organize classroom ideas

Classroom organization can make a huge difference in the flow of your daily routine.

But, this is going to be the year, right?  The year you are really, really going to get organized!  No more paper stacks, lost copies, or overflowing file folders.  No more wondering where those thirty glue sticks are or if there are enough colored pencils!

Here are super easy classroom hacks to help you get (and stay!) organized!

I want you to know that there are affiliate links in this post. So, if you decide to click on them, I might get a tiny commission to fund my coffee addiction. Don’t worry, though; it won’t cost you a dime!

#1 Make supplies easy to find!

This organizer can hold pencils, tape, markers, scrap paper. Small enough to fit on the top of a bookcase.

You’ll love that you can see what’s inside each drawer.

organize classroom supplies with this case

#2  DIY Up Cycle What’s Available

This DIY is super economical — use copy paper boxes!  

Raid the copy room for those sturdy boxes. If you like, wrap the lids with colorful contact paper (maybe even heavy-duty wrapping paper) to give this money-saving idea a little more flash.

The lids can be used like trays for paper sorting. The base can be used for supplies — a quick DIY classroom organization tool that is ready to use!

>>> You can even use the boxes for portable student “desks.” When students want to move around the classroom or sit on the floor, they can use the box lid (or whole box) as a writing surface…and even stash their books inside the box. <<

#3 Organize Papers in One Place

If you’re like me (or most teachers!), you can really load up plastic drawers!

This sturdy set makes a great paper organizer.  Revise the drawer names to fit your teaching needs — I always include a drawer labeled “extra copies” for students who are absent or lose a page.  You can also customize these for the classes you teacher or even the days of the week.

Classroom organization with a paper sorter

#4 Organize Classroom Supplies

If your students need glue sticks, scissors, post it notes, whatever — you can create bins for tables or groups.

Your students won’t need to spend time gathering up their supplies — they’ll be right there with the group!

Use bins to organize student materials

#5 Easy Mailboxes to Return Materials

I’ve always longed for rows of beautiful wooden mailboxes or cubbies, but using a crate and file folders works too.  Cute and easy — great idea for where work goes for absent students.  

I like keeping my mailbox crate at the door to my classroom, so students can grab their “mail” as they leave the room.

a file box can be used to sort and store student papers

#6 Organize Using Color

What a great way to help students keep track of their composition notebooks!  If you are departmentalized, each class can use a different color.

Color coding can help you keep track of student materials

An alternative to this is having students cover a regular composition notebook with contact paper.

#7 Organize the Papers You Collect

I love using binder clips to keep papers together. And I like to use the really BIG ones!

Why? Because they’re strong and make a statement! I like to color code classes — so binder clips in the class color makes it easy to quickly locate a stack of papers in my bag.

Organize and sort student papers using large binder clips

#8 Lots more ideas

I love idea #4, and #3…and #7.  Okay, I love them all!

#9 Make it Pretty!

Have you inherited a … to put it nicely … less than glamourous desk?

Removable wallpaper comes to the rescue!

dress up an ugly desk with removeable wall paper

A pop of color can do wonders to pull your classroom together — and make your desk feel like it belongs.

#10 Function over Fashion

Your classroom does not have to look like it was professionally designed! You’ll find that an organized classroom is more effective than a fancy one!

Don’t be afraid of changing and adjusting as you determine what does and does not work for you.

Simple, clean, and clear lines in a classroom can add an element of peace and calm for students. (You can find more Zen-centered classroom designs here.)

Want more organizational inspiration?

Check out how I organize writing tasks and how I keep myself and my students on track with a writing scheduler.

What ideas do you think you could implement to make your organizational journey a success?

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