Math = Love: Me and My Desk: A Plea for Help

Monday, July 21, 2014

Me and My Desk: A Plea for Help

This post has been setting in my drafts for a while now.  I'm not sure why I never posted it.  So, the date references are all wrong, but I think you'll be able to follow along.  I almost deleted this since it was so old, but I decided to post it as a plea for advice.  Keeping my desk organized is a huge struggle or me.  So, I want to hear all your tips and tricks for staying organized during the school year.  I obviously need them!


In high school, I won an award for being the most organized student.  I was always the one with the binder full of tabs and sheet protectors.  I always had all my needed supplies.  And, everything had a place.  I'm not sure what happened to me.  The other day, a student asked, "Ms. Hagan, why is your desk always so messy?"  I just don't know.  When I do clean my desk off, I will have at least five people (coworkers and students) acknowledge how clean my desk is.  That's a sign that it's quite the rare occurrence.

Last week, I decided that I wasn't giving any standardized tests on Wednesday or Thursday.  So, I was going to make it my goal to clear my desk off before the three day weekend.

I even took a before picture to help motivate myself.  After all, then I could look at the after picture and feel so accomplished.  


Wednesday afternoon, I got unexpectedly called on to proctor a state test during my planning period.

(Not Much Better!)

So, Wednesday didn't end in a clean desk.  There's still Thursday, though.  Hope lives on!


What a great after picture, right?  A clean desk should not be this hard.

Why am I showing you pictures of my messy, unorganized desk?  This is a plea for help, guys.  I promise.  I don't want my desk to look like this.

I much prefer for it to look like this:

So, how do you keep your desk clean?  How do you stay organized?


  1. This is seriously my BIGGEST problem. My principal walked into my room at the end of the year and said "Wow, you actually have a desk and not a pile of papers!" I tend to put EVERYTHING (extra copies, papers to grade, graded papers, mail) in piles on my desk and tell myself I'll get to it. My goal for this year is to have dedicated places for things to go (in/outboxes for papers so they never get piled on my desk, etc) and I've set up a daily checklist for myself that includes "clear off desk" that I want to finish before I leave every day. It's a struggle though!

  2. Get rid of the desk. Seriously. Best thing I ever did. It forces you to be that much more organized and then there's more room for the students to work

  3. You can still see parts of the laminate, so it's not THAT bad. You have baskets I see my guess is these are for graded papers that need to be returned? That's good. I also have another set for papers that need to be graded, papers to copy, and papers to file. My biggest help though is plexiglass. I have my desk covered with it so I can put calendars, schedules, other important stuff I reference often underneath. This frees space for other things. You will also need to dedicate a few minutes each day before you leave for putting away things that just accumulate there like the calculator, markers and cleaner. You can do it!

  4. I kept my desk clean this year by organizing everything I need around it, you can see the book case and file folder type storage. I only use my desk when I grade, as soon as I finish I put papers by period in a storage. I also use my desk to meet with a student if I need to show them their grade.

  5. I promised my students that every paper turned in that week would be graded and entered in the computer before I went home Friday night. Once you do that the graded papers go in the to-be-returned box and you're good for the weekend. It looks like your supplies are in good order, so if you did the plexi-glass thing and spent a minute putting supplies away every night you'd be good to go. Have you tried a timer to give yourself a deadline?

  6. If you have time to play Solitaire, you have time to organize your desk ;)

  7. I use a tool storage container to hold all of my little supplies like paper clips. I got the idea on Pinterest. I also use a standing hanging file system for other papers. I have a folder for things to do, to grade, to pass back, to copy, and to file. I also make it a point not to have the cup full of pencils, markers, etc on my desk. Those I put in my drawer organized by color with a silverware holder.I also don't have tape, stapler, or any of those other supplies cluttering up my desk; those all have a place in my drawer. Lastly, I also use a list at the end of the day which includes clear off my desk. It is a great feeling to walk into a clean desk each and every day. It really sets the tone for the day.

  8. I am a master of the piles. I put everything in piles and sort through it at the end of the day.

    1. I'm good with the piles. Just not the sorting! :)