Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Hide Classroom Clutter

Good evening teacher friends! 

Would you agree that teachers are notorious for stashing away piles and piles of resources, activities, manipulatives, games, worksheets and more? Particularly in special education our daily work such as work tasks and activities are very bulky and are not "space saver" friendly.  

According to a study done through Princeton University, it states, 
"The clutter competes for your attention in the same way a toddler might stand next to you annoyingly repeating, “candy, candy, candy, candy, I want candy, candy, candy, candy, candy, candy, candy, candy, candy, candy …”  

So how do you store all of the essentials of your classroom without it becoming overwhelming and distracting for you and your students? I try to remember, "Out of site, out of mind." If my kids can't see it, more than likely they won't be focused on it unless I'm constantly drawing attention to the items that are being hidden. Here are a few tips on how I hide my very useful and essential 'clutter:'

  • Place in filing cabinets.  These are perfect for storing equipment, resources and materials and can double as physical structure in your classroom. 
  • Separate room or closet. If you have the resources-place items in a separate room or closet.
  • Cabinets. If you're blessed with cabinets, use them up!!
  • Curtains. Hide with curtains (my current solution). I have a large book shelf that is covered with curtains to minimized distraction due to the 'clutter' of work tasks and manipulatives.  (bottom image on left)
  • Get creative. My wire shelf that my computer is on also houses storage bins, technology for my kids, some paper files and the balls. I hide all of this with a clearance shower curtain I bought...would you have guessed that was a shower curtain? (bottom image on right)

How do you reduce clutter and distracting storage space from your students? Tell me in a comment below!