I get asked all the time, how do I keep my classroom so clean and organized. I tell everyone, it's all about your expectations with your kids and how you model this behavior to them. My students see me putting things away correctly. They watch me as I make a label for a box and place things in it. I am setting examples of how I want my students to be in my classroom. Organization is very important in improving classroom clutter and helps make the learning environment positive and centered around learning.
Imagine you go into a classroom that is a disaster. Papers are all over, students have messy desks, bins and boxes are all over the place but you aren't sure what is in them. Are you getting anxiety just thinking about this classroom? I do! I often get asked to help organize and give teachers suggestions for cleaning up their classrooms. My number one thing I tell them is LABEL EVERYTHING!
If you want students to put things away properly then give them a place (with a label) to put it! The more you label, the less you get asked, "Teacher, where do I put this?" or "Where does this go?"
Don't forget to take time to organize YOU! Make your teacher area clean and tidy. It makes it better to look at since you will be there many hours each day. I know one thing I always make sure I do each evening before I leave school is, clean off my desk! I label bins and baskets all over my teacher corner so I have places for things. Even if it is a basket that says FILE. That means you will find time later on to file it, but its out of your hair until then!
Remember you can use numbers instead of names when labeling student cubbies and work boards. Numbers are easy for sorting papers and shorter for those smaller items you need to throw a label on.
Remember labeling can be your best friend if you start the year organized and make it a priority. You will be a happier teacher and won't have to spend endless hours cleaning up and sorting if you do it right now!
I love Learning in Wonderland and Ladybug's Teacher Files organization label packs. Don't wait too long get your classroom labels and organized!