Let's be honest. As teachers, there's not enough time in the day to get your to-do list done let alone keep a super tidy room with kids running around.

But if you're like me, clutter equals stress.
It makes my skin crawl and I literally feel overwhelmed when my work space looks a hot mess. 
Often, other teachers will walk into my classroom and comment on my organization and I get the same question: "How do you keep it all so organized?"

Here's a peak into my crazy brain.
It's what I tell anyone that asks.

You have to realize that your classroom is a reflection of you.
You're the king of that castle.
So set a good impression.
'Cause a messy classroom is not a cute look, ya'll.

#1: Everything needs a home.

If you're the type of person that creates piles, ask yourself why. Is everything in that pile connected in some way? Are they worksheets that need to be copied or writing prompts that need grading? If the answer is yes- make it an official home! Grab a file folder or buy a plastic draws- LABEL them and stop creating piles. When you have a place for everything, you'll feel better- trust me! When they're out of sight, you'll start to feel the stress melt away.

#2: Clear your desk before you head home.

Once everything has a home, you won't have piles and piles on your desk to wade through on the daily. When you leave work- put everything away. Clear your desk. It's a great feeling walking into a blank slate each morning and you'll start your day off in a better mood! Even if your to-do list is crazy long, coming into a tidy desk will make you more productive and less distracted. Just try it! You'll never go home with a messy desk again- cause it's that good, ya'll.

#3: Go crazy with labels.

When you label things, not only does it create an official home but it gives you the option of empowering your students to help keep the classroom tidy. Primary teachers are fantastic at labeling everything! Some teachers even take pictures of what a tidy bookshelf should look like so the kids know how the expectations at the end of center rotations. That concept begins to lose steam in the upper elementary grade levels but if you start it out from the beginning, you'll be amazed at how much your students will enjoy organizing their spaces as well. They just need to know where things go and labels will save you so much time. Because who likes repeating themselves every day?
Not this girl. 

#4: Set goals and keep them.

We've all been there. You've got three meetings this week to prep for, a field trip on Tuesday and a substitute scheduled at the end of the week. Before you know it, your desk is overflowing, and you don't know where to start. Do you tell yourself to just not make eye contact with the piles and pretend they're not their or do you decide that you'll get through the next two days and you'll carve out time to put everything in it's place? I highly recommend the latter, Set a goal, carve out the time and just stick with it. It's much easy to get caught up after a crazy week than a crazy two months. And once you begin clearing your desk daily it becomes much easy to stay on top of the clutter instead of underneath it. 

#5: Just say NO!!

Your neighboring teacher is cleaning out her cabinets and she offers you all these wonderful goodies that you might want to use one day. Just say no! If you don't have an immediate use for them or a home to put them- politely decline. She will find a good home for them- just not in your room. And if you decide later that you need at those extra pieces of scrap paper then hunt down where she donated them and ask for a piece. Just do yourself a favor and learn that the more stuff you have the more organized you'll need to be. If there's items in your cabinets that you haven't touched in two years- you need to follow your neighbor's lead and purge!

Hope this helps set you off on a tidy start to the school year!
Have tips that work for you? Leave a comment and share!

Teachers everywhere are getting a jump start on their mile long to-do lists as summer draws to a close. I'm right there with ya!
I'll be honest, ya'll. 
I'll miss not knowing what day of the week it is... but I'm way super excited about (re)decorating my classroom. 

Who's with me?
I know I can't be alone on this one.

There's just something about a fresh clean look to a classroom that makes me feel like everything is right in the world. And if you're like me, choosing a new theme each year is one of the best parts of the back to school season (besides the smell of a brand new book, but that just goes without saying). 
I love switching things up each year and really letting my creativity flow! 

But, I won't lie.
Classroom setup and design overhauls can really bust a teacher's budget fast, if you're not careful.
It's not cheap making your room look welcoming, organized and inviting.
And many teachers find themselves keeping the same theme year after year after year in order to save money.

You deserve to love your classroom and feel organized and inspired by your space.

Here's a few simple tips I've learned over the years to help stretch your dollar and still make your classroom look like a million bucks! 

A can of spray paint can magic happen! Don't throw out last year's milk crates, table top baskets or book bins just because the color no longer fits your new classroom theme! Rust-oleum makes spray paint for plastic and a choir of angels have been singin' ever since! It goes over just about everything and can give your old pieces a new lease on life in just minutes!
It's remarkably durable too!
You can also add a coat of ModPodge over it to seal it and make it scratch resistant.
 Give it a shot- you won't be disappointed. 

My stapler is getting a makeover next!

 Editable decor packs, like my Chalkboard & Burlap set, can save you cash year after year! Want to change things up without having to purchase all new goodies? Use editable packs that you can add your own clipart to and you've got a new theme just clicks away without having to start over completely! My chalkboard and burlap set really gives you endless possibilities!
Here's a quick PowerPoint tutorial to show you just how easy it really is!

Snag my chalkboard & burlap set HERE and start saving time & money each year!

Dollar Tree and Target Dollar Spot are my go-to locations for classroom decor and organization on a dime. They are my happy place. 
Your local craft stores like Hobby Lobby, JoAnn Fabrics and Michael's honor great coupons and most provide teacher discounts too (just ask!). Don't be afraid to think out of the box when it comes to giving your room a makeover! Can't afford fade-less bulletin board paper? A few yards of cotton fabric from the craft store will give you the same look for a fraction of the price!  

If you've had the same theme in your classroom for years- now you can afford a change!
Take a quick coat of paint to almost anything and create a cohesive look around your room!
Snag an easy to use editable decor pack that allows you to get makeover longevity with just a few clicks.
And search your favorite stores for awesome deals but don't forget to bring your coupons and ID badge with you.

You CAN have a fresh start each year without breaking the bank!


Want more classroom decorating tips and ideas?
Visit my classroom decor tips board on Pinterest!

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