Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Day1: LET's Get Organized! Desk Ideas!


Hi!  My name is Sara, but you might know me better as Smiling in Second Grade.

Marie asked me to be a guest blogger for her and share some organizational tips with you all.  Well, I jumped all over that!  Organizational is the name of my game people!

The best organizational-related thing I have ever done in my classroom is to get rid of my teacher desk.  I know that many teachers have thought about it, but were too nervous to try it.  I was one of those people!  It was definitely a nerve-wracking process for me, but I am so glad that I did it.   

Here's a {neat} picture of my desk:

It was not always that neat.  It was very much a dumping ground for stuff.  I would just have piles of papers that I wouldn't touch.  I never even sat there to grade papers because there wasn't enough room.

Here's a picture of the inside of my desk:

 That stuff wasn't even mine!  I inherited my classroom from a teacher who had retired unexpectedly and never got a chance to clean out her stuff.  So it just sat there.  For 3 years.  Yikes!

This is what my desk area looks like now:

Not only is this my desk, but it is a small group meeting area.  I have an empty space for working, whether it is grading or with a reading group.  My computer is close by (it used to be on the other side of the room), which makes it easier to access.

And, yes, my table is {almost} always that clear.  I use it to work with my students so I don't want it cluttered with stuff.  

I use the drawers to store important information and anything that I need at my fingertips.

Tape, post-its (I use sooo many of those), book order forms, stickers/labels and teacher materials (aka chocolate).  I love these drawers because they are very shallow, so nothing gets lost in them.  The deep drawers on my desk used to swallow things whole and I wouldn't see them for years!

I keep all my office supplies in this handy tool box that I'm sure you have all seen and made.  This is probably one of my favorite things in the whole wide world.  Seriously.  It makes an OCD girl's heart smile.  Also, if you notice on top, there are a few little trinkets that remind me of home, which make me happy as well.

Any papers or books for the upcoming week go in these bins.  I got them in the dollar section at Target (wayy cheaper than Lakeshore's set)!  I have to say that I don't use these a ton (notice how they are empty?), but it keeps things from piling up on my desk.  And my co-teacher can always find the papers she needs!

Lastly, my pretty awesome dad gave me about 20 of these stacking trays:
They are awesome!  They fit perfectly on the shelves behind my desk and I can easily separate my paperwork and student work.  On the top shelf, I have file folders for each committee that I am on (PBIS, RTI, etc).  The second shelf has file folders from professional development and data meetings (math, writing, reading, etc).  I often have to grab these and run to a meeting during the day so I keep them handy.  Then I have shelves of student work that I am saving.  Again, this keeps me from piling work on my desk.

All in all, getting rid of my desk has been a huge help for me.  All of my important teacher tools and materials are organized and much more accessible now, which saves me time and energy.  I also have more room to work with my students.  So I say, if you are thinking about getting rid of your desk, go for it!


  1. Thanks for sharing! I love your organizational tips! My desk is only used as a dumping grounds. I definitely want to be desk free next school year. I will have more space too.

    <a href="http://stellar-students.blogspot.com>Stellar Students</a>

  2. Thanks so much for sharing all these wonderful organization tips! I love that you included photos! Desk free sounds like the way to be! I think I'll try this!

    Teaching First

  3. Wow, you are so organized! I really like your supply drawers. My desk drawers are a black hole of stuff. I need to re-organized like you. Thanks for the tips.

    Compassionate Teacher

  4. Thanks for sharing! These are some awesome ideas! I also inherited a classroom from a second grade teacher who quit unexpectedly and didn't clean out her stuff. When I first got my classroom, things were cluttered EVERYWHERE with second grade material (and I teach first!). There was also plenty of stuff from the retired teacher before her. I've been at this school for two years and I'm STILL cleaning things out. Haha. One step at a time...

    Diary of a First Grade Teacher

  5. Thanks for sharing! Where did you get your tool box for your desk?! I have been searching everywhere and cannot find one for the life of me - especially an adorable one like yours!

    Mindful Rambles

    1. I found mine at Lowes last year. It was over in the hardware section.
      Diving Into 2nd Grade

  6. Last year I got a better teacher desk from a retiring colleague. It inspired me to clean out my old desk, which I have had for 12 years. It even moved buildings with me one time. When I cleaned it out, I found some interesting stuff, including the "fly" from my "Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" puppet. I laughed and laughed when I found that fly. It had been lost for a decade!

  7. How did you make your toolbox so colorful? And how did you do the lettering? Are those stickers on there? I love it!

  8. How did you make your teacher toolbox so colorful? And how did you put the letters on? Are they stickers? Please share! I absolutely love it!

  9. I dumped my humongo teacher desk this year too, and added a small table that my son was getting rid of. I love that it gives me more space and looks less cluttered. The one thing that keeps me at work too long is cleaning my desk everyday after work, well NO MORE! Smaller desk, smaller mess to clean up in the afternoon :)

  10. Neat ideas for organizing, it looks very userfriendly.

  11. Where did the foldable stools come from? I see you have those around the table. I love these.

  12. I can't figure out how to get rid of mine. For one thing, students use the front if it as a magnetic board during centers. I need someone to come in with fresh eyes and help me rearrange my whole room.

  13. I got rid of my desk at the end of the school year. I still have to organize everything for it and this gives me a great place to start. Thank you

  14. I got rid of my desk at the end of the school year and hadn't decided how to organize it...This gives me a good place to start. I made the little organizer my team last year, I love your bigger one...

  15. Thanks a lot! One more tip for everyone. Throw out things you don't need instead of piling them up.


I love reading your comments! :)

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