Classroom Management

How to Cope With Your Art Room Organization Style

Do you know an art teacher who has a room that appears to be a total mess but somehow she always knows where everything is? Ahhh… so fascinating! Because teaching art involves so much physical ‘stuff’ there is a lot to keep track of. Truth be told, we all have our own organization style. One isn’t better or worse than another, but knowing our downfalls can help us improve. 


Take a peek at the 4 types of art room organizers below and see which fits you best. Take note of each solution to help you cope.


1. Plentiful Pile Person



What it Looks Like

You have little mini-piles everywhere and you might be considered a stacker. For the most part, you know what is in your piles, but admit things have gotten lost on occasion. 


How to Cope

Make sure flat space doesn’t equal a dumping ground. If an item doesn’t have a home or can’t be filed away, should it be tossed? Create a physical “Inbox” and clean it out weekly so piles don’t build up. 


2. Stash Away Sally


What it Looks Like

If you can’t see the mess, it must not exist. You pile things behind closed doors to survive and keep your sanity. Although clean on the outside, a storm is brewing inside (pssst…this is me!).

How to Cope

Be intentional about putting things back in their homes right away. Rushing around and shoving things won’t help you save time later, so put in the time up front. 


3. Color-Coded Creative

color coded


What it Looks Like

Not only does everything appear to be organized, it actually is. You’ve spent a LOT of your own time and money in your classroom and it shows. Your name might be Alecia Eggers


How to Cope

Instead of focusing on your next organizational project, take a step back. 


4. The Happy Hoarder



What it Looks Like

Old fabric, burlap, popsicle sticks and beads from 1970 – you’ve stashed it all for that PERFECT project that you may do someday! Everyone can count on you to have what they need, that is if you can find it!


How to Cope

If stashing ‘stuff’ is hindering your ability to be an effective teacher, it’s time to clear out. If you haven’t used it in a few years, perhaps you never will. Consider donating to someone who can.


Don’t beat yourself up if you have a hidden stash of trash or 64 boxes of dried out markers cluttering up your closet. Take a step back and make a few small tweaks to start on the path to a more efficient art room.


Which type of organizer are you?

What advice would you add? 


Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is AOEU’s Founder and a former AOEU Writer and elementary art educator. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.

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