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5 Tips to Declutter Your Classroom At the End of the Year

Are you tired of wading through the chaos in your classroom every day? Do you want to snap your fingers and magically declutter your space? If this is you, you’re not alone! The year always catches up with us and we end up with a pile here and a pile there. However, it’s important to declutter before the end of the school year so you can start to enjoy your summer sooner! How do you do that? By following these five tips to declutter your classroom. 

Tips to Declutter Your Classroom 

There always seems like there is so much to do when you start to declutter your classroom, but all you really need to is organize the following: 

  • Your desk and filing cabinets
  • The classroom library 
  • Student desks and cubbies
  • Bulletin boards and displays 
  • Supply closets and cabinets 
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Decluttering Your Desk and Filing Cabinets 

If you’re anything like me, my desk starts to look like a catch-all table. There are always papers, crayons, markers, pens, and who knows what else scattered all over it. My filing cabinets, due to time, get a bit disorganized by the end of the year as well even though I start the year with the best of intentions; it always ends up looking like a hot mess! So, how do you combat this desk clutter? 

KonMari your stuff 

Take a cue from Marie Kondo and sort through your papers and supplies and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” Anything that doesn’t should be recycled or donated right away. This makes sure you don’t change your mind. 

Create a Pinterest-Worthy Filing System 

Another tip to declutter your classroom is to set up a filing system that is aesthetically pleasing and easy to use. This is no different than making a Pinterest classroom.  Add labels to your files with cute fonts and color-code them like a rainbow to make it easier to keep clean. 

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Click the Image for Awesome Labels!

Declutter Your Classroom with Daily Tidying 

Before you leave for the day, make sure you take a few minutes to clean up your desk and put things away. This will prevent clutter from building up and causing a complete disaster. 

Decluttering Your Classroom Library 

So many little hands go into your classroom library. So, while it can be a super sweet spot, it can turn into the Danger Zone from Top Gun in a second. How do you keep it organized? 

Sort Like a Boss 

The biggest tip to decluttering your classroom library is to sort like you are the best sorter of all! You can sort books by genre, author, or reading levels. Then, label each section with trendy hashtags so your students can find what they need easily. Plus, if they know how to find it, they should know how to put it back. 

Out with the Old and Old School 

It’s hard to get rid of any books at all; however, some books are beyond repair. If books cannot be fixed or are way outdated, consider donating them to a local library or charity. This ensures the books are still being put to good use, but they aren’t cluttering up your library space. 

Make It Insta-Worthy 

Have you ever seen something so beautiful that you just have to take a picture? This tip to declutter your classroom library is all about making that picture perfect library. Use cute labels and graphics so students know where everything goes. Plus, it looks good when you walk in the room. You can keep your library organized and help you keep track of who has borrowed what books. 

Decluttering Student Desks and Cubbies 

Students' desks and cubbies can get pretty chaotic in a hurry. Not all students are great at putting things back where they belong especially if it’s not the expectation. However, you can encourage them to keep them clean and organized with these tips! 

Organize Like a Kardashian 

You want to provide designated spots for all of your students’ materials and provide labels for them. Depending on what grade you teach, you might want to include visuals on your labels as well. This will help keep things where they belong. 

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Make Cleaning Up Cool 

When cleaning up is part of your classroom culture, it’s easy to make it “Squad Goals” to have organized work spaces. Normalize decluttering your classroom with organized student spaces by celebrating students who keep their spaces clean. You can also encourage them to help their classmates do the same. 

Provide Feedback like a YouTube Star

Students always thrive on positive feedback. If you make it known you are monitoring student desks and cubbies by giving them feedback, they are more likely to keep everything organized. You can do so by using emojis and GIFs on the students’ desks to make your feedback more engaging and fun. 

Declutter Bulletin Boards and Displays 

Keeping up with bulletin boards and displays can be tricky. They can get as cluttered as a thrift store during a Black Friday sale! While you might have some staple designs like these bulletin board pieces, some displays and bulletin boards have to change! You can keep these organized with these tips for decluttering your classroom. 

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Click Here for Fun Bulletin Board Displays!

Switch It Up!

Keep your displays on a rotation. This helps keep them fresh and doesn’t let anything look too cluttered. Your students can help with these switches to make putting them up faster. 

Keep It Relevant like a TikTok Trend 

There’s always something new happening on social media. A new dance, new recipe, or a new challenge. Keep your bulletin boards and displays new and relevant to what is happening in your classroom. This is not only great for decluttering, it is a great visual reminder of what your students should be focusing on. 

Make It Look Fly!

Using high-quality materials like colored cardstock and laminating sheets to create your display can be a big time game changer! When you use better materials, the display doesn’t get damaged as easily and can be used again especially if they are laminated. Plus, the higher-quality materials will make them look more professional and feel on fleek! 

Decluttering Your Classroom Supply Closets and Cabinets 

The supply closet and cabinet areas can turn into a hot mess quickly especially at the end of the year. You can get them and keep them organized with these tips to declutter your classroom.  

“Does It Spark Joy?”

Just like with your desk, ask yourself if the things in the closet spark joy or if they are ready for the trash. This is also true for anything that is outdated or no longer usable. Use these tips to declutter your classroom closet and get rid of the old! This includes the glue that only has a little bit left inside of it. Getting rid of unneeded or unusable supplies is a great way to declutter your classroom 

Label Everything

When everything has a label, everything has a place. Once you have everything in place, make sure you label each shelf or drawer clearly. You can do this with trendy fonts and designs so that you know where everything belongs and so do your students! This will help you and your students find everything that you need right away. 

Keeping Inventory is the Perfect Tip to Declutter Your Classroom 

Decluttering your classroom also means not buying too much! You can keep track of your supplies by keeping an inventory of your supplies using a spreadsheet or an app. This will help you avoid running out of materials unexpectedly, but also prevent you from over buying them as well. 

Decluttering your classroom may seem like a daunting task, but it’s well worth the effort when everything is nice and clean. By taking on these messy areas, you’ll create a clean and organized learning environment that will help you and your students stay organized. These tips for decluttering your classroom will help you keep this space workable every day! This means, just like a viral TikTok dance, your classroom will be the talk of the school!

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29 Responses

  1. Kathy Rheams says:

    I really need some advice on how to manage clutter and storing supplies! I have ideas, they just never come together!

  2. Sandy Fleming says:

    I love all of these ideas! I especially love the Marie Kondo idea of decluttering. I have to try doing that this year. Thank you for all of these great ideas!

  3. Jennifer Lesniowski says:

    This is exactly what I needed to see today! The end of the year is fast approaching and I need to find what “sparks joy” in my cabinets and get rid of everything else!

  4. Lauren Weller says:

    Excited to give these tips a try!

  5. Lori Keller says:

    Love, love. love this! I have everything labeled for my kids! It makes it so much easier to make them independent in finding what they need. I teach 5th & 6th-grade science/STEM and my science supply cabinets have everything labeled so they can open the door and easily find what they need! 🙂

  6. Anita Dally says:

    Great tips! I would love to hear any more thoughts you have on library organization!

  7. Deb DiDaniele says:

    Thanks! Great ideas!!!

  8. Virginia Lee says:

    Love this advice. I am a pretty organized person, but by the middle of the year there is always clutter.

  9. Kayla McWorthy says:

    I so needed this! I struggle with not wanting to waste extra copies so I keep every extra copy “to use next year”. I also don’t want to get rid of something that I may use in the future. This sparked an idea in our digital age…scan these onto my school Google Drive! Thanks for the motivation 🙂

  10. Sara mudd says:

    Great ideas!!! Now I just need the time to declutter.

  11. Cherie Kale says:

    Love these amazing ideas. They will be helpful as I am getting ready to close down the classroom and organize for next year at the same time.

  12. Leah Patterson says:

    Great Ideas!

  13. Jennifer Fagan says:

    I love “Does this spark joy?”. If it doesn’t fit me, it most definitely won’t for my kiddos!

  14. Heather Berryhill says:

    I love all your ideas! I really want to know how everyone organizes all the little things you get handed at meetings, in your box, etc. I feel so overwhelmed and then I live in functioning piles.

  15. Lisa Robison says:

    I will definitely be trying some of these ideas this year!

  16. I’m in year 30, and I am still trying my best to stay organized!

  17. Jennifer Major says:

    I dread cleaning out my room every year. I hate opening up my cabinet in April to get anything out because it is a just a huge mess of tossed in supplies. I try to keep it neat and organized but somehow it turns into a catch all over the months. There is never enough time to deal with a time sucker like the cabinet. I love the question “Does this spark joy?” I would bet my cabinet is almost completely emptied out this May! Thanks for all the tips as the end of school approaches quickly.

  18. Rene Appelhans says:

    Love all of your ideas. I will have to share with several teacher friends.

  19. I learned a long time ago to tidy up my desk/teacher table at the end of the day. If my area is cluttered when I start my day, it can overwhelm me.

  20. Jessica Bruder says:

    I really need to organize soon! I love this post!

  21. Jenn Rispoli says:

    Thank you for these awesome ideas!

  22. Gabriella says:

    With the end of the year quickly approaching, this was great advice to read. It’s definitely important to give students some responsibility in cleaning the classroom! I have been trying to get more organized this year and definitely plan to spend some time making myself a ‘Pinterest worthy’ filing system to make my life easier. I love the idea to start keeping inventory of materials and supplies too.

  23. Stephanie Mapus says:

    Thanks for all the great advice. My file cabinets definitely decluttered, getting rid of “old” stuff that I haven’t used is a must. I need that motivation!!

  24. Amber Norris says:

    Hey Farrah! These are great tips! Definitely going to put them to use!

  25. Jill Hembroff says:

    Great tips to declutter, now to get started on that task.

  26. I need to focus on decluttering my library as the year is coming to a close.

  27. Ugh! I have definitely let the hustle and bustle get in the way of a tidy room. Now I am up to my eyeballs in clutter. I love the idea of creating beautiful filing systems!

  28. Thank you for the great tips. Being a first year teacher it seems like I can never get my classroom organized and functional at the same time.

  29. Patricia Lincoln says:

    Great tips!! Library looks good now with bold bright labels and my firsties are pros getting and putting away books.

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