Maintain a Clean Classroom (with Student Help!)

It can feel challenging to maintain a clean classroom. But, a tidy environment is essential for both the teacher and the students. It’s important to have a space that is conducive to learning, and it’s also important to be respectful of the people who will be spending time there. Fortunately, keeping your classroom clean doesn’t have to be difficult – with help from your students, it can be a breeze! Here are a few tips on how to get started. . .

Play music while you clean

My favorite tunes to play are by a band called Khruangbin. Their music is super chill and without many lyrics so it’s perfectly school appropriate. 

TRY THIS: One of my favorites is called “A Calf Born in Winter”. I know it sounds weird but trust me!

Be Specific

This one small tweak to how I phase cleaning up makes ALL the difference. Something about quantifying how much to pick up motivates kids to meet and exceed the goal! It’s an easy, effortless way to get everyone involved.

This small change makes all the difference!

Tape Monsters

My favorite clean-up trick is Tape Monsters. Tape monsters are RARE creatures that get hungry especially on Fridays after a messy craft. They feed on scraps and other random floor junk. The kids EAT it up. “Fill them up! They only get to eat once a week!” I say. Oh and I also assign random points. That one ate a lot, it is worth 20 points. That one looks like a 40-pointer. The points mean absolutely nothing and everything at the same time.


One way to do this is to create a cleaning checklist. Each student can be responsible for completing one or two tasks on the list every day. For example, students might be responsible for sweeping the floor, wiping down desks, or taking out the trash. By dividing up the work, it won’t be too much for any one student, and the whole class can pitch in to keep things clean.

Not only will this system help to keep the classroom clean, but it will also teach students about responsibility and cooperation. So why not give it a try? A little bit of effort can go a long way toward making the classroom a more effective learning environment for everyone.

Visual Expectations

Take photos of what certain areas of your classroom should look like and post them to that spot. One problem area in my classroom was always the indoor recess activities cabinet. I realized that students needed guidance on how to properly return the activities to the cabinet. So, I took a photo and posted it on the inside of the cabinet door. This was a great visual reminder of how to put away the activities when recess was over.

We all know that in order to maintain a clean classroom, it takes effort! But, it is so important for learning and for our sanity. Luckily, we have our students’ help! I hope these tips for maintaining a tidy classroom are helpful! Looking for more classroom management tips? Click here to read more blog posts like this one!

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