Are you looking for ways to stay organized in your classroom?
Have you tried many different ways to organize your files and still feel like you are drowning in papers? I felt that way for the first two years of my teaching career. I tried filing them away in the typical fashion, a filing cabinet, but that just didn’t work for me. So then I tried putting all of the papers in notebooks and that still didn’t work for the papers that seemingly swallowed my desk. I was at a loss because neither of these options really worked for me, so what else was out there?
Filing Cabinet Chaos
With the filing cabinet, it felt like the papers were always hanging out of the files, I would sort through them, what felt like a million times, and I still couldn’t find what I was looking for. The hanging files would fall off the track and papers were constantly all over the place. Okay, maybe I am being a little dramatic, but you get the point! It seemed as though this option wasn’t as user friendly as I was expecting. At the point where the filing cabinet wasn’t meeting my organizational needs, I switched to notebooks.
At first, I really liked this method, I was super organized and had dividers for each skill and multiple notebooks for each subject area. But after a while, the papers began piling up on my desk waiting to be hole punched and placed in a notebook. Also, I wasn’t able to file any games or hands-on activities for that specific skill in the notebooks, so those had to be stored and organized in different places. This wasn’t a huge deal, but still I found myself wanting/needing a better system.
Storage Bin Bliss
Once these two options didn’t work out for me, I began searching Pinterest for ideas, when I came across a picture of these clear stackable bins that were the perfect size for papers. That afternoon, I
ran went to the nearest Wal-Mart and cleared them out of these bins and began organizing my files and games. They are perfect! I have separate bins for all of my math skills, language skills and reading skills.
Want to know what I love most about these bins? They look amazing, while providing enough space in them to file all of the papers (without having to hole punch – yay!), hands-on games, activities and task cards. They are so easy to pull out and sort through when I begin planning for certain skills.
It is so nice not having to worry about getting my papers messed up because they fit nice and neat in these bins. I even have file folders inside the bins for extra protection and to keep the practice papers separated from games and activities.
I hope this organizational strategy will help you when looking for another way to organize the mountain of papers we teachers have to keep up with. Because let’s be honest, we have tons of papers that we can’t seem to get rid of, even when we haven’t used them for years, because we may need them some day….or at least we think we will!