Mastering the Chaos of Blackline Masters

Finding a way to keep track of the papers you need to copy can be challenging.  Depending on how you keep your files can either assist or inhibit they way you plan.   Like most teachers when they first start out, I had the file cabinet.  You know the one, it's beige, has four drawers and can tip over if you open all four drawers at once.  Soon that file cabinet became one hot mess.  I'd pull out papers and place in my To Be Copied Folder, make my copies, then what???  I never had time to put them back, so I'd place them in a basket on top of the file cabinet to file later.  Eventually that basket became so full, that I had no other choice, but to shove them in a box.
old school teacher files, Ditch the file cabinet
It was a vicious cycle that I'd pay for at the end of each school year as I sat there filing all those papers. Thanks to a good friend and colleague, my paper chaos came to an end about 5 years ago.  With a small investment in some plastic sleeves and 3-ring binders, my mess became less and less.  Anything new goes straight from the printer tray to a plastic sleeve.
Ditch the file cabinet
Ditch the file cabinet Now when I do my planning, all my resources are at my finger tips.  My binders are divided into themes, months, skills; you name it, I just might have it in a binder.  Just today a teacher needed number writing practice pages. I knew exactly where to look and within in seconds was able to pull the resource for him.
Ditch the file cabinetDitch the file cabinet Ditch the file cabinet Ditch the file cabinet 
How does this keep me from piling up papers that need to go back in binders? EASY PEASY as my kids say.  I DON'T take the papers our of their sleeves.  Instead, I tab the pages I want copied. Yes, I might be bringing several binders to the copy room, (it keeps me from needing to go to the gym) and it keeps my file cabinet clutter-free.  Yes, I still have a file cabinet- old habits are hard to break and there are some things that just won't fit in a plastic sleeve.  I do find that I am using less and less of the contents of my file cabinet. Slowly I am weeding through it.


Unknown said...

I have used sleeves and binders the past few years and love it. I would like to replace my file cabinet with shelves for all my binders. It is so easy to keep everything organized. I am glad to see someone else who does this, too.

Unknown said...

I think I am going to embark on the binder journey! I have used the filing cabinet since I started teaching, and you are right when you say it's hard to not have papers sticking out. Also, sometimes I can't find that tab and make new folder, for a concept I already know that exists. Anyone have tips or ideas of where I should buy the binders with the cover sleeves for a good price? Thanks a bunch!

I is for Inspire

Tiffani said...

I usually buy everything at Costco

Unknown said...

I am in love with binders and swear I should own stock in both them and sheet protectors. Staples has a binder that is extremely durable. As for the sheet protectors, I get mine at SAM's Club. They're less expensive and the non-glare kind are perfect for copying.