As any teacher will know, kids and clutter seem to go together. With a typically chaotic classroom containing thirty children, their individual bits and pieces plus all your paperwork and teaching equipment, maintaining it in a neat and orderly fashion can seem an impossible dream. But keeping your teaching space clutter-free has many benefits – and it can be easier than you think. Read on for our tips and tricks that’ll help declutter your classroom.
Why clean up the clutter?
If you’ve heard the saying, “A tidy house is a tidy mind,” you’ll understand why cleaning up your
learning environment could make a real difference. Like everyone, children can be easily distracted by their environment, so keeping this streamlined will improve concentration and help your class to focus. For some children with sensory issues or learning difficulties, this can be particularly important; anything you can do to reduce unnecessary and distracting stimuli will be welcomed.
And of course, a properly organised room will save you time and effort, as well as improving your mental wellbeing – you’ll always know exactly where everything is, you’ll feel happier in your environment and tidy up time will be a breeze.
HOW TO DECLUTTER
On to the practical advice: it’s time to chuck out your clutter, clean up your surfaces and sort your storage. Here’s how to streamline those surfaces and rationalise the room:
- Spring clean. First, freshen things up. Take a good look around your teaching space. Are there items without homes taking up space on your surfaces? Things that shouldn’t really be there, but don’t have an obvious place to go? Old, forgotten projects still on display? Be ruthless: anything that hasn’t been used this year can be binned or redeployed.
- Display or declutter? Sometimes too many objects on display can give the room a crowded feel. Books standing up on surfaces can be tidied away into a library area (or the actual library) rather than being on show. Your walls are great for displaying work, but do it neatly. Have a dedicated display area and replace any faded or torn items with fresh new work.
- A place for everything, and everything in its place. Yes, it’s pretty obvious, but adequate storage is really important. Take an inventory of everything you use and invest in proper storage solutions that will house everything neatly and securely.
- Make the best of your space. Are you using your classroom efficiently? Maximise space by choosi
ng chairs and tables that can be configured into different layouts. Double up where you can, by incorporating storage solutions into every nook and cranny.
- Make your storage stand out. Go beyond the functional by featuring storage aids that look great and do the job brilliantly. If you’re looking to transform a school space, teaching walls provide a striking focal point and are perfect for decluttering classrooms. What’s more, using a teaching wall you’ll always be able to lay your hands on all your teaching aids – and they’ll be safely secured away from curious hands.
KEEPING IT CLEAN
It’s all very well starting with good intentions, but it’s easy to let things slide after a big spring clean. The good news is, with the right storage in place, keeping the classroom clutter-free will take minimal effort. You should find that tidying things away becomes second nature, because everything has a place to go. So you can use the time you save to get on with your marking!