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.