Teachers are geniuses in many ways. They have to wear many hats and don’t get credit for most of them. Teachers far too often have to go above and beyond being an educator and be a nurse, a therapist, a bouncer, a convenience store, and so much more. As a former teacher, yes, I am biased, but you know I’m right. Even though I was only on the teacher side of the school system for two years, I realized that successful teachers were organization and storage masters. These practices that I saw in highly effective teachers can easily be transferred into anybody’s lifestyle.
Paperwork, storage and organization is obviously a key to being a successful teacher. You cannot lose anything when you are a teacher. You are expected to be able to put your hands on any piece of paper at any given time. To do so, a lot of teachers had different methods. One method that I was a particular fan of was having binders dedicated to specific subjects with page protectors and dividers. If a teacher needed a copy of the fractions pre-test, she could go to the Fractions binder, go under the assessment tab and pull out the pre-test from its page protector. You can do this in your home by having a binder for each major component of your life. You could have a binder for vacation information, another for bills, one for each member of your family, one for your emergency plan, or whatever is important to you and your family. This way finding something can be a simple matter of finding the right binder. It is as easy process as long as you stay on top of it.
Good teachers also have stations or areas of a room strictly dedicated to specific tasks. Clearly you aren’t going to have a bulletin board with arrows and a calendar for a “homework station” but you can apply this same principle. At your front door you can have a coat rack, shoe bin, and key hook and no shoes, coats, or keys should go beyond that point. In your office, can have a coffee area on your counter and filters, mugs, sugar containers, and other coffee items do not go beyond that point. At home, keep your linen closet’s shelves divided for specific items and do not put items on random shelves no matter how tired you are when you put things away or really don’t feel like reaching all the way to the top shelf. Keeping the strict stations rule teachers have will help you keep everything organized and in its proper locations. Teachers are sticklers for stations and you can be, too.
Lastly, in any good teacher’s classroom, you will never find a single nook, cranny, shelf, or bit of wall space that isn’t being used for storage purposes. Under the table that is cleverly concealed with a decorative table cloth are bins full of extra supplies. On the side of the filing cabinets you’ll find lists of important phone numbers, emergency routes, calendars, reminders, and other important documents for easy access. Under the chalk board are folders for kids to drop off missing assignments, pick up homework, counseling sheets, and other stuff for kids to grab when they need them. You can do this too by filling every space possible with storage solutions. Buy bins, reuse boxes, hang decorative curtains to cover shelves—whatever it takes. You can maximize your home or office like a teacher and fit more stuff into one room than you ever thought possible.
“What would a teacher do?” probably won’t be what you think when you come across your next organization or storage struggle, but maybe you should. Be overly organized with your binders. Set up areas in your home or office for specific tasks so you don’t have to pester people looking for misplaced items. Use every space you have available to you in an efficient manner. Today’s teachers could probably teach all of us a thing or two about storage and organizer without even having to try.