6 teacher ideas for nailing organization in your classroom

Thumbnail image with text "6 teacher ideas for nailing organization in your classroom" and a shot of on organization station.

Ah, classroom organization. I feel like it’s one of things that you either live and love or dread wholeheartedly. If you're the sort of person who enjoys mapping out your classroom with matching labels and tubs, always making sure to color code everything, then hey, I'm right there with you, because I love that stuff too!

I also know it can feel hard to get started since it’s such a massive task to tackle. But remember that overhauling your classroom storage and organization is one of the best ways to set you and your students up for success! Research emphasizes that a well-organized learning space isn't just about aesthetics; it plays a key role in enhancing focus and facilitating effective learning.

And seriously, I'm here to tell you that the process can be enjoyable. I’ve curated thousands of products and resources to help you achieve a neat and simple yet beautifully decorated classroom. 

In this article, I'm excited to share my favorite tips and tricks to master classroom organization and kick off the school year on a positive note.

Tip 1: Take stock of what you already have

Great classroom organization starts with a good clean and inventory on what you have. Start by going through your existing supplies, clean out your drawers (yep, even the one you really don't want to check where everything randomly gets dumped) and pay special attention to items that don't have a proper place.

Compile a list of storage solutions and other supplies you might need, and throw out any broken or outdated tools and resources. My hot tip: cleaned out takeaway containers work as great stackable storage tubs for art supplies and sturdy multi-use plastic tubs and bins will be your best friends when it comes to reorganizing your space. 

For more classroom storage ideas, make sure to check out my Amazon storefront or any supplies you might be lacking, or check out your local dollar store for some easy and cheap storage options.

Tip 2: Organize desks and student supplies

There's nothing more disruptive in the classroom than students moving desks, confused where they should be sitting, or running around the classroom looking for lost supplies. 

After you've done your seating chart, you can use my student desk plates to allocate a reserved space for every student. This can be so helpful in giving your students a sense of ownership and responsibility over their own space.

To avoid all those questions mid-class for a pen, eraser or glue stick (you know what I'm talking about), my best advice is to make sure you have good supply organization. Teacher caddies placed on every table group, or around the classroom, are a great tool to ensure your students always know where to find whatever they need. You can use my editable labels to label your caddies to match your classroom decor.

Teacher caddy and desk plates in Spotty Neutrals theme.

Spotty Neutrals desk plates and table caddies keeping those working stations organized.

One of my favorite DIY classroom organization hacks for storing students’ personal items is using a hanging shoe rack to store water bottles for example: simply label pockets with your students names to match with your decor theme. 

Tip 3: Organize your students' books and learning materials with tubs

Tote trays or tubs are great for keeping your students' learning materials in one place. There are a few different ways of organizing them. You can set up a tray for each student and make this a home for their working materials. 

Alternatively, you could also organize your trays by subject and keep all your students’ workbooks together. That way, it’s easy to distribute the kids’ learning books depending on the lesson, and easy for the kids to round them up themselves at the end. 

Remember to also allocate a place in your classroom where your students can return their work once they're done. Create a turn it in-bin or mark individual student trays dedicated for complete work.

Tip 4: Set up an organization system for each learning area

Having clearly allocated classroom learning areas is key for a cohesive and functional classroom. Designated areas for different learning activities helps keep supplies related to a topic in its own area. My bulletin board lettering packs will help you create bulletin displays to mark the different areas around your classroom.

Take your classroom library for example: keep your classroom books organized with book bins or crates, and don’t forget to label them to help your students return their books to the right places. Set up some comfy seating in your library nook to encourage reading in the library area, and hopefully prevent books ending up all around your classroom. 

My reading group organizers are great for helping you mark different level reading resources to their own boxes, labeled with group numbers and student names in that group.

Reading group organisers and book bins in Spotty Pastels theme.

Book bins and reading group organizers in Spotty Pastels help your students navigate their learning resources in the classroom.

Book basket with my editable classroom label in Boho Rainbow theme, labeled "Public Library Books"

Here’s a little classroom library organization tip: pop some editable Boho Rainbow classroom labels on your book baskets, and never lose a library book again!

When it comes to lessons like math or literacy, having clear displays like math posters and alphabet posters easily visible is so important when your students are learning complicated new concepts. Consider popping an extra teacher trolley dedicated to these topics in your math or literacy corner, to make the process of accessing materials easier for your students.

Tip 5: Keep your teacher supplies organized

Teacher organization is a whole other beast to tackle when it comes to classroom organization. I definitely know how easy it is for random things (hello hair ties, receipts, notebooks, lunchboxes) to start piling up on your desk, I bet every teacher knows this struggle! 

Enter teacher toolboxes, the number one tool I have for desk organization, made complete with my teacher toolbox labels. Labeling these boxes is truly one of the most satisfying projects, and seeing all those little miscellaneous items disappear is so so good.

Teacher Toolbox in my Spotty Boho theme.

Spotty Boho teacher toolbox will help you keep all those small bits and bobs organized.

Use binders to help with paperwork, marking and file folders. Sorting out paperwork can be a tiring process, but having pretty binder covers makes it a bit easier. 

Binders decorated with my Daisy Gingham binder covers and spines.

These Daisy Gingham spines and binder covers are such a cute way of keeping all your paperwork in order.

I recommend setting up trays or even better, a teacher trolley, somewhere near your desk, with separate trays allocated for marking, handouts, lesson plans and each school day.

Teacher trolley decorated in Botanical theme.

This Botanical teacher trolley looks so good paired with some plants and baskets.

Tip 6: Get students involved in creating an organized classroom

Keeping a classroom organized is definitely a team effort, ask anyone who's ever had to clean up a classroom after only the first day of back to school. Setting up organizational systems together with your students, and establishing clear jobs, responsibilities and places for things will guarantee you'll have a tidier classroom throughout the year. 

My classroom jobs display is an easy way to allocate jobs for everyone, and share the responsibilities on a rotating roster so no one gets bored. This is such a great classroom management tool, for not only getting your students to take responsibility, but also to help them work as a team in looking after their learning space.

@lololoveslearning classroom jobs display in my Boho Rainbow theme.

@lololoveslearning has set up her classroom jobs display in my Boho Rainbow theme, and keeps track of who's doing which jobs with clothes pegs – so clever!

And that's it for some of my favorite classroom organization tips. Think of brilliant classroom organization as a long lasting investment in your students' learning – everyone wins when time is used effectively with less cleaning and looking after lost things. I hope my decor collections can smooth out the process of getting started for you, knowing you'll be rewarded with a beautiful, calm and inspiring classroom space.

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