In Janet Lee-Ortiz's 13 years of teaching, she had never found an organization system that worked for her. But when she was preparing to move into a brand new classroom after seven years of teaching at the UCLA Community School (http://cs.gseis.ucla.edu/), she decided she was ready for a change. Janet teaches math and science at this trailblazing school, which promotes itself as breaking new ground in the ways of education.

"An innovative partnership between UCLA and LAUSD, our neighborhood public school is challenging the way we think about teaching and learning and disrupting the legacy of underachievement within the communities of Pico Union and Koreatown." - Karen Hunter Quartz, Director of Research, UCLA Community School, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies

With two classrooms made up of 35 students each, Janet's hope for her new space as she kicked off the school year was an environment where every space was utilized well with the utmost intent, purpose and efficiency. With the help of Jeremy Valadez and Maggie Trifilio from our Farmers Market store in LA, Janet's classroom is now functioning beautifully with her students' stamp of approval!

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Featured Products: Small Edison Bin // Bigso Red Stockholm Magazine File

"Every minute and second is precious when teaching," says Janet. As she started organizing her new classroom, she set a goal to keep everything clean and put in its correct place before leaving for the day. Before, there was no system in place and now, as Janet puts it, "every corner and side of the room is purposely used."

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Featured Products: Bigso Red Stockholm Magazine File // Index Bookends

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Featured Products: Bigso Red Stockholm Magazine File // Index Bookends // Like-it Bricks Wide Bins // Small Edison Bin // Urbio Shorty Magnetic Container

Jeremy and Maggie helped Janet sort, categorize and organize the bevy of books, study guides and other resource materials that are stored away in a closed cabinet. As we always say, one of the most important steps in organizing a space is to survey what needs to stay and what can go. Then you can store like-things together with a system that is intuitive for you.

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Featured Products: Bigso Red Stockholm Stacking Letter Tray // Bigso Red Stockholm Paper Drawers // Bigso Red Stockholm Letter Sorter (no longer available) // Bigso Red Stockholm Divided Pencil Cup // Dot Magnet Board

Janet loves her new desk area! She now has several of our Magnetic Boards, which not only hold all of her notes, but also the dates of all her students' birthdays!

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Featured Products: Linus Small Open Stacking Bin // Bigso Red Stockholm Letter Sorter (no longer available) // Bigso Red Stockholm Divided Pencil Cup // Tab Sorter (no longer available) // Acrylic Desktop File // Red Letter-Size Hanging File Folders

Janet's desk area is organized and efficient with her files accessible for the first time. She says that our Tab Sorter is "life-changing, and was a must-have in the new space." She uses it to organize the many clipboards she has for her various lessons.

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Featured Product: Platinum elfa Drawer Frame

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Featured Products: Our Shoe Box // Our Sweater Box // Command Large Utility Hook // Platinum elfa Drawer Frame // elfa Translucent Medium Solid Drawers

A closed supply closet had a lot of wasted space before. The area is now better utilized using an elfa drawer unit and a combination of hooks, clear bins and paper sorters. Janet says the elfa unit is now one of her most frequently used items. She says she puts her bag in the top drawer and she loves the translucent drawers because they corral her belongings while still being visible.

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Featured Products: Medium Colorwave Smart Store Tote // Tall Smart Store Inserts // Smart Store Adhesive Labels // Like-it Bricks 11" Wide Bin // Like-it Bricks Label Holder // Bigso Red Stockholm Stacking Letter Tray // Small Orange Edison Bin // Bigso Red Stockholm Paper Drawers // Bigso Red Stockholm Magazine File

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Featured Products: Bigso Red Stockholm Magazine File // Bigso Red Stockholm Paper Drawers // Custom Platinum elfa freestanding Solution with Driftwood Shelves

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Featured Products: Bigso Red Stockholm Stacking Letter Tray // Bigso Red Stockholm Magazine File // Bigso Red Stockholm Paper Drawers // Small Orange Edison Bin // X-Small Orange Edison Bin // Like-it Bricks 13-3/4" Wide Bins // Medium Colorwave Smart Store Tote // Tall Smart Store Inserts // Smart Store Adhesive Labels // Like-it Bricks 11" Wide Bin // Like-it Bricks Label Holder // Our Large Stack Basket

An elfa freestanding unit takes the place of a basic bookshelf and maximizes vertical space to hold supplies in our Smart Store System. Janet says supplies are labeled for the very first time, and now students can easily see where scissors, colored pencils and paper are stored, and get to them quickly. The pops of bright color make the classroom inviting and fun for her students.

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Featured Products: Medium Colorwave Smart Store Tote // Tall Smart Store Inserts // Smart Store Adhesive Labels // Like-it Bricks 11" Wide Bin

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Featured Products: Bigso Red Stockholm Stacking Letter Tray // Bigso Red Stockholm Magazine File // Bigso Red Stockholm Paper Drawers // X-Small Orange Edison Bin //

Labeled magazine files organize student team binders for science. Janet says it saves time and the students are able to find their specific binder much easier.

"In previous years, students would have to dig through piles to find their binder," says Janet.

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Featured Products: Navy Poppin Box Seat // X-Small Orange Edison Bin // Small Orange Edison Bin // Medium Colorwave Smart Store Tote // Tall Smart Store Inserts // Smart Store Adhesive Labels // Bigso Red Stockholm Stacking Letter Tray // Large Franklin Desk Riser

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Featured Products: Translucent Like-it Bricks // X-Small Orange Edison Bin

Visibility, flexibility and accessibility are abundant in Janet's new space. She says the students saw the "before," as the makeover happened the first weekend after school started. She says they were very impressed with the "after" - so impressed that they immediately wanted to look through the books because they were so visible!

Immediately wanted to start reading when they walked in? Sounds like the makeover made the grade! Here's to a fabulous school year for Janet and her UCLA Community School 6th graders!

(Special thanks to school principal Leyda Garcia for her part in making this fun makeover happen!)

Photos taken by Beth Coller