Featured Organization

Keep It or Toss It? A Guide to End Filing Cabinet Chaos.

January 15, 2017

One of my favorite things about my second grade classroom was the way I had all of my papers sorted. Instead of using a filing cabinet, with files that don’t hold much and always fall off their track, I decided to sort all my papers using page protectors and notebooks. I had them sorted according to subject. I would take the whole binder to the copier, pull out the sheet I needed (leaving it inside the page protector), copy it and stick it back in the notebooks. I was SO happy with my system and planned to use it until I came up with something better.

Then I switched grade levels….

I moved from second grade down to kindergarten and felt pretty sure that my previous “files” wouldn’t work for my new kinder babies. After opening the filing cabinet that was left for me, I was dreading trying to organize it. I took files home thinking it would be easier to sort through them while watching a movie. I threw some away because I didn’t know exactly what they were or where they fit, so I eventually quit.

I’m here to “hopefully” give some tips for file cabinet organization!

  • If you haven’t used it in the most recent school year, throw it away. A lot of times I end up getting things on TPT instead of searching through my files.
  • If you don’t know what it is or how to use it, toss it. Papers or crafts from years ago with no directions are better off in the trash.
  • Don’t keep duplicates. There were random amounts of copies in my filing cabinet- from experience, it is easier to make a whole class set rather than trying to figure out how many copies you need to make.
  • Start with one subject or unit at a time. It is so much easier to start small and be okay with it taking some time. Otherwise, you will be overwhelmed. I would suggest starting with units/skills that you have already taught, that way you can keep or toss things according to the outcome of the lesson.

There are definitely more ways to keep your filing cabinet organized, but I think these four are a great starting point. Feel free to email me with questions or successes! I’d love to hear how this works in your classroom!

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  • Reply Kelsie Autterson January 19, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Love this advice about copies! I attacked my scary math file and found SO many “almost class sets” and decided to just recycle it all and leave one hard copy of each paper. It is SOOO much easier to run a class set than try to count them all out.

    • Reply Kelli Lee Dillard January 25, 2017 at 10:40 am

      Kelsie! We totally agree!! We are so glad you found this article helpful!

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