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Desk Be Gone!

I've been reading a lot of New Year's resolutions that include "getting rid of my teacher's desk."  But I'm noticing that it comes with a lot of hesitation.  I've been there!  Last January, I got rid of my teacher's desk for good.  It was definitely a nerve-wracking process for me, but I am so glad that I did it.   I thought I would share how I organize and arrange my "stuff" without a desk.  Yes, it can be done!

This is what my desk area looks like now:

And, yes, my table is always that clear.  I use it to work with my students so I don't want it cluttered with stuff.  

I use the drawers to store important information and anything that I need at my fingertips.
Tape, post-its (I use sooo many of those), book order forms, stickers/labels and teacher materials (aka chocolate).  I love these drawers because nothing gets lost in them.  The deep drawers on my desk used to swallow things whole and I wouldn't see them for years!

I keep all my office supplies in this handy tool box that I'm sure you have all seen and made.  This is probably one of my favorite things in the whole wide world.  Seriously.  It makes an OCD girl's heart smile.  

Any papers or books for the upcoming week go in these bins.  I got them in the dollar section at Target (wayy cheaper than Lakeshore's set)!  I have to say that I don't use these a ton (notice how they are empty?), but it keeps things from piling up on my desk.  And my co-teacher can always find the papers she needs!

Lastly, my pretty awesome dad gave me about 20 of these stacking trays:

They are awesome!  They fit perfectly on the shelves behind my desk and I can easily separate my paperwork and student work.  On the top shelf, I have file folders for each committee that I am on (PBIS, RTI, etc).  The second shelf has file folders from professional development and data meetings (math, writing, reading, etc).  I often have to grab these and run to a meeting during the day so I keep them handy.  Then I have shelves of student work that I am saving.  Again, this keeps me from piling work on my desk.

So I say, if you are thinking about getting rid of your desk, go for it!

These photos are from my second grade classroom from last year.  When I moved to fifth grade this year, I decided to bring back my desk.  It didn't last long!  I got rid of my desk quickly and my set-up is similar this year.  

I am currently out of the classroom due to an early maternity leave so, unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of my classroom this year.  I will share them with you when I head back into my room!


  1. I got rid of my desk also... We don't have built in shelving in our rooms and I run into the problem that my group table would just be a hot mess of papers during the day. The table is parallels of the table I have for my computer/doc camera. So I brought I a another table as a "catch all" I just can't decide about it... I feel no mater how hard I try the paper just takes over!! LOL
    How do you keep this under control?? I would love to get your input... I would be willing to send you a pic of my area :)

    Kickin It Whole Brain In Texas

  2. Hi Chelsea!
    I don't have the shelves behind my desk this year, but I did buy a cheap bookshelf from Walmart ($15, maybe) to use. The plastic trays have been a lifesaver in curing my paper piles! I teach multiple classes, so I have a tray for each class. I also have trays for each committee that I am on. That way, when I return from a meeting, the papers go right in the tray instead of on my desk. i also have a filing cabinet right next to my table. Any activities that I do with my students go right in the filing cabinet. Hope this helps!

    Feel free to send me a picture and I'll help you any way that I can! livs14@gmail.com
    Sara :)

  3. I totally want to do this! I need to be brave, and just clean out so I can do this! My problem will be storing all of the "stuff" that goes on or in the teacher desk. I need to just go out and grab some book cases that aren't too expensive to take the spot in that are!! Thank you for the motivation to do this!!

    Mrs. 3rd Grade 

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