5 Ultimate Organization Hacks for Elementary Teachers

5 Ultimate Organization Hacks for Elementary Teachers

Do you ever feel like keeping your teacher materials organized is harder than it should be? Why is that?

Well, for one thing, we have a lot of stuff to keep track of and manage. We have to:

  • organize student materials
  • file student activities
  • keep student data organized
  • manage unfinished and finished student work
  • keep center activities, classroom materials, and learning manipulatives organized

... the list goes on.

So how can we keep everything we need accessible and neat with so much to manage?

I've got you covered there, teacher friend.

As a recovering teacher hoarder and someone who loves organization but doesn't love cleaning, this took me some time to figure out.

Lucky for you, in this blog post, I'm going to share my top organization hacks every elementary teacher needs to know about.



Keep a Bin of Weekly Materials

This is basically like a traveling bin that keeps all of the plans, activities, and papers that you'll be using throughout the week in a handy place

... instead of spread out like wild fires all over your teacher table. You know what I mean.

A few things to keep in this basket:

  • your lesson plans for the week
  • your teacher planner
  • copies for the day
  • unfinished student work you might need to take out later
  • a white board and marker (because, we're always needing those, right?).

It might be all of these teacher materials for you, or it might be other classroom items that you find yourself grabbing often and needing to be in a handy place.

The point is, having a basket you can easily access throughout the day, and throw piles of paper in to organize later (because who has time while teaching, am I right?!) is going to keep your space decluttered.



Use Baskets To Instantly Make A Space Feel Neater

The heading here says it all. Grab some baskets. Throw your books in there. Bam. Instant organization.

The best part? It's a super inexpensive trick. You can get bins from the dollar store that will work perfectly.

Once you have your baskets, sort your books or materials by category to make finding what you need even easier.



Store Hard Copies in Folders By Month

I'm a huge fan of monthly organization. Here's why:

  • It's easy to keep up with
  • you likely teach the same content every month year after year

Here's what to do with those hard copies:

  1. Get envelopes or folders to store hard copies in. I love these clear envelopes
  2. As you make copies throughout the year, save one as an "original"
  3. Store the original in that month's envelope
  4. Repeat throughout the year until each month has a folder of hard copies

Now you have a folder of originals that you can easily batch copy year after year or hand to a volunteer to do without you having to prep!



Store Read Alouds in Bins By Month

Told you monthly organization was my jam.

If you're not already pulling your read aloud aside for the year, this is an organization and efficiency game-changer.

How to Prep:

  1. Get bins for each month you teach and label them - Click here for all the monthly organization labels you could need!
  2. Rummage through your class library for the read aloud books you use each month
  3. Store them in their prospective bins

And that's it! Super simple but a huge timesaver. You're welcome ;)



Declutter Your Workspace

I'm gonna go ahead and say it: teachers love keeping things they don't need.

We have such creative minds and are always thinking of engaging lessons to plan for our students. It's easy to save materials we don't actually need because it might be good for a project down the line.

Nodding your head right now? I've been there teacher friend.

Instead of saving all the things and having papers pile up on your desk, here's what to do:

  • make sure everything has a space. If you need help with this, grab my free productivity guide where I give you some tips and a planning page to help you out!
  • put away anything on your teacher desk that you haven't touched in a week
  • throw out or donate anything you haven't touched in a year... seriously, just get rid of it.

Want more guidance on decluttering and other ways to kickstart efficient prep habits? Listen to the first episode of the podcast where we chat in-depth about 3 simple things you can do today to get started.



Ultimate Organization Hacks Recap

We went over a lot here. Let's recap the best teacher hacks for getting organized:

  • Keep a bin of weekly materials to minimize desk clutter
  • Use baskets to instantly make a space feel neater, then store all the things in those baskets ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Start storing hard copies in folders by month to make batch copying insanely simple
  • Keep your monthly read alouds set aside in bins so you don't have to rummage through your class library week after week
  • Ditch the teacher hoarder mindset by decluttering your workspace with 3 simple rules

Implementing these organization tips over time will help you start to work smarter, not harder. And that should be every teacher's goal!

Need labels to help you get organized? I've got you covered:






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