Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tips for Keeping a Clean Desk

Tips for Keeping a Clean Desk:

  • Stop using Post-It Notes. Instead keep one notebook designated for reminders and to do lists. I love me a Post-It too, but they make your work area look cluttered.

  • Find a new home for the tools that typically sit on top of a desk. I referring to tape dispensers, staplers, pencil cups,

  • Limit the family photos and kid art. It’s nice to have pictures of your family available so that your students can connect with you and know you are human. It’s also great to be able to look at the smiling faces or your loved ones while you are away from them. However, your classroom should not be a shrine to your family. Consider creating a personalized binder cover insert or a page protector with your personal photos. You could also go digital and simply look at your phone when you want to see those adorable little smiles.

  • Say no to knick-knacks. Enough said.

  • Ditch the desktop calendar. They are big. They are bulky. And chances are you are going to need to duplicate the dates and notes into something more portable anyhow.

  • Schedule times to clean your desk. Make this a routine. My class takes a few minutes to wash their hands and gather their recess things just before lunch. They also take about five minutes to pack up to go home at dismissal. I use both of those times to “manage” my desk. I quickly recycle anything I don’t need, address things in my action file, and relocate anything that has been placed onto the surface. Because it never gets to the “out of control” stage, I am able to tend to it during these two short periods of time. After the kids leave for the day I wipe the desk down and place my emergency sub binder in the center of the desk.

  • Stick to one pen. Pick a brand and color that you like and use it exclusively. Only keep 2-3 on hand at a time.

  • Don’t print emails or resources unless you absolutely need to.

  • Use twist-ties to tame cords.

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  1. This is great. I am pretty good about keeping things organized, but I find I do a lot of shifting...moving things from my desk to the shelf and then back. I need to figure out how to keep all the things I need once a week in a spot that is not on my desk. Thanks!

    First in Maine

  2. This one is the gigantic thorn in my side! I SO need this list! Thanks!

    Peace, Love and First Grade

  3. I love this post of yours! I am soooooo guilty about letting me desks get overloaded with stuff.....especially post it notes! I am going to start using a notebook as you suggested!!!!

    I happened to just write a post about keeping students desk clean... hop on over to my blog and check it out. I think you will like it.

    Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies

  4. Oh My Goodness! Thanks for these awesome tips! I am having a room redo with my new SMART Board being installed and my computer being moved to my desk area. This is a lifesaver! YEY! I even have PD tomorrow, so I plan on doing just this! Thanks for the share!

  5. I think I am in the minority here, because I teach high school. I absolutely need my supplies on my desk. My desk is still neat, clean and clutter free. Because I teach high school, I teach anywhere from 3-5 different classes with a grand total of about 150 students! I have all of my different lesson plan books along with text books on my desk in their respective magazine file holder, labeled with "Advanced Algebra Trig", "Algebra 2", "Geometry", etc. Since the passing periods are SHORT, I have to be ready at a moments notice to switch gears and teach something totally different. That is where my big ol' desk calendar comes in handy. I know from a glance at it, which periods are testing, which periods have group work, which lessons are being taught when. I get many compliments on the organization of my desk. I have pretty and stylish pencil and pen holders that make me happy and only ONE pretty picture frame on my desk. I think it's important to note that you CAN have these items on your desk and stay clutter free and organized. I know that elementary school teachers are a different bread, so maybe a bare desk is what is necessary for what you do. Any other high school teachers on this site?

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  7. Wow, having some trouble with my web browser. Didn't mean to re-post the same comment, but to correct "bread" with "breed".


  8. Two things from this post really stuck out to me- because I have tried them this year and I am loving the results! First, no knick-knacks/pictures. I have one small shelf dedicated to the knick-knacks student give me as presents throughout the year- an apple paperweight, a 2 teach is 2 touch lives 4 ever plaque. My photos are removed from their frames, scanned into my teacher computer and set as the screen saver- instant digital picture frame! Second, the pen issue! Not having a desk at all- I needed somewhere that I could have a pen, pencil and anything else I might need right at my fingertips. I put them in a small wallet/pouch and then it is clipped to my hip and with me wherever I decide to sit down and work! Love all of the organizational tips! Thanks!

  9. You totally just inspired tonight's blog post. Thank you!

    It's Grow Time! Office Supply-A-Holic

  10. Great ideas! I keep mt desk pretty organized, but there are definitely some things that could go. Thanks for the inspiration!


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