Sunday, June 16, 2013

3 Ways to Organize Now, for Next Year

I have found that it is much easier to start a NEW school year organized if I END the last year organized!
Here are three tips to help you get ready for next year, right now!

1. Plan out your projects for the year.

       I have a simple grid that I made once and just adapt each year. Its color-coded and allows me to see my entire year at a glance. Things certainly change and I rearrange/shuffle/insert/delete projects as I go, but this is a great road map to start the year with. The reason it seems to work is that I make this chart in the spring of the previous year. I can see what supplies I might need to order and it helps me see how the projects will flow from one to the next. And most of all, it makes me feel like I have most of my ducks in a row before the year even starts.

2. Organize your supply areas.

     I am blessed to have a large storage closet in my room, but come the end of the year, I just want to shove supplies in there, quickly slam the door and run out to greet summer vacation! But I know I will be so annoyed with myself in the Fall if I do that now. Go into your storage area, dedicate some time (30 minutes or so seems to put a nice size dent in such a big job) and just push through. When you find another chunk of time, clear out another section. It will be easier to come back to a clean, organized area next fall.

3. Make a Beginning-of-the-Year Checklist.

     There are so many things to do at the beginning of the school year and I don't know about you, but I'd rather walk around and socialize with all my coworkers and hear about their summers than stay on top of my to-do list. But all the fun stuff can still happen if you organize your to-do list ahead of time. Think of all the tasks you know you HAVE to do EVERY year: make seating charts, put up the calendar, type up class lists, decorate the bulletin boards, etc... Now, make a list of all of those things so that when you're done chitchatting and catching up, you've got a focused "plan of attack" for your art room. Here's an example of mine:
Beginning of the Year Checklist

Here's to hoping your school year has ended well and you're ready to rest and recharge so you're ready again next Fall.



  1. Wow- I seriously HAVE to make a year at a glance now. Love it! I'm a visual learner so seeing your example really helped me!

    The Learning Tree

  2. This is AWESOME! What program did you use to make your Project Grid?

    Mrs. Flowers

    1. It's just a table in MS Word. I messed with the borders and merged some cells as I needed. Once I got the format I wanted, it's easy to alter each year.

  3. Love this, I teach middle school art and am going to try to modify this for a nine weeks course! Thanks! LKC @

  4. Hi. I am new to teaching art. Could you please explain your art book you use at the beginning of the year with kindergarten. Thanks.

    1. I found an idea years ago and have adapted it for my students and my needs. The kindergartners create a portfolio of sorts, filled with their art from the year and we bind them into books. It's a great keepsake for the kids and their parents. Check out the original idea here:

  5. I absolutely LOVE your bulletin board planner! What a genius idea! Thanks for sharing. I love to be organized and your ideas are very helpful!