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I am a firm believer that an organized classroom is key to teaching effectively and creating a space for engaging learning. But being organized starts from the inside out…And when I say inside…I mean inside your classroom cabinets!
I should probably start out and introduce myself! I am Kelly– Classroom Organization and Management Coach at The Simply Organized Teacher. I also get to play host on my podcast, Simply Teach (which will feature Sarah in a couple of weeks!!!)!
Two of my favorite things are teaching + organizing (well, of course margaritas, chips, and salsa…but I don’t think this is really the place to talk about all that 😉 )
I am a second grade teacher in the Austin, Texas area. I am recently married to my hubby, Cody, and we have two sweet pups who basically rule the house around here. Anyone else know what that’s like?
About a year and a half ago I got this urge to start a blog on classroom organization because I LOVE it. And most people DON’T love it…So now I get to help people with something they hate by doing something I love. A win-win, right?!?
Why Organized Classroom Cabinets?
Like I said above, an effective classroom NEEDS to be organized! A disorganized classroom CAN communicate lack of preparation, difficulty staying focused, and lack of pride. While an organized classroom CAN communicate diligence, preparedness, and passion.
Now, I am not naive enough to realize that they aren’t GREAT teachers out there who are messy and disorganized. But as a general rule, I think it is important that we create organized classrooms to communicate preparedness to our administrators, parents, and most importantly our students.
My advice when working with teachers is to start with your classroom cabinets. Which kind of seems backwards, but cleaning up your cabinets allows everything to have a home so when you work on organizing your classroom, you have a place for everything to go.
5 Ways to Organize Your Classroom Cabinets
Let’s talk about 5 things you can do to organize your classroom cabinets.
1. Empty out cabinets- You can do this in one of two ways.
My recommendation would be to spend a day taking EVERYTHING out of your cabinets and grouping all your
junk stuff by like items. Have you read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up??? That’s basically her method.
The other option would be to go cabinet by cabinet emptying out.
OH! And guys….you have to throw stuff away, OKAY?!? Haven’t used it in a year? Toss it! It’ll be okay..promise!
2. Baskets, baskets, and MORE baskets (and labels)
Friends…you need bins, baskets, tubs, cardboard boxes. ANYTHING that is a box and can hold stuff. This way you have a home for everything. Then just slap a label on it! Now you can easily find what you are looking for. (And this can be cheap! Ask teachers on campus to give you their old amazon boxes, slap a sticky note label on there and call it a day! It does NOT have to be cute!)
3. Group items by like things
Remember how I talked in step 1 about grouping by like things? Do that for your cabinets, too. You can see this video here about how I group my cabinets.
4. From now on, put things away immediately!
Now that everything has a home, you HAVE to hold yourself accountable to putting things away immediately. This is the easy part because you have boxes and labels and you just have to drop it in.
5. No cabinets? Find spaces!
We are teachers, which means we are super creative. So get creative with storing things. If you don’t have a lot of cabinets and have to store on top of cabinets or out in the open, I would suggest getting lots of pretty bins (cute ones at the dollar store, target, walmart, hobby lobby (hello 40% off coupon!) and put stuff in there and then out on display. A pretty bin makes everything seem so much more cohesive!
I’m so grateful to Sarah for the opportunity to share with you about classroom organization- it truly is such a passion of mine! I’d love to stay in touch with you and see pictures of your classroom organization! Of course you can find me on all the socials…(except twitter…I don’t do that one, hah!)
Until next time,