Classroom organisation for independent learners

Classroom organisation- school supplies organised in boxes

Classroom organisation for independent learners

Classroom organisation is essential to keep all items and supplies together and tidy. However, there are many items that can accumulate, and it can feel as though you have no control over the mess they can create. Teachers can often feel like they are alone with organising and tidying the classroom too. This doesn’t have to be the case as pupils can be a huge help to keep on top of tidying.

Help children to be more independent and get them on board with keeping the classroom tidy and organised. To help you do this, we have created a few tips for classroom organisation for independent learners.


Colour coordinate

Grouping items by colour can truly be your best friend, especially when allowing pupils to be more independent. There are many ways to colour coordinate, from matching colouring pencils to certain colour tins to using certain coloured books and labels for different subjects. Colours help to separate similar resources and items so that everyone is aware of which one is which.

Grouping colours together also boosts children’s memory and colour recognition skills. They can become more independent as they will learn the difference between each colour and can then tidy supplies away themselves.


Label everything

Labelling is one of the easiest ways to make a home for supplies and items in your classroom. You can label books, pots, trays and writing utensils so pupils are aware of what they are and memorise where they live. Labelling prevents random items from being thrown together and keeps the classroom tidy. Children will be able to gather supplies they need themselves and put them away after use, leaving your classroom tidy and organised.


Organise storage boxes & trays

The classroom can get quite full up on lots of random items no matter how much you get rid of. From folders, books and paperwork to craft equipment, writing utensils and supplies, there is no escaping the number of accumulated items. All of this needs to be stored away in convenient places while keeping the classroom tidy.

Purchase some storage boxes and trays for each of the items. Find a place such as shelving or storage cupboard to put them in and label each tub. Show pupils where these items are and talk through the importance of using the trays and boxes. They can then gather what they need easily and independently put them back into the trays and boxes.


Create a where to find it spreadsheet

Have fun with Excel and set up an inventory listing everything in your classroom. Next to each item, put where they go and what they are stored in. This list can help you to remember where supplies are stored, and you can share it with your pupils so they can learn to be more independent. Children can have a copy of the sheet printed each or place a printed version on the wall. Doing this encourages pupils to tidy the classroom and set up supplies on their own. Plus, it prevents them from constantly asking you where to find things.


classroom organisation- girl putting book back neatly

Make a class pact

Create a class pact to ensure your pupils become more independent. This pact can be focused on classroom organisation. Together, create a few rules for the pact, such as ‘put pens away in the correct pen pots after each activity’. Letting children have a say on the pact encourages them to go through with it and helps you to keep the classroom organised.

To help further with this pact, add small cues around the room that remind pupils to tidy up after themselves. You could even offer small incentives to make tidying seem more fun for children.


Make a library sign out system

Reading books is an essential part of learning for children and offering the opportunity to take books home is fantastic. However, books can easily become messed up, hard to find or lost. To help keep books organised and prevent them from getting damaged or lost, you could make a library sign out system. Make sure that every book you have in the classroom is accounted for and listed.

Find a way to group books together, like genres, and label each shelf. Next to every book that’s listed, note down where they are located and if there’s any damage. When children take a book home, tell them to tick it off on a printed copy of the list. Note down who took the book and set a time limit for when it needs to be returned. Once returned, you can check the book’s condition and ask the pupil to put it back where it belongs, keeping all books in order.


Have a visual schedule

Help your pupils to be organised and independent by creating a wall-mounted schedule for them to stick to. Break the schedule down by day and list activities, subjects and tasks that you will be covering. Doing this clearly shows children what each day will entail so there will be no surprises. It also shows children specific times to tidy and organise so they can get into a routine with their organisation. You can state where items live that will need to be tidied away for each day too, to remind them.


Recruit class helpers

A great classroom organisation tip is to recruit class helpers to do specific tasks and lead by example to the rest of the class. Some children thrive off of responsibility and giving them this role can help develop their organisational skills. Set these helpers specific tasks, such as setting up everyone’s equipment for certain lessons and tidying them away afterwards. They can also lead the class with everyday tidying, such as after an art lesson. Let them be the experts and assist their peers with where everything goes so that pupils can learn from each other.



Implement these classroom organisation for independent learners tips and let children thrive with responsibility while keeping the classroom tidy. Develop their independence and organisational skills through simple and fun ways. Allow children to learn the importance of keeping a tidy learning environment and why organisation is needed.

Want some more organisation advice for yourself? Check out our classroom organisation tips blog.

<a href="" target="_self">Amber Vaccianna</a>

Amber Vaccianna

Hope blog writer

15 September 2023

Tags - Advice | Classroom

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