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Organizing without a Teacher Desk

A few years ago, 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!


  1. You may have just convinced me to get rid of my desk! I have those deep drawers where things get lost for years!

    Sally from Elementary Matters

  2. Just gave up my desk at the end of last year in order to save room in my portable, so I appreciate this post a bunch! Thanks for sharing, and I'll be scheduling this soon at my FB page. :)
    FlapJack Educational Resources

  3. I have thought about going without my desk. I love how you are keeping everything organized and everything has its place! Plastic drawers are great for so many things!
    Conversations in Literacy

  4. I do something similar to this!! My teacher desks have been old and rusty.. I just didn't want to use the drawers. I love my teacher toolbox and put my papers in trays. I even have rolly drawers for my papers/cardstocks and supplies.

    A Little of LiLi

  5. I got rid of mine a long time ago and it's been great! I love how you organized everything so perfectly--thanks for sharing your techniques!!

    I adore your (new?) design by the way...I'm sorry I've been so behind in reading!

  6. I don't think my room is going to have a traditional desk- just a table and a shelf- so I'm looking for lots of ideas. Thanks for sharing!


    Tales from Outside the Classroom

  7. Once over the separation anxiety all was good! Thanks for the organization ideas. Smiles

  8. Alright... ready to ditch the desk. I am super jelly of all the cabinet space you have behind your student table though... need to see if I can find the same magical place. Thank you for your awesome tips and inspirations.

    The Applicious Teacher

  9. I stumbled upon your blog through Doodle Bugs. You seem to be similar to me in a lot of ways, so I'm following you now to get new ideas to tweak what I already do. Got rid of my desk about 4 years ago! Love it!! I was about the third in our building, and now almost everyone has jumped on board. What a waste of space:)

    4th Works

  10. I don't have a desk this year as the room I moved to doesn't have enough room for it. The room also doesn't have any built-in shelves (very little storage, too) like you have. There's barely enough space for my plastic drawers and I can't have anything by the radiator that gets hot during the winter so everything gets piled on my group table, and I don't like it! I almost wish I had my desk back!


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