I have found that one of the most important things to running a successful classroom and feeling in control of your room is having routines for everything. I am not talking about routines the kids follow (although those are incredibly important), but routines YOU follow. Routines for when you get papers from the office, where you keep your lesson materials, what you do with your extra supplies, etc. This week I open up my organized cabinets and give you a peak into how I organize them!
If you were to ask me…or my boyfriend :)… what my #1 rule/tip for being organized is. It’s “EVERYTHING HAS A HOME!” If everything has a home, then there is no need for papers to pile up on your desk, materials to be laying around the classroom, or clutter to ensue.
So I have snapped a picture of each of my classroom cabinets. I feel like this might be super mundane and a “duh” kind of thing. But something tells me that a lot of teachers throw things in their cabinets, close the doors, and think nothing more of it. I get it. There are many more pressing things to deal with. But I am a true believer that an organized classroom helps you and the students feel more calm, relaxed, and ready to learn. Take a look at my tips and organizational strategies and see if there is something you can do/use to help make your personal classroom routines run a little smoother!
All of my cabinets are grouped by “like things” to help them seem a little more organized in my mind.
I have two large cabinets in my room. This is my “kid” cabinet. My kids don’t really access it, but it has things in it that the kids will use. Here is a shot of the whole cabinet.
The first way I keep things organized is by giving everything a box (“home”). It is hard to read them, but you can tell that each bin has a label. The top shelf is all of the plastic bags I have gotten. I also have a snack box. The Scholastic box is full of “Books on CD.” My point of even mentioning this is, it’s not even “cute” and I know that. Being organized isn’t about how “cute” everything looks and whether or not it matches, but that everything has a place to go.
The two shelves on the left are full of all of the students materials. Extra markers, crayons, glue, erasers, pencils, etc. They are clearly labeled and in easy reach. Super easy for me to get more materials for the kiddos as soon as they ask me for them. The blue crate on the right is my “junk crate.” Another one of the most important things about being organized is having a “junk drawer.” This is mine. But, it’s also important that it be small, contained, and cleaned outÂ on a regular basis.
The bottom half is station activities. I’ve got writing station materials on the left top shelf. All of my Kagan activities in the boxes on the right, separated by subject matter. The second shelf from the bottom houses all of my indoor recess games in the white crate. The blue crate is where I keep workbooks and extra teaching resources. Of course, organized by subject :). The bottom shelves hold my Science/Social Studies materials. I haven’t taught these subjects in 3 years, which is why I have so few.
My back wall is full of cabinets on top and cubbies on the bottom. Here is a picture of the wall.
The small cabinet on the left is where I keep all of my cleaning supplies/germ-x, forks, spoons, plates, and napkins. Again, I know this seems like a “duh” kind of thing, but I have found that it is best to group “like things” in my cabinets.
The next cabinet is where I keep more student materials like spirals, composition books, textbooks, and any team materials.
The next cabinet is where I keep all the stuff that was in my room when I got here. It’s stuff that is mine to use, but not mine to take should I leave 2nd grade or my campus.
Again, I want to group all “like things” together. When I pack up at the end of the school year, I hope I will be returning to my same classroom, but I am also aware that it is very possible I will be moved to another grade and/or school. I don’t want to be sorting through all of my stuff should I have to leave to find stuff that doesn’t truly belong to me.
I have an art supply cabinet next. Pretty self-explanatory.
The last cabinet. Which is probably the most useless cabinet is where I keep all of my kleenex and now extra germ-x because I have SO MUCH GERM-X. Would you believe me if I told you that when I was going through ALL THE GERM-X I found bottles with students names from 4 years ago…………
I’m missing a few cabinets and shelves but I am saving them for next week. These are all of my student material cabinets. I will be back next week with Simply Organized Cabinets Pt. 2 where I share my teacher cabinets/shelves and how I keep those organized.
Kelly here! Almost two years later with an update! I have created a video tour of my cabinets in my most recent classroom! As well as a new blog post “5 Ways to Achieve Classroom Cabinet Organization“