme basket to make it easier for me to find them when I need them.  That didn't happen!

So that is where I am at with this clutter project.

I think I am comfortable with the way in which I am organizing my theme books, however, I would love to hear how you organize yours. you have any suggestions on how I can make this way of organizing my theme books better?

So finally, here is my mantra regarding this project:

I will try my best to stay calm and, hopefully, find the time to complete this unfinished project.

I though that maybe by linking up with the Clutter Free Classroom project, that maybe I will actually be more motivated to complete this task this time.

Wish me luck!

Happy Blogging!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Made it Monday

Remember summer break?

Those were the days!

We had all the time in the world to think about and even make centers for our classrooms.

Then we would post NUMEROUS pictures and DETAILED instructions on how we made it.

Well, unfortunately, it isn't summer break so this post will be short and sweet!

Here's what I made...

This is a math workstation that I am using with my littles this week to reinforce number sense and number recognition.

The counters we are using are table scatter that I found at the Dollar Tree around Christmas time.  I just love the dice that I found that just have the numbers from 7 - 12.

Oh, and the ten frame mats were made last year.  On one side it is one large ten frame (teaching number sense to 10) and on the reverse side there are two smaller ten frames (teaching number sense to 20).  We made the mats in a variety of colors that would coordinate with the months of the year (i.e. red for December/February).  I love using these mats all year.  I just simply change the color of the mat to go with the month and change out which counters we use.  I can even change the dice out depending on how easy or how difficult I want to make the math activity.

That's it!

I told you it would be short.

And, thanks for stopping by my little blog.

Amazingly, I am slowly approaching 200 followers.  It might be time for a giveaway...

so check back!

Happy Blogging!

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Happy New Year!

Can you believe another year has come and gone?'s 2013!

How did you ring in the new year?

Here's what my family and I did...

 we were on this...

doing this!

Yep! We boarded on New Year's Eve and just got back today.

It was fun time for the entire family.

We visited two ports...

 Key West and...


We enjoyed ...

 visiting the Butterfly Garden in Key West and...

snorkeling in the Bahamas.

Believe me, it was hard to come home but all good things must come to an end.

So that's how we brought in 2013.

And now it is time to for me link up with Farley for the January Currently Linky Party.

Here's my CURRENTLY...

Go link up and share what is CURRENTLY going on in your world.

Happy Blogging!