If you are just joining us, you'll want to start here or check out my Clutter-Free Guide to Organizing and Managing Your Classroom.

Teachers have two types of resources: district-issued curriculum and books and materials that have been self-purchased. While you have more flexibility in how you organize and handle the latter, there are ways to make both functional and easy to access.

Purge unnecessary resource materials and develop an organized way to store the curriculum materials and teacher resources you are going to keep.

The resources that your district provides typically need to be preserved in their original condition in the event that you change grade levels or switch schools. 

Create a safe and separate space for storing the books that were issued to you, but that you do not use. You may have a reading curriculum that comes with ESL components and you have no ESL students. Perhaps your math guides don’t all align with the Common Core and you are using supplemental materials, but the school has not said to recycle the old ones. We all have stuff that we are housing simply because we need to. Don’t let it be clutter, but instead package it up neatly and out of sight. That way if you leave your position and need to leave the resources behind they will be gathered already. I find a great way to do this is to place them in a copy paper box and attach an inventory of what is inside onto the box. That way you can leave the entire box behind or turn it in if that is what you need to do. In my situation I have a deep shelf and simply store them in the back with items I use regularly placed in front of the box.

As for the district’s materials and resource materials you use on a regular basis...

  • I prefer to house my teacher guides, manuals, resource books, etc out of student view. I try to eliminate as much visual clutter as I can and since the books are not something the students need to access, I keep them out of sight. I use the small group table as my teacher workspace. There is open shelving behind it so I keep my books in decorative boxes without tops grouped by subject area. These function almost as drawers. The students can’t see what is inside and I can access them easily when I am sitting there planning. (On a sidenote I had intended to snap a photo on Friday, but I was so excited to kick off February vacation that I rushed home sans picture. I’ll add one in when I get back next week).

  • If you use a teacher desk, you may want to store them in the drawers. You could also use the drawers of a filing cabinet. Regardless of if you use a drawer of a shelf, it is important to keep subject areas together. Dishpans can be purchased at the Dollar Store and work great on shelves to cluster books together.  If you use a drawer, create tabbed sections using file folders.

  • Many teacher guides are available online. Ask you curriculum coordinator if this is an option. Even if you’ve had the books for several years you may be able to use their online manuals by obtaining the code.

  • Take a tour of your building. Most schools have classrooms with similar furniture, built-ins, closets and shelving. See how other teachers are housing their books. Ask if they are happy with their systems. Use their methods as inspiration.

  • Go through your personal resource collection with a critical eye. Apply your rules for purging that we worked on earlier in the Clutter-Free Classroom Project. Tear out pages you want to keep and put them in a binder...or better yet scan them and go paperless. Pass the book on to a colleague or recycle it.
  • If you use a traditional bookshelf, be sure to add dividers that make it easy to see where things are. You might also want to label the front of the shelf as well.
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On Friday, I'll put up the Linky Party related to this week's Clutter-Free Classroom PROJECT. The Linky will be ongoing and you can always jump in and link up at anytime. If you don't have a blog you can respond to the prompt in the comment section on Friday's post. Below is this week's prompt. Keep these questions in mind as you take your pictures:

  • Show us how you store your teacher resource materials.ganization supplies classroom storage classroom management classroom arrangement classroom organization skills organization ideas for the classroom organization ideas for teachers organization ideas for elementary classrooms decluttering a classroom declutter classroom before pictures kindergarten first grade second grade third grade fourth grade fifth grade sixth grade preschool 1st grade 2nd grade 3rd grade 4th grade 5th grade 6th grade time management, professional organizer, ways to get organized, organizing products, helping kids get organized, organizing teachers, the organized classroom, tips for getting organized tips for classroom organization storage manipulatives school supplies, how to organize a teacher's desk, organized teacher desk, how to clean a teacher desk, teacher desk, organized teacher desk tips, tips for organizing a teacher  how to organize teacher resources, teacher resource books

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