Every January, stores are packed with brand new organizational bins, totes, and folders to promote organization in the new year. As a teacher who loooves brand new supplies, I love looking to see what new products are available, as well as get inspired to organize my own life. Today I wanted to share with you some tips & tricks for staying organized and some of my favorite organizational products. I’ll also share some of my teaching organization hacks for my fellow teachers out there!
Tip #1– Use at least one planner:
Planners are essential for staying organized, and great for those who have a lot to remember. I like to use two planners.
In my first “month at a view” calendar, I write down when bills are due, special events, classes I’m teaching and any days off. This planner lives on my desk and keeps me on track to meet deadlines. My planner is Sugar Paper Co from Target.
My second planner is smaller and blank on the inside. This is where I keep lists, a more detailed week at a glance, and general notes or random thoughts. My small planner is from the Dollar Spot at Target, but is similar to Field Notes.
Whatever your style, there is a planner for you! If you’re looking for a high end planner, I am a fan of Erin Condren life planners & Kate Spade planners. Post it notes are also great for jotting down quick reminders. I use them daily!
Tip #2– Organize by type, color and size:
This applies to evvvverrrything in my life, including my crafting supplies, my closet, and my student work! Everything should be organized into categories first, making it easier to find what you’re looking for.
For example, I organize my A Beautiful Mess Happy Mail cards into categories using small dividers in a small crate. When I’m looking for a card for a specific occasion, I simply look for the category and select the card that best fits. It’s a time saver and all of my cards are in one place. I also recently bought a receipt organizer, and let me tell you it has been life changing! Gone are the days when I searched through the crinkled receipts at the bottom of my bag. Everything is organized and in one place. I keep this on me at all times!
When it comes to my classroom, I have to be organized! I created a system for my art room so that I could easily find projects. Each class has a portfolio (folder) with their teacher name, grade and day they have art. The portfolios are color coded by grade level (ex: Red-Kindergarten, Orange-1st grade etc.) This system works extremely well for me. No lost projects! 🙂
Tip #3– Bins (in moderation) can be your best friend:
Using bins to store supplies gives your space a clean look. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to do this. Try your local Dollar Tree or Target. They have lots of colorful bins to choose from for cheap! I organize my art supplies in my apartment this way, and use chalkboard labels to label each bin by category. Be careful of having too many bins, as it can add to your clutter. Instead, be sure to leave a “resting space” (breathing room) for your eye, so when you look at your bins, they don’t overwhelm you.
In my classroom, I have a bin for each art table (labeled with the table number). Inside each bin is their basic table supplies: scissors, glue, pencils, colored pencils… you get the idea. The table is responsible for keeping the bin clean and organized. This keeps all of the supplies from rolling off the table and saves time handing out supplies at the beginning of each class!
There you have it- my three favorite organizing tips! How do you plan on staying organized in 2016?!