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Teacher Spring Cleaning Series Part Two: How to Organize Your Filing Cabinet

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Show Notes:

There’s something about the spring season that makes me want to declutter and organize my classroom. To me, it feels good to clean and get things cleared out, for it provides a clear mental space for the busy time of the end of the school year. In last week’s episode, I started the teacher spring cleaning series with the central point of the classroom, the teacher’s desk. Now, I want to continue the series with a place that can accumulate a lot of clutter and documents, which is your filing cabinet.

I’m constantly talking about how to streamline your classroom management system and providing strategies to support student behavioral concerns. However, having an effective classroom management system is so much more than students, for it also involves managing your space and materials. This includes your teacher filing cabinet. Even though this piece of furniture is designed to organize your documents with a sense of relief, I rarely feel that when I open my filing cabinet. Instead, I find that my filing cabinet is filled with clutter of documents in no specific place or documents that no longer align with my standards or previous student work.

If this sounds like your teacher filing cabinet situation, I’ve got you covered! Just like with organizing your teacher desk, I’m sharing a few steps and tips to help you organize your filing cabinet. After starting out by emptying and cleaning it, I ask you to create and develop your own organizing system. Having a clear and functional system for how you categorize and organize all of your documents, such as student work, each subject, lesson plans, and other administrative documents, is the key to maintaining its clean look.

Even though you clear and organize it once, it doesn't mean it’s going to stay that way. One of the hardest parts of organizing is developing the habit of keeping it clean and putting away new documents in their designated spots. This is why creating your own system that works and is functional for your own needs is so important. This teacher spring cleaning series was created for your benefit in mind. Take the time to declutter, organize, and set up your classroom now to help you pack up at the end of the school year. Stay tuned to next week’s episode, where we learn how to get your students involved in the cleaning!

Inside this week's show, you'll learn:

  • How decluttering and cleaning your space can benefit your physical space, along with your mental space
  • Steps to help you organize your filing cabinet in a way that’s functional for your own needs
  • Examples of how to categorize your filing cabinet with different documents, including color-coding and the use of multiple drawers
  • Ways to help you keep up with regular maintenance since keeping up with filing away new documents can be a difficult task for most teachers

Links & resources mentioned inside this episode:

I hope this information is helpful as you prepare for your first, second, or third year of teaching. Until next time, remember, just because you're a beginning elementary teacher, there's no need for you to struggle like one.

πŸ’› Lori

Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor

Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at and at

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