Organization for Teachers: Tips to Help You Get Started

I've said it before, but teachers have a lot of stuff. It just goes with the territory. Teachers also do about 150 different things every day, all of which takes them to different areas of their classroom. So, keeping all that stuff organized is important for reducing stress levels and increasing your overall efficiency.

If you find organizing to be a daunting and overwhelming process, and you just don't know where to begin, this post is for you. Keep reading!

Decide what you need to organize. A classroom is filled with nooks and crannies, cabinets and shelves, drawers and storage units. You can't do it all at once. Decide what you need to organize first. Once you've decided on a spot to tackle, set a goal. If the task is a small one, set a goal for that same day. If the task is more involved, give yourself a few days and break the job up into smaller, more attainable and realistic mini goals.

If you want to follow step 1, but can't decide what to tackle first, then this tip is for you. Think about the part of your room that most negatively impacts you on a daily basis. This area likely fills you with feelings of burden and frustration, and just generally drives you bonkers anytime you have to access it. This is where you'll want to start. Come back to the other areas you want to tackle when you're finished with this one.

Trust me on this one. If you only halfway finish organizing an area of your classroom only to start another, you'll just end up with a bunch of half organized spaces. Ultimately, you'll feel just as overwhelmed and icky as you did before you started the process.

As you break your organizational goals into mini goals, or shorter tasks, set time limits. Once you identify the space you want to work on, set aside 15 minutes a day to work on it until it is finished. It may take you a few days to completely organize the space you're focusing on, and that's OK. Lighten the mood as you organize by listening to your favorite podcast or some music while you work. It will make those 15 minutes fly by.

If you aren't in the right frame of mind when you tackle a job like organizing an area meant to improve your time spent in the classroom, you will regret it. Have a positive mindset and trust that you will get your task done, even if it isn't your favorite thing to do. Remind yourself that you are taking the time to clean up and organize your space so that you will benefit in the long run. In the end, you stand to benefit from your efforts, and it's worthwhile to invest in yourself.

Add it to your "to do" list or planner. Set a reminder in your phone. However you choose to record this time commitment, be sure to carve out a few minutes each day to get the job done. If you schedule your organization time, you're more likely to stick to your plan. It would be helpful to decide what time of day this will work best for you. Before school? During your prep? Or after school? Decide and then do it.

Organizing can be overwhelming. It's also a never ending process (more on that to come). But when you are in a state of disorganization, stress levels spike. Our physical environment plays a big role in creating a calm atmosphere.

I believe that some of us react more strongly to our physical environment than others, and we all have different levels of tolerance when it comes to being organized, but your students also stand to benefit from an organized and tidy classroom. In the long run, you will never regret taking a bit of time to organize your classroom so that you are able to maximize your productivity and maintain lower stress levels.

Looking for more posts on organization? Click the link below and check back soon as more posts will be added.
5 Truths About Organizing Your Classroom

Do you have a tip to help  others get started on their organization journey? If so, leave it in the comments. We'd love to hear from you!


Organization Tips for Teachers

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