>An organized closet helps me breathe

>I have a problem. When I get stressed out, I go into crazy lady mode. This could be a good thing, but it’s usually not. When I go into crazy lady mode, I start a project that DOES NOT NEED TO BE FINISHED while I am stressed out about something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. Case in point: I am getting 2 new students in my class. I can’t go into any specifics, but this will completely change my schedule, my direct instruction time, will guarantee no lunch/prep time for me, and will be a lot of extra work. So, while I’m completely stressing over this, I realize that my classroom closet is a disaster. Instead of working on changing my schedule around and working on fitting these 2 students in, I decide that my closet MUST GET ORGANIZED. Literally, I couldn’t wait another day.

Here’s the disgusting closet. Yes, I am ashamed to show you this picture. Yes, it did need to be cleaned/organized. But it did not need to get done last week!

I know, I know. YUCK. It had just gotten so bad! The closet had become a “dumping ground” so the rest of my classroom could be clean & organized. Well, except for the non-functional red center…which had become a second dumping ground. Ugh.

Now, before you think I’m a horrible and messy teacher…please know that these are my “dirty secrets”. The rest of my classroom is SUPER organized…it has to be! With my population of students…it’s critical. You can see more pictures of organization in my classroom in this post.

So, on Valentines Day, I was on my knees scrubbing the floor of my closet, surrounded by piles of CRAP, at 7:00 PM. I finally realized I was CRAZY, it was Valentines Day, and I needed to get home to my husband. (just after I stopped at Wal*Mart to get some bins first…)

Now, a week later, here’s how my closet looks!

Ahhh. Cue the angels singing! It’s not a designer closet, but it’s SO MUCH BETTER! Here’s a little breakdown:

There’s a system, an order…ahhh. I have lots of “stuff” because in special ed, you have to float between so many grade levels. So far I’ve done K, 1, and 2, but I could easily do other grades in the upcoming years.

And the red center is now fully functional! Here’s how it’s set up for my students now:

So, some easy tips to do this yourself:

  1. Don’t be afraid to TRASH. This is hard for me…but it makes you feel so much better! Ask yourself if you REALLY need it.
  2. Designate a space for everything. If you don’t, your space will quickly become a dumping ground again. Label as much as possible!
  3. Shop sales for bins/organization equipment. It can get expensive…wait until you have a coupon, or until they go on sale. I bought 4 bins for less than $20 (at 4 different stores!) because of coupons and store sales!
  4. Use what you already have. I went through other areas of my classroom to see if I could move things into other bins, or consolidate certain items. This freed up a lot of containers for me, without having to buy more.
  5. Use your space. If you have more wall space than cabinets, use hooks! Move things around until you find the right space. It’s kind of like a puzzle!
  6. Do it RIGHT. Take everything off of the shelves, clean the shelves, and go through ALL of it. You’ll be so thankful later!
I hope I was able to inspire you even a little bit to clean out your “dirty secret” spot. These side-by-side pictures should help! πŸ™‚

Conveniently, ""id=“>there’s a party going on all about organization! Perfect timing!!

Again, if you’re interested in seeing more of my classroom…come check out this post!

17 Responses to “>An organized closet helps me breathe”
  1. Hadar says:

    >OH MY WORD! you are amazing! love the outcome! i teach special ed too πŸ™‚

  2. >Your newest follower from below you on the Linky Party. I taught 12 years until this year. Seeing your organization makes me miss it just a teensy weensy bit! Smiles,Melaniehttp://reasonstoskipthehousework.blogspot.comskipthehousework@hotmail.com

  3. >Great work. We spent our weekend purging, organizing and cleaning…it feels so good!!xx-Kristyn

  4. Megan says:

    >You are a rockstar. Unbelievable.I've gotten 3 new students this year and all VERY last minute (like.. they've walked in the door and said they're starting school that day). Hang in there- you'll slowly adjust to a new normal but I can completely relate to the stress. I'll be thinkin about ya. I need to catch some of your 'crazy' bug and get some of my things organized. πŸ™‚

  5. >WOW! thats pretty amazing!

  6. The Loops says:

    >I'm a new follower. I'd love for you to stop by my blog!

  7. Jen says:

    >Great now I feel like I need to get my classroom stuff organized too….lol. You did an awesome job. This is only my 2nd year teaching and already it's amazing how much stuff I have already accumulated. I should be excited about all the stuff that I have but it really is a pain in the butt when I have to lug it out of my classroom to home during the summer and then back when school starts. That's a lot of car trips…Lol

  8. mindingmomma says:

    >can you come by and go crazy in my kitchen?

  9. Jill says:

    >Great work! It's so satisfying to finish a project like this! Hope your valentine's evening was relaxing after all that hard work!Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!Hope you have a great weekend!Jill @ Creating my way to Successhttp://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

  10. >Love it! Visiting from Under the Table and DReaming. I did the organize it party too! My pantry was a disaster. So much better now! http://prudentlypaintedvintage.blogspot.com/2011/02/organization-is-key-to-life.html

  11. >Great post! I love organization as well. I have a NEW linky party beginning Thursday, March 3rd. come over & share some of your talent with my readers. http://delightfulorder.blogspot.com/2011/02/delightfully-inspiring-thursday-linky.htmlDaNita

  12. >Whoa!!! You did a great job on reorganizing!!

  13. radn says:

    >Love the way everything is organised! I am having a giveaway on my site. A chance to win $15 store credit from LiaGeneFab11 to select fancy hairbands and clips for little girls.http://houseonashwelllane.blogspot.com/2011/02/fancy-headbands-and-hair-clips-giveaway.html

  14. Jamie says:

    >What a great transformation. It is really hard for me to TRASH stuff. But I'm getting better at it. I'm your newest follower. I would love it if you linked your project up to my link party.More The Merrier Monday.http://diyhshp.blogspot.com

  15. >You did a great job organizing the closet and the red center for the students. They both look great! Well done.

  16. Ellie says:

    >Looks good! I bet it makes a big difference when you're looking for something!

  17. >Love this post, my classroom closets used to look pretty crazy too, but I took the TRASH advice to heart a long time ago. πŸ™‚ Now if I could just find a way to harness all the paperwork that piles up on my shelves and desk!

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