Optimum Organization Linky Party!

May 22, 2013

Optimum Organization Linky Party!

May 22, 2013
Hello everyone and welcome to the Optimum Organization Linky Party! My sweet bloggy friend Elizabeth and I are hosting and would love it if you could link up some of your favorite organizational methods. What has worked really well for you? What systems will you be using again next year? You can link up at either of our blogs to join in on the fun!
Here are a few of my absolute favorites from this school year…
First and foremost…my teacher toolbox! So many of us worked on these last summer and I have to say, this is my absolute favorite organizational piece in the entire classroom.
I haven’t lost any supplies I need…
and the labels force me to keep everything in the right place…
I could go on and on about this toolbox. What I really need is to put EVERYTHING in my room in compartments like this. Then I would really be organized, once and for all!
In all seriousness, I am thinking about making another one for my students’ workshop materials this summer…that’s how well it has worked for me this year!
Another thing I did over the summer was to label as many paper baskets as possible for all types of work I pass out or collect…
If it has a label on it, I am careful to put things in the right place and this has been so helpful for my organization this year. I am going to make more labels for those papers I didn’t think of this year (I’m keeping a list of what I will need during these final weeks)…
Another organizational piece that has helped greatly this year are the Sterilite drawers my students use for their materials. 
As many of you know, my students have tables instead of desks. These oversized drawers (they are meant for scrapbooking paper) have been the perfect size for binders, papers, reading materials, and so much more.
Those are my top three organizational techniques…they have helped me so much and I plan to keep these systems for a long time in the future.
How about you? What systems have been of help in your class? If you would like to share, please grab a button…

and link up below…



  • The Wild Rumpus May 22, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Kristen–thanks so much for doing this! I can't wait to see everyone's systems and ideas. You are, of course, my hero in this department, so I was so excited to see what you posted.

    • Kristen May 22, 2013 at 11:43 pm

      Thanks Heather and thanks for linking up!! I think you had WAY more to share than I did and I learned a lot from you 🙂 🙂

  • Diane R May 22, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    I think that I will have to break down and make a toolbox. With increasing enrollment for next year, I'll have to cram more desks into my room and downsize some things. Maybe my desk is one thing that I can reassess. Were those labels something that you shared with us? Last summer I had no interest in these, so I didn't pay much attention. Guess that will teach me…

    Thank you again for hosting this linky. It has been an emotionally tough week for me so far, so this linky was truly a highlight of my week. That may sound weird, but sometimes it's the little things 😉

    Thanks for all that you do!

    Fifth in the Middle

  • Jessica May 22, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Love your labels! How did you get them so small on the organization drawers?

    What I Have Learned

  • BaysideMathTeacher May 22, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    ooOOO I just LOVE your stationary supply container! It's such a perfect size and so adorable with the labels. I love looking at everyone else's awesome ideas so can't wait to look at the other links 🙂

    Thank you!

    Liz – BaysideMathTeacher

  • Sarah Hankinson May 22, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    Thanks for the info for your toolbox – it's on my summer bucket list! The tubs for each table are great! Thanks for hosting!

    Learning is for Superstars
    Learning is for Superstars is on Facebook

  • Elizabeth May 22, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    I don't think I could live without my toolbox! I love the idea of having one for the kids for writing supplies. I think I might adapt that to math supplies for my class!! Great idea. I have always loved your labels for everything!!! I really am leaning towards the labeled bins for students. I think I could avoid a lot of clutter around the room if I took the plunge and bought them. (I think I just added this to my to-do list!) Thanks for co-hosting with me, Bloggy Bud! I can't wait to see what everyone adds. I'm loving every post so far…that to-do list is a-growin'. 🙂

    Fun in Room 4B

  • Laurie May 22, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    It's great seeing what everyone else does. I'm already making a list of what I want to do!! I think this is a sickness. :o)

    First Grade Lyons' Den

  • Brandee Green May 23, 2013 at 12:27 am

    Thanks so much for hosting! I am learning so much from the posts. Great idea. 🙂
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  • Natalie May 23, 2013 at 12:33 am

    I love your toolbox! I want to make something like that for my classroom. Thanks for sharing the labels.

    Recess and Beyond

  • Sara Soucy May 23, 2013 at 12:43 am

    Organization is probably my most favorite thing in the whole world! I'll have to take pictures and link up!

    Sara 🙂
    Smiling In Second Grade

  • Libby May 23, 2013 at 1:00 am

    Great linky Kristen, you know I love all things organization 🙂
    I love your toolbox, but the only reason I haven't made one is because I would need larger drawers, I know I shouldn't have so many sharpies, post its, etc. but I do :/ Hmmm, is there a downsize linky in the future?
    First Grade Dual

  • Tonya May 23, 2013 at 1:07 am

    I am so linking up to this…I have something that worked WONDERS this year:)

    Tonya’s Treats for Teachers

  • Ursula May 23, 2013 at 1:53 am

    Hi there. I remember everyone was making these last year. I didn't, but totally think I need to for next year. Where do you buy the toolbox? Is there a certain kind to buy? Why does everyone spray paint them? Sorry for all the questions, but if I'm going to do it…I've gotta do it right! 🙂

  • belle716 May 23, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Kristen, I love the labels for the sterlite drawers. I use them on my mailboxes. I see you ave to different labels on those drawers. Did you share both files or just the one? If it was both, can you tell me where to find them? Thanks!


  • Rochelle Em May 23, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    This is great! I am wanting to start fresh next year with fancy teacher labels for all of my containers. My husband is about to rue the day he bought a color printer 😉

  • Love this linky! Makes my OCD heart go pitter patter to see all this organization in one spot. ; ) Love my toolbox! Love it daily!

    I Teach. What's Your Super Power?

  • Foreman Teaches May 23, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    Thank you for hosting such a wonderful linky. My summer to do list is getting terribly long! I have found some great ideas.

  • YoungTeacherLove May 24, 2013 at 1:43 am

    Your organization is ON ANOTHER LEVEL!! I LOVE your teacher toolbox and all of the fabulous ideas you are constantly posting! I have told EVERYONE in my building about your student drawers because they are such a great idea! Thanks for an awesome link up! 🙂

    Young Teacher Love Blog

  • Courtney May 24, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Your toolbox label drawers are adorable! Where did you get them? I actually think I like leaving the drawers uncovered better than covering them with paper. I had almost decided against making the toolbox but now I may have to give it a go. Do you also have a teacher desk?
    Polka Dot Lesson Plans

  • Lorena May 25, 2013 at 12:16 am

    Thank you for hosting this. I need to get a handle on my paper clutter.


  • Melanie May 25, 2013 at 4:41 am

    Love this! I need to work on an organization kit like yours this summer!

  • Collaboration Cuties May 25, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    I finally linked up! Yay!

    I can't wait to make a teacher toolbox! I'm going to do it the way you did, I think, where I can see inside!

    Thanks for the linky!
    Collaboration Cuties

  • Sarah J May 28, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Love this linky!! I love organizing 🙂 Your little drawer idea is great!

    A Sunny Day in First Grade

  • AMC Looking From Third to Fourth June 1, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    I love your toolbox and think that is a project I will have to tackle this summer! I used your drawer labels this year, only I used them to label their books, my students have class numbers and I wrote their names on the little book label – they looked fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing your files and ideas. This is a great linky!

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  • Leanne Baurs Creative Classroom June 3, 2013 at 1:52 am

    Hi Kristen! The toolbox does look awesome! I will work on that for my classroom this coming year! I'd like to link up within the week if I can grab a minute to do a post on organization. 🙂 As always, you do a fantastic job!

  • Jen Cullen//Sparkling in Second June 6, 2013 at 2:23 am

    I want to make the teacher toolbox, it's on my summer "to-do" list! I'm ridding myself of a desk next year & can't wait for this! Where did you get a toolbox like that with the different sized drawers?

  • Rachel June 10, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Where might I find that toolbox?

    I'm hooked!


  • Leave a Reply


    • Did you know that there are HUNDREDS of fonts to choose from in google drive?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀I mean, there are times I really wish I could just upload one of my favorite fonts from my laptop. But then I visit the Google Fonts website.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀And it has 915 fonts to choose from!!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀AND...you can add any of them to your google docs and slides!The Google Fonts site has all these great categories to help refine your search. You can even type right into the site to try out the different fonts (you can see an example in this first pic).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Once you find a font (or several!) you like, head into google docs. Click on the current font in your doc, then select “More fonts...” Type in the name of the fonts you’ve found...and then click on the font name when it pops up to add it to your font list.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Now your new favorite fonts are right there in your google drive for future designing!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀What are your favorite google fonts? Mine are Oswald and Century Gothic!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀#googledrive #technologyintheclassroom #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456 #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
    • Do you like to use a certain color scheme in your google docs?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀I always tend to use the same shades in my visuals for class...so I set up a file of my go-to colors. It’s very easy to do...and will save you lots of time in future google drive designing!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Here are the steps, in case you’d like to capture your favorite hues for google!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀First, open up a new slides file. Insert a table, and choose your favorite colors for each cell (to create a set of color swatches).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Name your file (I used “color swatches”) so you can find it quickly in the future.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Select your table and copy it.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Now, open up a new slides file or google doc. Click paste and your table will appear.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Delete your table. Even though the color swatches are gone, they are now stored in your custom colors selector. When you go to change your font color (or the cells and borders of a table) you will see all of your favorite colors under “custom” (swipe to see this in the last pic).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀And that’s it!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀I hope some of you will be able to use this idea! It’s saved me lots of time in designing in my drive.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀#googledrive #technologyintheclassroom #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456 #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
    • Ok, I learned something else new in google docs that I LOVE...even more than default margins!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀You can set a default font!!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀So I tend to go with Century Gothic for everything in class...usually paired with a bold font for headings (Oswald is my favorite!). But every time I start a new doc, I have to take the time to make these font changes.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Well, it turns out you can set a default font (and color) of your choice in two simple steps! It can only be one font...but at least it will save some time!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Here are the steps:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀First, open a new doc and type a word with the font/color combo you would like as your default font. Highlight the text you just typed.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Then, go to Format > Paragraph Styles > Normal Text > Update 'Normal text' to match.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Then go back to the Format menu and choose Paragraph Styles > Options > Save as my default styles. (Swipe to see pics of all these steps if you prefer a visual!).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀And that's it! Now when you open a new google doc, you will see your favorite font, all ready for you to start designing!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀#googledrive #technologyintheclassroom #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456 #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
    • Did you know that you can set default margins in Google Docs? I never realized until the other day!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀It drives me CRAZY when I open up a new doc and there's all that extra space at the top! I'm constantly reconfiguring the margins when I make a new doc. But it turns out you can set your favorite margin settings (because everyone has favorite margin settings, right?) and set it as a default.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀And it’s very easy to do!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Go to File, then Page Setup. Enter the margins you would like, then click the "Set as Default" button.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀And that's it!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Your next docs will open with this new setting from now on! Such a time-saver!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀(Am I the only one who didn't know this?) 😂⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀#googledrive #technologyintheclassroom #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456 #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
    • "This is so fun!" I got to hear some of my favorite words over and over during math today. And it was all thanks to  @adventuresofmssmith_ and @teachinginroom6!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀These clever ladies shared an awesome idea for solving some mundane math problems (multi-digit multiplication and long division review for us today) while building index card towers!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀And the setup was so easy.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀I made 30 review problems and numbered the cards. Then I highlighted the cards with a quick swipe to color code them (thanks to @teachinginroom6 for the color-coding idea!). The simpler problems were pink and could earn one index card when solved correctly. The more complex problems were yellow and could earn two index cards...and the most difficult problems were green and worth three index cards.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀My students worked in small groups and showed me their cards as they solved them. Some showed a couple of cards at a time, others solved everything first before "cashing in" (as they called it 😂).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀They were completely engaged and working as teams for the whole math block...it was great! And they are already asking when we can do this again.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀#math #iteachmath #multiplication #division #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456 #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
    • How many field trips does your class go on each year?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀We go on four (five some years 😬) and field trip season is just starting up now!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀I like to keep a checklist of our different trips to keep track of forms, money, and chaperones. I color-code each trip with a different flair pen if the trips are back-to-back (we are visiting our state capital this week and heading to the ymca for water safety next week!).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀This checklist is from my Instant Checklists resource...it has a hundred lists, ready to go, just enter your students’ names once. Please click the link in my profile if you’d like to see more! (http://bit.ly/instantchecklists)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Are you going on a field trip soon?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀#classroommanagement #classroomorganization #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456 #tpt #teacherspayteachers #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram

    Follow @ladybugsteacherfiles