As I mentioned in Part 1 of my RV Lessons for the Classroom post, space is always a major concern in both the classroom and RV (or ANY home, for that matter). Very few teachers I know are blessed with ample space for their supplies and students, so being particular with the space you have is very important.
Evaluate Your Space
My first classroom was tiny, and now I’m living in a tiny space. So as you can imagine I’ve had my fair share of working with a limited amount of room. The first thing I always do is evaluate the space I have before I start bringing in everything I think I “need”. If I reverse this order, I end up with a bunch of stuff crammed into nooks and crannies that I’ll never get to use because I won’t even be able to see that they’re there!
As you know if you follow me on Instagram, I’m a planner and a list-maker. I love writing things down because it helps me better visualize what I’m dealing with. So when I get into a new space, I take some time to write down all of the spaces I have. (Shelves, cabinets, wall space, furniture, etc.) Doing this allows me to prioritize the things I allow to take up this precious space.
Evaluate Your Needs
Once I’ve listed the spaces I have to fill, I start thinking about the materials that MUST fill it. For our RV, these things included clothes/shoes, toys, school supplies, kitchen supplies, work materials, etc. For my classroom, these things included my library, stations, textbooks, manipulatives, charts/reminders, work spaces, etc. Each of the things I NEEDED got assigned a spot and it was pretty easy to see what I would/wouldn’t be able to bring to my classroom. This helped me only bring in the things that I needed, as well as decide if I needed to purchase or request any additional furniture for storage.
Of course, my classroom wasn’t perfect and neither is our RV. But using these strategies to plan out my space has greatly helped me use what I have more efficiently and effectively. No matter what amount of room you’re working with, there’s always room to free up!