Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tuesday Teaching Tip - Designate Spaces

When I found this baby at Costco many years ago I was psyched!  I was sure this thing would help create a little more desk space and organization for me.  You'd think it would, right?

Here's the trick to these great organization tools:  You've got to have a plan and purpose for them if they're going to be used effectively!

As much as I'd like to say that suddenly my desk was clutter free and everything became easy to find that would be a total lie!

The best use I got out of this thing was the file folder sorting rack on top.  I always kept my current skills file folders there for easy reference and activities.  I also kept copies to use for lessons that week.  THAT part I used effectively. (YEA for me!)

The drawers underneath were a totally different story.  I mean, the folder rack on top was a no brainer for me, but I never really decided what I was going to use the drawers underneath for.

Can you guess what I ended up using the drawers for?

Well you know how sometimes you get copies of resources from friends, but you're not ready to use them yet?  And sometimes you have extras of copies you use for your students and you don't want to be wasteful by simply throwing them away?  Oh, and the pieces to centers that you're done with but don't have time to put away right now.  Then there are those papers you get from meetings . . .

Can you see where I'm going with this?

Those wonderful organizational drawers ripe with potential ended up holding random stacks and stacks of papers.  All blended together.  Never to be looked at again until the end of the year (or a teacher work day if you're really lucky).

I ended up bringing this home and passing it on to my husband for his the home office he was organizing for his business.  Let's just say that organization is not exactly his forte, so he's enlisted my help to attack the aftermath of month after month of piles and stacks left unorganized.  I won't subject you to the horror a picture might depict.

Anyways, this is what I ended up doing for him with my organizer:

I used scrapbook paper to create the little labels for each drawer, securing them by folding each over in half with foam tape in between to hold it together to the wire drawer.  I used foam tape because the wire drawer creates a gap in between the top and bottom of the folded paper, so this makes for a cleaner label.  A hot glue gun will work too, but there's a bit too much tension for regular tape to hold it to the drawer.

How I wish I had thought to designate a purpose for these drawers while I still had them in my classroom!

Now if you're thinking what I'm thinking . . . just think of how much more organized you can get if you designated a purpose for other areas or organizing systems and labeled them for clarity!

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