Keeping your classroom organized can be a struggle for new and veteran teachers alike. There are teacher and student materials to organize and so many papers! These paper storage tips to keep your classroom tidy will help you and your learners have a successful school year and organized classroom environment.
Paper Storage Tips
Use a shelving system for weekly lessons.
I file all of my weekly lessons in a simple file shelving system on a shelf. Use editable file labels to note each content area that you are covering for the week. You can store art projects, reading lessons, science activities, and more!
Keep your daily plans at your work station.
If you use a teacher desk, the best place to keep your daily plans is at this central work station. If you've gotten rid of your teacher desk like I have, put these plans wherever you keep your teacher materials. I use a simple three shelf filing system.
I use a simple three-drawer system to keep my copies organized. Label the drawers with “Copy Me”, “Grade Me, Please!”, and “File Me”. I usually plan to file copies immediately during my plan period, but sometimes things happen! Parent phone calls and emails have to be made, students get sick, and specials may get cancelled. Every day is different, and in order to keep the clutter at bay, I use this system to make sure I know what needs to be done with the copies!
Of course, there are so many materials to use for centers! Use simple cardboard magazine holders and organize them by month. Inside each holder, store materials needed for centers in ZipLoc bags. This is an easy and affordable way to make sure all your center materials are ready to be used and then updated for the next school year!
Organize your ELA and Math centers separately, of course. This doesn't take up a lot of room in your classroom, and you can even have student or parent helpers help you set up centers when everything is in one convenient place.
Purge files once a month.
When you go through files monthly to get rid of things you no longer use, it will take no time at all! Waiting until the end of the school year to purge files can be overwhelming. Taking one plan period per month or a bit of time after school can get rid of the clutter and make for easier planning in the units ahead.
Try these simple questions to decide what to keep and what to trash!
Getting paper organized in your classroom doesn't have to cause you stress! In fact, getting organized can help you leave the classroom on time every day! Learn more about how to become a 3 p.m. teacher with easy organization tools for your classroom! Try these paper storage tips to keep your classroom tidy!
Teaching and organizing looks a bit different at the middle school level. However, I did pick up a tip or two. Thank you.
Ollie Marie Cline says
Can you come and organize my classroom? You have great ideas, but I think my ADHD has been my downfall. I have tubs, drawers, colored file systems, but everything just goes haywire. I think I need to purge EVERYTHING and start all over (hahahaha) I bought 5 colored boxes to use for each day to put what I will be doing for that day. I’m hoping to make this successful and to quit being a “hoarder” in the classroom. Geez, if my house was like my classroom, my husband would probably divorce me (just kidding!) I am going to implement your ideas and get off this hamster wheel of clutter.
I get it, Ollie! Check out The 3 PM Teacher and I can help you! I’ll show you how to prioritize so that you aren’t distracted!
Thanks for the tips. Can you show us photos of what works for you? Thanks!
I’ve got some inside my course and on Instagram!
This is literally what I needed! I have to spring clean & I am going to use the center area magazine holder idea for sure!
So glad this was useful for you!
Cheryl Rauenhorst says
I have used your ideas for storage. At the end of last year, I went through every cupboard and purged and organized the materials with labels. It was a great feeling. Yesterday, I was at school and went through all of the bulletin board materials. I have 5 poster bags, one bag for each subject. If I had duplicates, I set them aside for my new 3rd gr teaching partner to go through.
So happy to hear that!