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“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned” – Benjamin Franklin.

So, do you ever feel that organizing is a waste of time? Or, rather, that you are intentionally wasting time and procrastinating by organizing your workspace? Well, while that can sometimes be the case, other times organizing can help you become more productive.

Well, on that note, today’s brief post has a few ideas that have helped me reorganize my entire apartment (and workspace!) If you love organizing as much as I do, this post can be used as a  short checklist you can implement. On the other hand, if you’re new to organization, or find it stressful, don’t worry!  I’m here to help. Check out my brief discussion of strategies below.


Organization for Stress Management

So, whenever I feel a bit overwhelmed by the schedule I have (or to be more specific, my PhD project), I start to organize. I make lists, I clean up computer files, and start super cleaning my space.  Actually, I deep clean my apartment and reorganize everything each summer, since that’s when I have the most time.  Organizing is actually a lot of fun!

Why organize?

  • It reduces stress in the long run
  • You’ll always find that item you’re always losing (because it’ll be in its appropriate place!)
  • I find it a lot of fun to get creative, colour co-ordinate, and make it easy to find your folders and papers (especially when you’re organizing teaching resources!)


5 Ways You Can Start Organizing Your Workspace

So, maybe you don’t agree with my comments above, and find organizing a chore, rather than fun  – am I right? Don’t worry, I’m here to help! Here are the top 5 categories I think you should consider when you’re ready to start!


1.  Organize Computer Files –  First of all, you have them all backed up, right?  You can read my post about Carbonite backup, and click here for a free trial if you’d like to check it out.  Once you’re sure your work is safe, start organizing into a file structure that makes sense to you.  Mine looks like this:

2.  Clean Your Desk –   Clear everything off your workspace or desk and start from the beginning. Make a pile for important papers, somewhat important papers, and trash.  Then, get sorting!  Also, if you have a lot of knick-knacks on your desk, choose your favourite few and keep those. The cleaner and more “white space” you have, the more refreshed and ready to work you’ll feel.

3.  Put Your Bookshelf In Order –  I love organizing bookshelves! Yes, seriously. There are so many ways – by size, by genre, in alphabetical order, by level (for textbooks or graded readers for your students).

4. Label Everything –  Whether they are student folders, your own notebooks, file folders, or boxes full of pens – I organize and label them all! You’d be surprised how handy my DYMO labeller comes in

5. Scan Your Important Documents – I can’t stress this one enough. Yes, I have paper files with paper documents, neatly organized in plastic folders. However, I scan the important documents!  Then, I file the image in the corresponding computer folder. That makes it simple to find. So, that’s easy, right?

Oh, and don’t forget to read my popular post on 6 Simple Ways to Organize Your Teaching Resources, if you haven’t already. There are more tips in that post.

Do you have tips you can share for organizing your workspace? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below (I respond to every comment!)

Have a lovely and productive Monday!




P.S. The main photo for today’s post (and poster!) is one I took in 2013 at Blenheim Palace, Oxford.

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