I am a firm believer that an organized classroom is key to teaching effectively and creating a space for engaging learning. But being organized starts from the inside out…And when I say inside…I mean inside your classroom cabinets! It’s important to start a room with a classroom cabinet organization routine because your cabinets are the backbone of your classroom. If those aren’t organized, you are going to have a hard time maintaining classroom organization.
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Before we jump into this weeks post…I want to make sure you know about the series I am featuring this month. Operation Organization is a month long Classroom Organization Coaching series. Each week I am hosting a teacher on facebook live and helping her organize an area in her classroom. It’s too late to apply to be featured (on this month’s series!) but if you want to watch along, join my facebook group as that is where I will be hosting all of the coaching sessions!
Why Organized Classroom Cabinets?
An effective classroom NEEDS to be organized! A disorganized classroom CAN communicate lack of preparation, difficulty staying focused, and lack of pride. While an organized classroom CAN communicate diligence, preparedness, and passion.
Now, I am not naive enough to realize that they aren’t GREAT teachers out there who are messy and disorganized. But as a general rule, I think it is important that we create organized classrooms to communicate preparedness to our administrators, parents, and most importantly our students.
My advice when working with new teachers who are setting up a classroom is to start with your classroom cabinets. Which kind of seems backwards, but cleaning up your cabinets allows everything to have a home so when you work on organizing your classroom, you have a place for everything to go.
5 Ways to Achieve Classroom Cabinet Organization
Let’s talk about 5 things you can do to organize your classroom cabinets. (OR, if you’d rather watch/listen…then head to that link right there ^^^ to watch my video. And be prepared, my head is cut out for part of the video…. #newvlogger)
1. Empty out cabinets- You can do this in one of two ways.
My recommendation would be to spend a day taking EVERYTHING out of your cabinets and grouping all your
junk stuff by like items. Have you read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up??? That’s basically her method.
The other option would be to go cabinet by cabinet emptying out.
OH! And guys….you have to throw stuff away, OKAY?!? Haven’t used it in a year? Toss it! It’ll be okay..promise!
2. Baskets, baskets, and MORE baskets (and labels)
Friends…you need bins, baskets, tubs, cardboard boxes. ANYTHING that is a box and can hold stuff. This way you have a home for everything. Then just slap a label on it! Now you can easily find what you are looking for. (And because these are in your cabinets, they can be cheap! Ask teachers on campus to give you their old amazon boxes, slap a sticky note label on there and call it a day! It does NOT have to be cute!)
3. Group items by like things
Remember how I talked in step 1 about grouping by like things? Do that for your cabinets, too. You can watch this two minute video about how I group my cabinets.
4. From now on, put things away immediately!
Now that everything has a home, you HAVE to hold yourself accountable to putting things away immediately. This is the easy part because you have boxes and labels and you just have to drop it in.
5. No cabinets? Find spaces!
We are teachers, which means we are super creative. So get creative with storing things. If you don’t have a lot of cabinets and have to store on top of cabinets or out in the open, I would suggest getting lots of pretty bins (cute ones at the dollar store, target, walmart, hobby lobby (hello 40% off coupon!) and put stuff in there and then out on display. A pretty bin makes everything seem so much more cohesive!
I have written a couple other blog posts on classroom cabinet organization. It was a two part post on how I organize my “student cabinets” and my “teacher cabinets.” Also make sure you check out my video on ways to organize your cabinets and my classroom cabinet tour.
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Until next time,