Organizing—you either love it or you hate it.
It’s a necessary evil (and for some, a wonderful stress relief!), especially when it comes to getting ready for a new school year. That’s why we think organizing should be simple and inexpensive.
Over the years, we’ve heard so many awesome classroom organization tips from our teacher audience that we knew we had to share. We compiled some of our favorites below, along with tips from a professional organizer who helped three teachers get their classrooms back-to-school ready. We hope you learn a thing or two…or fifteen!
Ditch the bookends.
We can see it now – your bookshelves are packed; which is awesome for the new year but not ideal for organization. How do you keep your paperback books from falling flat, especially when a student borrows a few? Instead of bookends, try this idea. Genius!
Opt for cheap (or free!) supplies.
“Use paint stir sticks to sort books by genre. Many stores will give you paint sticks for free. I print off labels for each stick, and use them to sort my books on my shelf.” –Tanya via Facebook“I found small neon circular stickers, like what you use for a garage sale, at the dollar store. I use one color for each genre and stick them to the book so it’s easy to group on my shelf.” –Jennifer via Facebook
Label, label, label.
Let us guess – you’re really good at organizing your students’ items in the classroom, but when it comes to organizing your personal things, you drop the ball? Yep, we do the same thing. No more excuses! There are so many inexpensive ways to label every single item in your classroom, like using one of these products. Go on, treat yourself.
Transport paperwork without a mess.
Do you move from classroom to classroom? Or maybe you need an easy way to bring assignments home to grade. Use a portable file box! Here’s a great example that’s easy to carry and will keep you nice and organized.
Small space savers.
“If you have a tiny classroom, get rid of unneeded furniture such as a teacher’s desk. Also, see if you can use tables for students instead of individual desks since they take up less room.” –Dawn via Facebook
Create more vertical storage.
If your classroom is lacking bookshelves, there’s a solution. These easy-to-stack shelves are sturdy and super easy to store over the summer.
Use clear containers.
“I put precise labels on clear bins. It’s easy for me and the students because you can easily see where everything goes.” –Michelle via Facebook
Learn from an expert.
This video series has so many practical tips, we couldn’t get enough of it! A professional organizer helped three teachers transform their classrooms, and the results were amazing. See for yourself!
Designate a time to purge/file.
“If you don’t have time to put something away, designate a bin or folder to stash it in. Then, commit to a time each day or week to file those things into their appropriate places.” –Ange via Facebook
Clear up counter space.
You’ll run out of room in your classroom if you stack piles of papers on the precious counter space you have. Instead, try one of these vertical organizers and save your counters for items like your stapler and hole punch.
Color-code your curriculum.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s an important reminder – colored folders are your friend! Choose one color for each area of study so you can easily grab what you need on the go.
You’ve got mail.
Creating a mail station for your students is an easy way to organize the endless amounts of paper being passed between you and them. A shoe organizer, like this one, is a perfect solution.
Get the students to help.
“Teach your students to clean up at dismissal. My third graders know we don’t leave until the room is tidy. After a few days, they help clean up without the reminder!” –Marleni via Facebook
Make a list.
“I have a set list of things I do every afternoon before leaving: clean off my desk, update my calendar, write tomorrow’s date on the board and get all my materials laid out for the next day. It takes away so much stress!” –Valerie via Facebook
Figure out your organization style.
Once you figure out what kind of organizer you are, you’ll be able to identify the products that will help you the most. Take this fun quiz to find out if you’re a STOW or SHOW type.
What are your best classroom organization tips? Share your ideas below in the comments! We can’t wait to hear them.