**Last Updated on January 11, 2021**
When teachers struggle with classroom organization, most of the time that person is struggling with how to stay organized as a teacher. Teachers will spend a lot of time in the middle of the year trying to get “reorganized” for the new calendar year, only to see that their efforts are wasted, yet again. In this post, I share five steps you can take to ensure all that hard work of getting organized is not in vain!
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There are so many different ways to ensure organization in your classroom.
These ideas are things that I have been using in my classroom since, almost, day one. The tips I share here are not the “end all be alls” for staying organized, but it’s a start.
In fact, I’d love to hear some of your suggestions! Comment below and let me know what you do to keep your classroom organized.
5 Ways to Stay Organized as a Teacher
You can check out the video version below or keep on reading if you are more of a quick scan reader kinda person.
(I’ve started making videos because everyone in the blogging world is talking about how popular videos are, but if I am being completely honest… I hate watching videos, I’d much rather read what you have to say! So I offer both!)
1.Give Everything a Home
If all of your things have a home to reside in and you know where that home is, you have no need for piles to pile up or for stuff to sit around waiting for you to get to it later.
If you tend to get stuff and set it to the side to deal with later, then get a box/bin and label it “deal with later.” Now that stuff has a home.
2. Bins, Bins, Bins and More Bins!
Go ahead and invest in bins. In a lot of bins! (Here is a list of my favorite bins and organizing resources.)
When they match, that’s great. But for inside your cabinets, don’t worry about them matching.
The bins, boxes, crates, storage containers are what make the homes for all of your things.
Once you get your bins, be sure to label them. Again, they do not have to be cutesy labels from TPT. Sure, cute labels make things more cohesive but if that’s not your thing, don’t stress about it! Seriously! Not worth it!
3. Organize Your Cabinets
I cannot stress this one enough. I have written about this on my blog in three different posts and created two videos about cabinet organization.
It really is so so important. If your cabinets are organized then that likely means everything in them has a home (see #1).
There are five pages dedicated to all the ways you can (and should!) organize your classroom cabinets in the Classroom Organization Guidebook.
You can get all the cabinet organization details in the Classroom Organization Guidebook.
And…this also means File Cabinets should be organized as well!!! In this day in age, I don’t really use my filing cabinet much because everything is digital. But I do break down how I organize my file cabinet and maintain it in this video!
4. Establish Routines for Papers
You are going to need routines for all kinds of papers in your classroom:
- routines for student papers
- routines for teacher papers
- routines for graded papers
- routines for lesson plan materials
- routines for those “I thought you might like to have this” papers
Giving all of these papers a home is key to establishing routines and not misplacing things!
Inside the Classroom Paper Organization Course, I teach you exactly how to clean out and organize all those papers lying around your classroom.
Plus, we develop classroom paper routines for all of those routines I listed above.
5. Keep a List Nearby
When you are teaching it is likely that you will have a million and one things pop into your mind at any given time.
Keep a brain dump list in a central location, mine was always right by my computer.
Then, anytime something popped into my mind, I could write it down and forget about it. At the end of the day or during my conference I could look at my list and prioritize what needed to be done and what could wait.
Try to keep that list confined to one place you store it. The more places you are taking notes and listing to-dos, the more hectic it will be to ensure those things get done.
To-Do Lists should be intentional and not just everything written down on a piece of paper (that’s called a brain dump!).
And because I am feeling extra generous, I’ll give you tip number 6.
6. Create a Planning Routine
Lesson planning is a long stressful process, especially if you are planning each day the day before.
Come up with a planning routine and stick to it. Decide what day you are going to stay late and work on lesson plans and then hold true to that every single week.
A planning routine is really important, but really routines across the board are critical. Tune into this episode with my friends Kailey and Josieanne where I shared ways to simplify classroom organization. (Hint: it all comes down to routines.)
Most of you know how to GET organized. Take the time to do that now and find homes for everything, then you can reap the benefits of an organized classroom for the year to come! Your initial time investment will be worth it, I promise!!!
Want to read more about getting organized? Check out the Classroom Organization Guidebook– a resource full of ideas, strategies, and practical things you can do to get your classroom organized!
Ensure all the hard work you put into getting your classroom organized doesn’t go to waste by making sure you follow these six tips:
- Give everything a home
- Invest in bins (matching for bins seen, doesn’t matter for hidden bins)
- Organize your cabinets (learn more here)
- Establish paper routines (enroll in the Classroom Paper Organization Course)
- Keep an Intentional To-Do List (get the free to-do list training)
- Establish a lesson planning routine (watch or listen to mine here)
Here is a quick recap of all the links shared in this post:
- Cabinet Organization Videos and Tips
- Student Paper Organization Guide
- How to Write Lesson Plans Quickly and Efficiently
- Teacher To-Do List Training + Templates
- Tips to Simplify Classroom Organization
- Classroom Organization Guidebook
- 6 Ways to Get Your Classroom Organized in the Middle of the Year
Until next time,
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