Staying Organized at Home and in the Classroom

Staying Organized at Home and in the Classroom

I was recently visiting with a friend who was concerned about her adult daughter. After a visit with her daughter's family, my friend said her daughter lives in total chaos. Her house is a disaster. She has no idea of her children's schedules. My friend's daughter seems depressed and overwhelmed. I can only imagine the impact of her lack of organization has on her two young children.

I'm now retired from teaching so it's pretty easy for me to relax and not worry about staying on schedule. But, this can also present a problem. I really have to be conscious of staying organized because I have extra hours in the day. My online educational business requires me to stay organized in a completely different way.

I read an article on 22 Habits That Will Make Your Life a Little More Peaceful Each Day. It sounds like an easy way to live each day but it does take work to get there. At the beginning of the year all of us have our classrooms totally organized with everything in it's place. Now that it's almost November, I'm hearing teachers feeling like they can't catch up.

I have a few suggestions for getting organization back in your life.

1. Take on only what you can handle. - This is so important. I know people who always say "YES" when asked to join a committee or host an event. Then, they complain that they don't have enough time in the day. This also includes activities for your children. Reducing their after-school activities can help reduce stress for you and your children. They may be unhappy at first but their lives will be calmer in the long-run. You know how much you and your children can handle. Stick by your decision.

2. Put things away immediately - This includes clothes, cleaning up after meals, bedroom, etc. It's easy to come home and just throw things down on the counter or table. Everything has a place. If something doesn't have a home, it probably needs to be discarded. Europeans live such a simple life. There's no clutter!
I'm always losing my cords to my mobile devices. I purchased an electronics travel bag from Clever Container to hold my cords and power supplies. I just traveled to New York and used my electronics bag. I was so proud of myself for not losing anything. I also purchased another organizer called "Stuff It" to hold scissors, glue and other items I need in the classroom or at home.

3. Create folders - I'm sure you have items that you may need for quick access. I have a folder for my easy access items. I create folders for files on my computer and use colored manila folders for important documents. I have a special drawer for my files and I've purchased plastic storage boxes just for file folders.

Using Folders to Stay Organized

4. Find personal space just for you - Find space in your home that is just for you. My husband works out of our home, so he has his office and workshop as his personal spaces. My personal space upstairs in our loft area. This is so important for your mental health, too. You can relax and meditate here or use it for a time of prayer. I just purchased a desk for my granddaughter to have in her bedroom. Hopefully, Harper will use this as her personal space to do her homework.

Personal Space to stay organized

Personal Space for Meditation or Prayer

5. Develop routines - When you develop a routine at home or in the classroom, you don't have to worry or stress about it. Knowing your routine takes the guesswork out of daily life.

6. Use Reminders and Calendars - I get so upset with myself when I forget appointments or events. Use your iPhone or mobile device to add appointments. Do this as soon as you know what's coming up. I'm very visual so I use planners along with my calendar on my iPhone.
Calendars to Stay Organized

Staying organized not only helps you but it helps your family and your students.

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