Inside The Organized Teacher Framework™ course, I teach that cabinets are the heartbeat of the classroom. When our cabinets are organized, our classrooms are more likely to be organized. So if you are wanting to get organized, start here. Use these classroom cabinet organization tips to help you get them organized and keep them organized.
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Every time I walk into a teacher’s classroom or a teacher sends me pictures of their classroom, they always qualify it with “you’ve probably never seen something this bad.”
And it’s almost always not the case.
A lot of times their classrooms aren’t that bad. But then…they open up their cabinets. 😅
Listen, I get it! Teachers are busy and we have things going a hundred miles an hour every single day. Sometimes the easiest thing is to just shove that thing in a cabinet and be done with it.
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!
Why Organized Classroom Cabinets?
An effective classroom NEEDS to be organized!
A disorganized classroom CAN communicate a lack of preparation and also contributes to the struggle students have to stay focused.
An organized classroom CAN communicate diligence, preparedness, and passion.
Get the steps to makeover your classroom in this free guide so you can then makeover your teaching!
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.
This kind of seems backward, 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…check out the video below. 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 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!)
My Amazon shop has a ton of bins, baskets, and organizers I recommend to use in your classroom cabinet organization endeavors.
3. Group items by like things
Remember how I talked in step 1 about grouping by like things?
Do that for your cabinets, too. When I chatted with Linda Kardamis for her podcast, Teach 4 the Heart, I shared about this process of organizing cabinets by like things.
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.
Use this tip for your classroom cabinets, but also your filing cabinets.
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 items on top of cabinets or out in the open, I would suggest investing in matching bins if you can.
They don’t have to match exactly but try to have them all the same color-palette or same size.
Matching bins makes everything seem so much more cohesive!
Organize your classroom (and your cabinets) so you can focus on what really matters at work- teaching your kids the best lessons you can! By taking away the clutter and stress of a disorganized classroom, you can prioritize creating and delivering the best teaching possible.
Be sure to follow these five steps when getting your cabinets organized so they can stay organized.
- Empty your cabinets and go through things
- Get lots of baskets and bins
- Group items by like things
- Put things away immediately
- Find creative spaces and ways to store things
I shared a few links with you in the post above. Here is a quick recap of all of them:
- A Resource List of Classroom Organization Ideas
- Purchase the Classroom Organization Guidebook
- Complete your own Classroom Makeover with this guide
- Steps to Setting Up a Classroom as a First-Year Teacher
- Recommended Organization resources from Amazon
- All of the Classroom Cabinet Organization tips can be found here!
Get the Classroom Organization Guidebook which helps you organize 20+ areas in your classroom.
You get over 40 pages of support, pictures of real classrooms, action steps, lists, and recommended organizational products.
Until next time,