8 Best Organizing Tips For Teachers

Teacher prepares books for teach student in preschool

With teachers taking on more and more responsibilities, it has become more difficult than ever to stay organized. However, organization is key for classroom success. Research has shown that effective classroom organization leads to less disruptive behaviors from students, less class downtime, and more student engagement. Unfortunately, many teachers lack the organization skills needed to best manage their classrooms and set their students up for academic, social, and emotional growth. In this post, we’ll give our top organization tips for both new and veteran teachers to turn their classrooms into student success accelerators.

Start Preparing Before the School Year Begins

Early preparation is vital for teachers to establish an effective classroom management system. This involves developing lesson plans before the beginning of the school year, preparing all the materials needed for those lessons, and then organizing and storing those materials for easy access throughout the school year.

Go Digital

Paper is a big contributor to classroom clutter, but in today’s digital world, that clutter can be cut down considerably by utilizing digital tools. Digital classroom management tools have come a long way in recent years, with several platforms popping up that cater specifically to the needs of educators in varying grade levels. If you’re a computer whiz, go all out with a totally online classroom management system for everything from creating lesson plans to storing student assignments to tracking progress. However, if you’re like most of us and not as comfortable with new technology, taking baby steps will probably be your best bet. Implement one digital tool at a time, giving yourself and your students time to learn its features before adding anything else. Some of our favorite digital tools for classrooms include:


  • Complete classroom management systems – these systems give you everything you need to manage your classroom digitally
  • Calendar and schedule systems – help students keep up with due dates and other important dates with a shared and synced calendar program that they can access both at school and at home
  • Parent communication apps – communication with parents is crucial for student success, and there are many apps out there that facilitate this with easy-to-use designs
  • Grade and progress trackers – students are always anxious to know their grade on that assignment they just turned in, so give them quicker feedback with a digital grade tracking program
  • Assignment submission apps – digital assignment submission cuts down on paper clutter, helps students learn to use online tools, and allows teachers to give more immediate feedback
  • File storage – effective digital file storage also helps reduce paper clutter while giving teachers enhanced file search features that you just can’t get with physical file storage
  • Smart Boards – bring digital resources to life with a Smart Board that allows teachers to incorporate information from various online and offline sources together into one cohesive and updated lesson

Label & Color Code Everything

Invest is a good label maker that lets you color code your labels, then use it liberally. Label everything possible in your classroom, even things that aren’t typically labeled. When in doubt…label it! Not only will labels help students learn where items are, but they will also help build their spelling and vocabulary skills. Color coding will also help students identify what and where things are quickly, cutting down on time spent searching for things and “where is…?” questions every five minutes.

Master Binders

We suggest creating a master binder for each class with lesson plans, master handouts, quizzes, tests, project instructions, etc. Organize the binder the expected chronological order of the lessons for that year, so you can easily bookmark where the class is in the binder and never get confused about what comes next. Master binders are also great if you need a classroom substitute, since they can easily go to the binder bookmark and see exactly where the class currently is and what they need to do next. Include references in the master binder to where reusable lesson materials are stored in the classroom.

Create a Classroom Supply Station

Mainstay classroom supplies, like extra pens, pencils, glue, scissors, etc. – should be easily accessible for students at all times. Create a supply station with plastic organization containers glued to a small table, then stock the containers with all the supplies your class will need. Monitor and restock consumable supplies throughout the year. You could also include an area for classroom prizes where students can go choose the prize they want when they are being recognized for excellent behavior or academic performance.

Utilize Containers, Totes, Trays, & Bins

Most classrooms don’t come with a lot of built-in storage,  so savvy teachers know the value of storage containers for storing everything from reusable lesson supplies to party decorations to extra credit work supplies. Use clear totes so you can easily see what’s inside without having to open it up, plus don’t forget to label, label, label! Containers don’t just have to be for storage though…grab some letter-sized trays and label them with student names to give students a place to turn in their assignments and worksheets throughout the day, then pick up their graded items at the beginning of the next day. Trays and bins will also work great to organize your classroom supply station, work centers, and more!

Take Advantage of Vertical Space

Now that you’ve got everything you need for your classes organized into clear, well-labeled totes and containers, where are you going to put them all? If your classroom only comes with a few cabinets or maybe a small storage closet, your supplies will quickly overrun the space you have for storage. This is why it’s so important to take advantage of the vertical space in your classroom too! Stack totes, with labels easily visible, on top of each other inside storage closets or in classroom corners. Smaller containers, trays, and bins can be stacked on counters or even on the floor in designated areas. Just be sure that nothing is at risk of falling on students, especially elementary-aged students, and that all students know to ask for help accessing anything stored up high.

Provide Clean-Up Time at the End of Each Class

You can have the most organized classroom on earth, but if you don’t give your students time to clean up and return supplies to the correct locations each day, your organization will soon disappear. Dedicate five minutes at the end of each class for cleaning and organizing, requiring the students to pick up their things and put them away in the appropriate spot. This teaches students accountability and responsibility while also helping you maintain your sanity with a neat, organized space.

Stay Organized to Stay on Track

Organization in the classroom is pinnacle for students and teachers alike. Students behave better, learn more, and are more engaged when the classroom is well-organized, while organization helps teachers minimize stress and be able to easily move from one lesson to the next without confusion. Use our classroom organization tips above to help you get the best start to the school year, or if it’s already mid-year and your organization plans have fallen to the wayside, it’s never too late to get back on track!


GEDDES supplies schools with all the supplies students and teachers need to stay organized and be successful, from writing tools to art supplies to novelty items and more. Give your students their best shot at academic success with our high-quality products that are useful, affordable, and fun!

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