I’m not about to pretend to be the most organized person on the planet (because trust me, I’m not even close!), but I am one of those people that needs my environment to be organized in order to feel like I have some semblance of control…especially in my classroom where my life too often feels like umm…kind of, semi-organized chaos (am I right?!).
If I’m being completely honest, sometimes my desk looks like this after a crazy day(s). YIKES! (Yes, I’m embarrassed by this photo, but it’s all for the sake of being real, because we need a little of that sometimes!
This year I moved classrooms……..grades……..schools, oh and did I mention it was only 6 days before school started? Because it was… And I was playing wedding planner at my cousins wedding only 2 days before school started. Oye. What was I thinking?! I might have temporarily lost my mind. It wasn’t pretty.
But is my son not one of the cutest little ring bearers you have seen in your whole entire life?
But, to be honest, one of the few things that saved my rear, was the fact that I already had a pretty solid organization system already in tow. My library had already been sorted (another post on that soon) into bins, my supplies and centers were sorted into tubs, my seasonal supplies were sorted into large tubs, and I double my crates as extra storage, so many other miscellaneous supplies were sorted in those. While I searched and searched for pictures of my old classroom, I couldn’t find many, but I did find this:
See those tubs on the bookshelves and on top of the closets? That is how my entire closet is too. But also notice those boring little label on the boxes? Yeah, I wanted better, but hadn’t taken the time to actually create them, because, you know, I was busy trying to make it through my days with a little sanity still intact.
I moved out of my old classroom in about 8 hours and began unpacking stuff in my new classroom. I almost cried when I walked into my new classroom. It was literally filled with garbage. I couldn’t even walk in it. It had been used as a storage room for years. Graciously, my Principal called the entire staff in to help me clean (read-purge without looking) pretty much everything except the desks. Within 2 days, this is what I had created in my new room. I wish I had a before picture, because it makes the after even more impressive. That gave me about 3 days to learn TWO new grade levels (did I mention, I was now teaching a 3rd/4th blend?!) and a new curriculum before kids actually walked through my door! Yikes.
This spring, I finally made my labels the way that I wanted them. I cut, laminated, and cut again, and spent some time (that maybe I should have spent doing lesson planning, but psshh) getting these babies put into their new homes!
Now comes time for me to swoon! Check these beauts out! Ok, so I took the pictures with my phone in a weird lighting closet, but you get the idea. My stuff now is clearly labeled, with pictures (once a kindergarten teacher, always a kindergarten teacher, I suppose!)
While I was making labels for my supply closet, I decided to also make them for my day to day stuff. I have tried several different organization methods of my day to day paper collection over the years (often resulting in paper stacks hiding somewhere in my room, a drawer, etc), but this time I am in love. I think I finally found THE ONE.
I feel like I have my whole teaching world organized and it feels so good! I had to call a sub last Monday after my son go sick, and it was so easy to say, “All of the papers you will need are in the Monday drawer. If you need more, feel free to dig into the Tuesday drawer.” Sub supplies will soon include emergency supplies. I had a parent come volunteer on Tuesday, and I just pulled stuff out of the “misc. to do” without even having to look around. Relief. Sweet, sweet organized relief!
If you are interested in snagging these labels to use in your class, they can be found in my Teachers Pay Teachers store by clicking the picture above. Tell me, what are the ways you keep your classroom organized?