Monday, January 23, 2012

Tips for A Clear Desktop

If you are just joining us, you'll want to start here or check out my Clutter-Free Guide to Classroom Organization & Management.

The challenge for this week is The Teacher Workspace. When you walk into your classroom and look at your desk how do you feel? How do you think others perceive it?

Reasons for Keeping a Clean Desk

  • A clean workspace will improve efficiency.
  • It will present an organized, professional image.
  • Having systems to maintain your space daily helps protect confidential data and student information.
  • It will make you more relaxed and less stressed.

How to Declutter a Desk:

I’ve shared my Rules for Decluttering your classroom. Keep those in mind, but we need to add in a few more when it comes to your desk.

Could you store the items elsewhere? I keep the majority of mine in a supply area / writing center that is shared with the students. Here are a few other ideas I found that would work.

I've seen this project duplicated a few times, but I'm pretty sure Rebecca Rojas' is the original.
I loved it when she first posted it last summer.

This was meant to be a teacher gift, but you could certainly craft your own supply box.


This could hang inside a closet.

Is the item readily available in the teacher supply closet? If there isn’t a shortage of staples, paper clips or whiteout in your building then you don’t need to be hoarding them in your classroom.

What does this item say about you? How much joy does it bring you? The space on your desk is limited. Don’t waste it with random tchotchkes that are perceived as clutter to others. Instead select one thing that really makes you happy and treat yourself. Perhaps a decorative lamp, a gorgeous frame or a vase of fresh cut flowers. Plan to have one item as a splurge. Compare other items to this when deciding their value.

Use your small sorting bins to quickly purge the unwanted items on your desktop and in your drawers.

Clean the Area:

Wipe down the surface and all the nooks and crannies within the drawers.

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  1. My "teacher desk" does double duty. The side of my desk with the drawers holds my purse, lesson plan files, and incentives (awards, stickers, etc.) The desktop has only enough room for my laptop and grade book. The side of the desktop facing the students houses a computer for students to use, a letter tray for forms and notes that the students need to give me, and the printer. If I need a clear surface to do work, I use the small group work table. As far as my classroom is concerned, I would rather have my desk serve a variety of purposes than cluttering the classroom with more furniture.

  2. I chose not to have a teacher desk. I couldn't stand having anything on it- so it was just sitting there- AND, even though the kids loved sitting there, they always felt like they needed to ask permission. I just couldn't get them to sit there without asking first (strange problem I know)! However I love the pinterest idea- one of my teammates just made her own and loves it!

  3. I am not a natural organizer. My desk is far from perfect, but my classroom is tamed and my lessons are creative and sometimes messy. I am always looking to make my space feel better for myself and to function more efficiently for my students. I read your blog for tips and have passed on a few to other friends. However, I kept coming back to one line you wrote: It will present an organized and professional image. I read it. I thought about it and I came back to it. I felt the need to express myself to you. I am offended. I am extremely professional in the way I deal with students, parents, colleagues, paper work and my lesson plans. My desk is messy. Often. I don't think that I am less of a professional because of that. Disorganized, yes. Unprofessional, no.

  4. I love using a shoe organizer on my closest door. I have two actually one for my supplies and one for extra student supplies. They are great!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Check me out! Just purged, cleared, and finished cleaning today!
    It's Grow Time!

  7. Thanks for sharing this blog regarding tips for clear desktop. This can help lots of teachers like me to clear our desktops. I will buy desktop trays to start organizing and clearing my working place.


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