Stay organised: 7 smart ways to do it

stay organised

Stay organised! The two words that can either spark joy in your heart or terror in your soul. You’re not alone in this, the struggle to remain orderly in the chaos of a bustling classroom is as real as the endless pile of papers on your desk.

Now picture this, me, a seasoned teacher – got my highlighters, my neatly filed lesson plans, and a classroom running like a well-oiled machine. The secret? A dollop of determination, a sprinkle of perseverance, and a solid system of genius hacks to keep my life as a teacher in balance. 

It wasn’t always this way, but I found that the energy I invested in organising my classroom created a ripple effect that helped not just me, but my students too.

Students thrive on consistency, so an orderly environment enables a smoother learning journey. It’s about making your space work for you, helping you to find that textbook or that worksheet in record time.

Listen, I know it feels like you’re juggling a million tasks at once, and it’s really exhausting, isn’t it? Your mind’s a whirlwind, and you’re teetering on the brink of overload. 

But know this: seeking to stay organised doesn’t mean you’ve failed or that you’re inadequate. Instead, it’s a testament to your unwavering commitment to your teaching profession.

So, let’s cut to the chase. I’m not here to peddle unrealistic fantasies; what I have are practical, tried-and-tested strategies to help you stay organised. Over time, these might just become your saving grace, your sanity in the chaotic whirl of academia. Ready to start the journey? Let’s dive right in.

1. Conquer one goal

Roll up your sleeves, it’s time for a bit of strategising. Want to stay organised? Start by tackling one goal at a time, darling. Choose that one elusive task each day that’s been playing hide-and-seek in the recesses of your mind. Make it your headline act, your star player, your big cheese! This approach keeps your focus razor-sharp, and helps avoid the pesky distraction of lesser tasks that, let’s face it, often just add to the noise. It’s all about keeping that main thing, the main thing. Remember, to stay organised isn’t a race, it’s a marathon. So, let’s go slow, steady and smash that goal!

2 - Just do it, and do it now!

Listen up, folks, there’s a sneaky little devil we all know too well – procrastination. It’s the artful dodger of productivity, the party crasher that turns your organised classroom back into a battlefield. Want to stay organised? Squash the habit of delay like a pesky bug! When a task pops up, jump on it like it’s the last bus home. This means no loitering in the land of ‘I’ll do it later’. Acting swiftly keeps you from sinking in the quicksand of an ever-growing to-do list. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and nip chaos in the bud, shall we? One task at a time.

3 - Make decluttering a daily affair

Here’s the deal, every item in your classroom should have its own VIP spot. If something’s lounging around like a lost puppy, it’s time for a mini tidy-up. Make it your daily ritual, your little moment amidst the pandemonium. 

And don’t be a lone ranger! Get your students in on the action, let them have a hand in making the classroom a peachy place to learn. They could have their own mini missions – Toby on stationery patrol, Amelia as bookshelf queen, or Harry on art supply duty. 

While they’re at it, seize your own five-minute decluttering session. Call it your golden time – the moment when you restore order to your own work corner. This habit will help you stay organised and stop clutter from sneaking back like an uninvited guest. Time to wave goodbye to mess, folks!

stay organised and keep chaos at bay

4 - Organise your day, keep chaos at bay

Alright, let’s talk post, that flurry of paper that floods your pigeonhole each day. It’s a classic culprit for clutter, but here’s the thing – you can tame it, you can conquer it. As soon as those envelopes flutter in, sift through them. Be ruthless! Adverts that are more annoying than helpful? Chuck ’em. Pointless papers that only add to the mess? Toss ’em.

Now, for the stuff that matters, use a bit of 21st-century magic. Click a pic on your phone to keep track, and stash it in your digital treasure chest. Next, promptly schedule the important bits on your calendar and bid farewell to the physical reminders. Everything else, you ask? Well, file it neatly, of course! Voila, you’ve tamed the paper beast, and you’re well on your way to stay organised. There’s no stopping you now!

5 - Embrace the whiteboard wonder

Ever felt like you’ve got a thousand ideas bouncing around your head, like a pinball machine on steroids? Enter the whiteboard, your saviour in shining armour. These beauties aren’t just for lessons, they’re the canvas for your day’s blueprint.

Most of us have one proudly displayed in our classrooms, so why not use it to its full potential? Scribble down your thoughts as they bubble up, note reminders or key points for the day. It’s your giant visual post-it that’s hard to ignore, helping you stay organised and ensuring the important stuff doesn’t slip through the cracks. It’s time to make friends with your whiteboard and say goodbye to the tyranny of forgetfulness!

6 - Master the art of putting stuff away

Listen, if there’s one golden rule to stay organised, it’s this: Everything has a place, and there’s a place for everything. Procedures, they’re not just for lessons, they’re the best buddies of an orderly classroom. Train your students to know the homes for the objects they use. The crayons aren’t nomads, they have a box. The science books belong on that particular shelf, not under a desk.

And what about those pesky piles of papers, threatening to turn your desk into a paper mountain? Don’t let them lounge about like they own the place. Assign a special spot for those papers, a waiting room till you’re ready to tackle them. 

The key here is to nip clutter in the bud, don’t let it gain a foothold. Practise the mantra: “If it doesn’t belong here, it doesn’t stay here.” Now, that’s the way to maintain your classroom’s harmony!

7 - Schedule weekly check-ups with yourself and stay organised

So, you’ve been putting all these hacks into play, but how’s it going? You need a weekly date with yourself, a sort of ‘organisation health check’. Ask yourself – are you managing to stay organised? Are things running smoother, or are there any hitches in your plan?

Be your own critic, identify what’s working like a charm, and what needs a bit of a revamp. This isn’t a time to beat yourself up, but rather an opportunity to iron out any wrinkles in your system. See a problem? Tackle it head-on. Think your classroom could be better managed? Go on and reorganise!

Use this precious time to also reflect on your goals. Perhaps you need to switch gears and shift your priorities for the upcoming week. Remember, staying organised isn’t a destination, it’s a continuous journey. So buckle up, and keep going, you’re doing brilliantly!

end of the rainbow - joy of staying organised

Reaching the end of the rainbow: the joys of a clutter-free classroom

Wrestling with chaos and turning it into a beautifully orchestrated ballet of organisation. It’s not easy, I know. 

Perhaps you’re thinking, “I’ve got a million other things on my plate, and now I’ve got to try and keep everything organised?” But remember, you’re not alone in this. The journey to stay organised is filled with bumps, and trust me, every teacher out there has stumbled on them too.

But just imagine, walking into your classroom each morning with everything at your fingertips, no time wasted hunting for that elusive red marker or the stack of assignments. A serene space where learning isn’t just about cramming facts but nurturing growth and creativity. It’s a game-changer, ain’t it?

This isn’t just about arranging files and stationery; it’s about transforming your space, your day, and your peace of mind. So, chin up, dear comrade. You’re well on your way to a streamlined, more productive learning environment that resonates calm and order. The perks of staying organised are just too delicious to resist!

Feeling a bit adventurous, are you? How about taking our snappy 3 minute quiz to find out your personal classroom organisation model? Are you the meticulous Professionalist, the ambitious Perfectionist, the fuss-free Minimalist, or the spontaneous Procrastinist? Go on, dive right in! You’ll gain immediate access to a free, insightful report, no strings attached, plus three games to get your students organising for you.

Remember, your journey to stay organised is a grand symphony, and you’re the conductor. Every time you clear a cluttered corner, you’re hitting a high note. So keep playing, keep fine-tuning, and soon you’ll have an orchestra that’s music to your ears.

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