Getting Organized for the New Year

I love organization.

I love boxes, binders, file folders, plastic baggies, planners.. if it helps me stay organized and less stressed – I’m totally in.

If you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you’ve seen all the different ways I like to keep my classroom organized. Our days are VERY fast paced and there is not a lot of down time or prep time, so I have learned several different ways to keep myself from being buried in clutter..

Monthly Bins

In our classroom, I buy and create a ton of our materials including books, tasks, art projects, and materials for workboxes. In order to keep all of these things secure and ready for the following year, I have monthly bins. These also work GREAT in keeping clutter to a minimum because if I find Christmas materials in June, I can just throw them in the December bin instead of allowing them to get lost in a pile of junk.

Classroom Organization Systems

Each area in our classroom has some type of organizational system. In order to keep the day running smoothly with 4+ adults in one classroom, most materials are labeled in bins and activity bins stay in the same place, just the activity labels change. All of my data sheets for our month themed activities go along with the labels, so it makes it easy for my assistants to jot down notes in the correct place so that the student doesn’t do the same activities over and over again, and we can ensure they are mastering skills.

Traditional Workboxes

This is a video from last school year, but I like the way it was organized for these students that were able to retrieve their own tasks. 

Table Time Activities 
(Clothespin Tasks – switched out monthly)

Most of the clothespins have specific pieces that go with the monthly packs; however, I store all letter and number clothespins in an old jewelry holder so new monthly set-ups are quick and easy!

Art Activities

All activity pieces are cut and prepped in bulk ahead of time and placed in a labeled manila envelope with a sample, so there is no worry to prep in the morning of the day you want to do the activity. We use my Easy Art packs for the prep and student directions.


To keep our play area neat and tidy, as well as to increase communication in our students, all of our toys are organized in bins inside a closet in the play area. Students have to request a toy before they begin playing with it (verbal request, sign language, or using pictures). If they wish to change an activity, clean up is required before they can have another activity.


Each student in my class is assigned a color at the beginning of the year. Anything and everything related to this student is color coded. Helps us locate needed data binders, schedule cards, and clipboards in a jiffy!

Calendars, Paperwork, and Important Information

To help tame the paperwork MONSTER.. I use my Special Educator’s Everything Binder. It makes my life so much easier!

Click here to read about how I organize my Student Data Binders… I will also be sharing my tips and tricks for collecting daily data next week! 


  1. Breezy Brie on January 6, 2015 at 3:10 am

    I love the color coding for students! I also do this for my students…and some of the other teachers make fun of me! HA But it's AWESOME!

    And I just wish plastic bins weren't so expensive, it sure adds up, but is totally worth it…I'm just too cheap :/

    Happy New Year!
    Brie – Breezy Special Ed

  2. Mary on January 6, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    I am going to have to use your idea for color coding my students! I also am jealous of all the storage you have in your room!

    teaching special kids

  3. Tyreca on January 10, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    I love love love your classroom organization. I am a graduate special education student who is planning to apply for a teaching job in the fall. What advice would you give to a new teacher?

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