The title might be a bit harsh, but the stats don’t lie. Lots of teachers are struggling when it comes to classroom organization. Luckily for you, you stumbled upon this post where I am not only going to tell you some ways you might be missing the mark when it comes to organization, but also give you some ideas to improve your classroom organization and keep your classroom organized!
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I want you to hear me LOUD AND CLEAR! Having an organized classroom DOES NOT mean you have a perfect classroom.
Or that your classroom looks like something that could be pictured on Pinterest. I want to be very, very, VERY clear about that!
Classroom Organization is an important part of creating the safe space that is your classroom.
I think (totally my opinion here) teachers struggle with classroom organization because there is SO much to do and organization falls to the back burner.
But it really can be an easy fix.
With just a simple switch of a few procedures, you can implement some organization routines into your day that can help improve your classroom organization.
5 Ways to Improve Classroom Organization
Now that we got the pep talk out of the way, let’s dive into some things you might be doing wrong in your classroom and how you can fix them.
Don’t forget the Classroom Organization Routines Download can help you work through getting your routines in place.
Problem #1: You Don’t Have Organization Routines in Place
Like I just mentioned above, routines for organization can be a simple way to improve the organization in your classroom.
For example, make sure that you have a:
- lesson planning workflow that makes sense and works for you
- routine for storing your lesson plan materials
- paper routine for student papers (turning in, grading, etc…get a free guide here)
How to Fix It: Write out Routines
Write out every step of your day (the things you do and your students do every single day).
Then, next to it, write out the routine or procedure you want to follow.
Once you write out your ideal routines, take time over the next couple of weeks to teach the different procedures to your students.
Problem #2: Things Do Not Have Homes
Everything in your classroom needs a “home.”
I joke that this is my “number one rule” to getting organized.
A home is simply a place for everything to go. (A home is not piled on top of your desk).
Homes could be your classroom cabinets, a box, a drawer, a box inside a drawer. (Here are some of my favorite classroom organization bins, boxes, and resources.)
When everything has a home, you know exactly where everything goes!
This frees up a ton of headspace because you don’t have to think about where to put something (or where you put something) because you know exactly where the home is!
How to Fix It: Give Things Homes!
Grab some buckets, bins, baskets, Amazon Prime boxes and start sorting like things.
Label them and give all your things a home!
Watch this quick video on how I organize my classroom cabinets for some ideas/tips!
In the Classroom Organization Master Class, we will talk all about how to set up your cabinets for success!
Problem #3: A Negative Mindset Towards Organization
I think as teachers we sometimes put organization on the back burner because our priority is our students (and understandably so!).
But when we don’t make organization a priority, that will be reflected in our management and procedures.
I would argue that having an organized classroom is one of the top three most important things about teaching.
But, that’s because for me I need an organized space in order to think clearly. Maybe that isn’t a priority for you.
But it is true that disorganization, clutter, and mess can lead to stress for you (and your students).
How to Fix It: Shift Your Thoughts
Changing your mindset about organizing may not be a quick, overnight change but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
Decide that it is important! Try to think about how you feel when you walk into clean and organized classrooms (or homes, offices, cars, stores, etc.).
We want to give our students (and their parents!), admin, coaches, and visitors to our classroom the feeling of a safe, calm space.
*Again! Please hear me!!! This DOES NOT mean perfect!
This means routines and structures in place so that your room is not constantly cluttered with papers, materials, books on top of every flat surface in your classroom!
Problem #4: You Are Doing it All On Your Own
You have students in your class!!! HELLO! Free labor! Hah, kidding…kind of!
But for real, the kids spend a lot of time in your classroom too. It isn’t your responsibility to always be the one picking up, cleaning, or putting things away.
Kids crave structure, routines, and responsibility. Those really difficult kids? Believe it or not, they WANT to help you!
How to Fix It: Give Your Students Some Jobs
Find ways to incorporate your students so they are doing some of the work for you!
You can start by implementing some classroom jobs like the ones here. This gives your students some responsibility and ownership in their classroom.
Daily Student Routines are also helpful in creating structure for both you and your students. More structure means more routines, accountability, and ORGANIZATION!
Problem #5: It is Not a Priority
This kind of goes back to number three- the mindset thing.
If we don’t believe in the power of an organized classroom, then we don’t make it a priority. If we don’t make it a priority, it will never get done.
Want to improve your classroom organization? Then it needs to be a priority. Unless organization comes naturally to you, you need to find time to prioritize it.
How to Fix It: Create Organization Routines
Start small. Pick one day a week to be your “organization day” and give yourself anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour to work on one different area of your classroom.
I talk about my strategy for making organization a priority in the podcast, so be sure to listen to hear my recommendation.
If you are ready to join the other teachers who are making organization a priority, then join me in this master class where you will learn the 6 things needed to get your classroom organized.
I’d love for you to listen HERE!! I would also love it if you shared it with a teacher friend by sending it to them, positing it on your social media accounts, or saving it to Pinterest!
Links From The Show
This post may contain affiliate links.
Connect with Kelly
Which of these five reasons is why you are failing at classroom organization? Try just one of these strategies to get your classroom organized.
- You don’t have organization routines >>> create them with this free download
- Your items don’t have homes >>> these tools/products make great homes
- The negative mindset about organization >>> reimagine what it will be like to be in a classroom that is organized
- You are trying to do it all on your own >>> give your students classroom jobs
- It’s not a priority >>> join the master class and learn the 6 musts for an organized classroom
Here’s a recap of links shared in this post:
- Why Pinterest Classrooms are Overrated
- Top Organization Supplies and How to Use Them
- Lesson Planning Workflow and How to Organize Lesson Plan Materials
- Steps to Organize Student Papers
- Daily Routines for Students to Help with Organization
- 10 Classroom Job Ideas for Elementary Classrooms
- Enroll in the Classroom Organization Master Class
Until next time,
If you found this helpful, make sure to pin it to your Pinterest board so you can refer back to it or so other teachers can find it!