Tidying up your Classroom the KonMari Way

5 Tips for Tidying Up Your Classroom the KonMari Way

You’ve probably heard of the recent decluttering trend, “KonMari,” or tried it yourself. While many are cleaning up their homes, teachers are also transforming their classrooms. Whether you follow the KonMari Method or do your own thing, tidying up in the classroom benefits teachers and students. Our favorite aspect of the KonMari Method is to thank and release the items we no longer need in gratitude of their service. We pulled together some of our favorite tips to get you started. For more inspiration, check out our Pinterest Board.

What is the KonMari Method?

The KonMari method is based on the massively popular book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Japanese author Marie Kondo (you can also watch her show on Netflix). 

The KonMari method begins by sorting all of your items by category (that means taking them completely off shelves and out of drawers). Focus your attention by picking up each item individually. While holding the item, decide if it sparks joy for you. Keep the items that bring you joy and thank the items you plan to discard. Keep going through each category of items until you are done. Finally, organize the remaining items so you can find them easily.

Whether the KonMari method is right for you or not, below are some decluttering tips from teachers who made big changes in their classrooms.

Tip 1 – Learn to Let Go

This can be the hardest part, but now is the time to identify the items you’ve been holding onto but never get around to using. To get you started, the Clutter-Free Classroom has a great guideline sheet. Also, here is a list of 10 things you can throw out in your classroom right now. Don’t forget to thank each item before you let it go.

Everything that has helped us teach our students and make us better educators definitely deserves our gratitude.Read more on Teach without Tears

Tip 2 – Find Your Joy

When looking for the items that are going to enhance your day, many teachers mention creating a space in their classrooms with sentimental items. This could be an area of your classroom that showcases your obsession with Harry Potter, or just a few photos on your desk that remind you of loved ones. Whatever you choose, try to keep those items close to you and not tucked in a drawer.

"You should get rid of things that are hindering your best self so that you can highlight and appreciate the things that bring you joy."Read more on Building Book Love

Tip 3 – Organize

After you spend some time getting rid of the items that do not bring you joy, create a “home” for the rest. We have plenty of organization tips on the AdoptAClassroom.org Pinterest channel to get you started.

“When everything is in its place, it feels better—and I think it works for the kids, too.”Read more on NEA Today

Tip 4 – Reinforce Tidying with Your Students

You can’t always do it alone. If you are willing and able, build in tidying with your students. It’s a lifelong skill that will also help them learn to be mindful in their daily lives.

"But most of what makes a lesson successful is the planning behind it… Not the stuff. You and your students made the lesson engaging, memorable, and meaningful."Read more on Shared Teaching

Tip 5 – Stay Mindful

Finally, the best way to ensure your classroom stays tidy is to limit the new items you bring in whenever you can.

“The most important aspect is not accumulating more things. I know many teachers who’ve spent hours organizing their classrooms and two months later their rooms look exactly like they did before."Read more on the Truth for Teachers Podcast Site

For more inspiration, check out our Pinterest board on this topic.

Finally, if you need more funding to help your classroom get and stay organized, register your classroom and create a classroom page. We have funding opportunities for teachers all year long.

Happy tidying!