Over the last five years, I've accumulated lots and lots and lots of files. When I started as a first year teacher, I was just excited to put something into a file, label it, and put it in my desk. However, over time, I realized there was no method to my madness and I couldn't find anything I was looking for. Therefore, the files were worthless! Here were my steps in organizing the madness:
1. I started by taking all of the files out of my two drawers and organized them into like groups. For instance, I had created a file for each reading strategy so I put all of those into a Reading pile.
2. As I did this, I tossed a lot of things that I haven't used in the last couple of years. This was so liberating!! There were a few things like the Olympics that I knew I would want to go back to at some point. Although most of my files are digital, there are just some things that you need to keep on paper. I probably narrowed down to less than half of what I had originally.
3. Once they were organized into like piles, I then color coded them so that each pile was one color. Math was red, social studies was green, writing was blue, etc. There were some files that I repurposed since the colors were intermixed to begin with, so I just flipped the folder the other way and relabeled it. (Hint: Don't write on them with Sharpie in case you need to flip them over later, the Sharpie ink will not have bled through)
4. After they were all organized, I added a couple of blank files of each color to the back of each group so that if I need another file later, it is convenient, easy, and fast to create.
|After: Pure bliss!|
|Before: Ahh! The madness!|