A place for everything and everything in its place, that’s the dream isn’t it? My name is Maureen and I am addicted to anything that helps me get organized. Organization bins, trays, boxes, the list goes on. I have tried a few different methods to help me get organized in the past, some worked and some crashed and burned. So now, when my hubby and I are expecting our first child, organization is the name of the game! Here are some organization for SLPs tips that I have found worked for me and will hopefully work for you too!
First, before I get to speech rooms, let’s have some ‘me time’. When it comes to organization for SLPs, we have to ask ourselves: what are things we can use to help organize our daily lives and all of our super fun activities like IEP meetings, student problem solving meetings, testing, and screening schedules, etc? Personally, I’m old fashioned. I like a good ole’ pretty, paper planner. I know that I do best to remember things when I have written it down and everything is in one spot. For the past few years I have been using an Erin Condren planner and have been loving it. They have different layouts now too, so there is something for everyone. You can choose from vertical, horizontal, or *gasp* hourly!!!! You can click this referral link to check them out. They can be a little pricey as far as planners go, so that has become my yearly splurge on myself since I use it for everything from school to hair appointments.
Recently, I stumbled onto these stickers that fit perfectly in my planner and are made by an SLP for SLPs! How cute are they! You can get them HERE.
I also have a Speech Planner/Binder. Now I know you may be thinking, two planners, isn’t that overkill? Not really. While I use my Erin Condren planner to write down meetings and testing dates, I use my Speech Binder to keep track of all the other aspects of our job. I have my screening tracker, student notes, session planner sheets, intervention consent forms, and more. I also keep all the signed consent forms and screening forms for my kids in this binder. That way if we unexpectedly start discussing the student at a meeting, I’m prepared. At the end of the year I just take out the screening tracker, notes, and forms and place them in a labeled file folder for that year and make some space for it in my filing cabinet. Quick and easy.
If you are more techy and would prefer to avoid a paper planner, then utilizing your smartphone is going to be the way to go. There are a lot of great apps out there to help you get organized that go beyond what your google calendar can do. This post had some nice suggestions.
Now, onto speech rooms! Speech rooms come in all shapes and sizes, but no matter the space, we want to maximize it to fit all of our stuff. All the games, TpT activities, tests, pictures cards, sensory tools, office supplies, and more.
You can find drawer carts at craft stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby as well as organization store like The Container Store. These are great for keeping things close at hand. Marisha, from Road to Speech, has a helpful post that explains how she uses her cart.
I currently use a milk crate next to my therapy table to store all the activities I plan to use for that day. Then on my table I have a cute little polka dot basket that I found at Target a few years ago to house extra post-its, dice, pens and pencils, tissues, some extra fidgets, and hand sanitizer. This allows me to keep therapy going and not have to get up and go to my desk 10x a day to get those little things.
Next up, binders. I have a slight binder problem. For me they just make sense. I can group similar No Prep/Print and Go activities into one binder, put a label on the front and BOOM! Organization! *micdrop*
I also have one for my Vocabulary Survival Kits,
If you are looking for a way to store your TpT materials I have a YouTube video you will want to check out!
I have been seeing teachers using these tool boxes from hardware store for their classroom supplies and frankly its genius! All of these little things that get easily lost in one space. A place for everything! The organization side of me swooned. Then I got jealous. These were great but I didn’t see labels for things SLPs or anyone is Special Ed for that matter needed like hand fidgets, velcro pieces, wind up toys, binder rings, tongue depressors, mini flashlights, etc. Well, that just wouldn’t do! So I decided to make my own. Presenting the SLP/SpEd Organization Labels and ToolBox!
I am waaaay too excited about this. I can put all my loose, speechie odds and ends in their own compartments and put the entire thing on top of my bookshelf! This keeps things organized and out of my way, while utilizing the vertical space in my room. What I love is that these labels are not just good for the ToolBox. If you already have box with these items in them, put these labels on the front and make things easier to find! Just laminate and tape on the front. You can do the same if you have cabinets in your room, just put the labels on the front of the doors. You can see lots more pictures in the preview in my TpT store and watch the video I made about it.
Are you a traveling SLP with 3-4 different bags of materials? Laminate the labels and put them on a ring, then hook them to a bag. Now you can quickly see what is in each bag after they have gotten tossed around your trunk or backseat from that hard right turn.
I hope you have found these ideas helpful. Do you do anything special to help you stay organized?