If you follow me on Instagram, you might know that I’ve been giving my speech room a makeover. It was bad, y’all. It needed purging and re-organizing like nobody’s business. I am happy to report that it’s
finally done in a workable state. Is any organizing ever completely done? I did learn a few lessons and maybe some secret hacks along the way that I am happy to share with you. So, here are my dos and don’ts of speech room organizing.
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1. DO corral the themes
I’ve got a lot of themed books and TPT products that I consistently use. Plastic bins are your friend. I labeled mine by month and put the themed products and books I typically use inside of that month’s bin.
You can house more evergreen themes like farm, zoo, superhero in their own bins as well. The important thing is to corral like items together. I also have bins of: TPT products by disorder (for the ones that aren’t themed), core word boxes, sensory bin supplies, whisper phones/mics, several different toys, etc.
2. DO label everything
Labels are gold. They save you time from looking everywhere, and they help you know where to put things. Plus, they can be so pretty to look at if you have cute ones!
Here’s one of my favorite hacks! Attach a plastic photo holder for larger labels or a business card holder for smaller labels to the outside of your plastic bin or box. Slide the labels inside. Now you can change the labels out easily to re-use the same bin.
Need some cutesie labels? You can grab these for FREE when you join the BBS community! 🙂
3. DO store the small stuff
How do you store your office supplies and tiny objects and items? Before, I just shoved them all into drawers or zip lock bags. This worked-ish but was not so cute. Do you have a teacher toolbox? I love mine for my office supplies.
I also have lots of target mini-erasers that I use for therapy. This case was perfect for them! Plus, it’s so cute and colorful. I also have a bin for fine motor materials with little containers inside.
4. DO be on-the-go ready!
If you travel from school to school or even classroom to classroom, you definitely want to be on-the-go ready! I use carts like this rolling cart to carry all my supplies to different classrooms or for quick drill activities.
Truth be told though, I really aspire to buy this one above! It’s super fancy and I think I could definitely justify purchasing it if I was at multiple schools.
5. DO keep all your paperwork together
There are 2 essential items that I use to keep all my paperwork together. First, is my planner.
It’s discbound so I just punch and add to it throughout the year. The dividers have pockets so I can keep things together inside those too. I seem to accumulate random handouts, so this is perfect for that.
The second thing is little drawers. I like these over hanging files because I feel like they are A). More confidential for student paperwork and B). The papers don’t tend to bend and curl like they do in hanging files. I use this one on my desk for filing and these for district forms.
1. DON’T buy products you don’t need
This is easier said than done. Let’s take a little quiz. You see a new Super Duper or TPT product that sparks your interest. Do you immediately buy it, even though you don’t have a student to use it with yet? OR a teacher or SLP friend asks you if you want this random basket of half-used stickers. Do you say “Heck yes! Gimme all the free stuff!” or think about your own drawer of stickers and pass on it? I am guilty of both of those scenarios. However, I’m trying to do better at saying NO. I think I need this button that Jenn from CrazySpeechWorld found! HA.
2. DON’T sacrifice functional for cute
Not everyone has an entire classroom to themselves for speech. Utilize that space! One space that often gets forgotten is wall space! Command strips and hooks are amazing for making those walls functional! Do you have a big white board in your room like I do? Get magnetic hooks and clips. I hang up lots of my visuals and store products in page protectors with binder clips on the hooks. You don’t have to have a cutesy bulletin board either. Use it to your advantage. Everything doesn’t have to be cute and fancy. Function wins each time in my book.
3. DON’T forget to discard
I think there is a direct correlation to how long you’ve been an SLP to how much stuff you accumulate. There was so much stuff in my therapy closet that I never used! I had to take a deep breath, look at each item, and give myself permission to toss it or donate it! I’m officially giving you permission to do the same. That material served you well for a while, but sometimes it’s time to give someone else the opportunity to get some good use out of it. #mariekondostlye
4. DON’T forget what you have
If materials aren’t easily visible, it’s easy to forget what you have. I like keeping my digital materials organized by using this organizer.
For physical materials, you can keep a spreadsheet by theme or disorder. Personally, I like having one by disorder then adding subheadings for themed products. You might be thinking, “Lauren, ain’t nobody got time for dat.” And, yes, it IS a pain to get started. (Definitely, purge first!) It’s not so bad to add to it after you do it initially though. I do mine in Google Sheets, so I can access it from anywhere. (Freebie below!)
5. DON’T stress about staying organized
It’s ok if your room gets messy. It’s ok if you don’t have the funds for fancy organization tools. It’s ok if the system that works for you doesn’t work for anybody else. These tips are just that. TIPS. They aren’t laws. They’re just meant to be helpful in case you need some ideas or inspiration. What ideas can you share? I’d love to hear them!! Comment below or send me a DM on Instagram and let me know!
Yikes, this post was long! If you stuck with me until the end, you rock! Grab these Google Sheets inventories for free as a thank you!! No emails or questions asked! Enjoy!