Usually we Speech and Language Therapists like love having things organised. We see so many different students throughout the day that it’s vital that we can find the things we need straight away, but sometimes it can feel like a real battle keeping everything organised throughout the year! Also, I don’t know about you, but as much as I like having things organised, I don’t like having to pay out for fancy and expensive storage units to store my resources in! Over the years I have worked out some tips and tricks that help me keep my therapy room organised, without breaking the bank!
(Some links to Amazon are included in this post- they’re not affiliate links, I don’t get anything if you click on them and purchase, I just thought I’d share what I use!)
Tip 1: Keep it Simple.
I know that it’s fun to “theme” a room and decorate it like a zoo or the jungle, and don’t get me wrong, it looks incredibly inviting when people do; but I just don’t have the time (or inclination) to decorate my room in that way! It’s also really tempting to get big fancy toolboxes and put beautiful labels on, but again, I don’t have the time to do that- and I imagine that by the end of the year, that that same toolbox will be just full of scraps of paper and dried up pens! Organising your speech room shouldn’t be over complicated! If it involves too much prep work beforehand, I know full well that I’m not likely to keep up to it (hey, I’m a realist!!).
The main function of my speech room is to be a space to deliver therapy; I see so many children in a day that I need to keep my room free from clutter, so I don’t misplace my resources. I decided to keep the design of my speech therapy room simple and clean! Most of my office supplies are white, and I have a few things that are pink/blue/purple to help add a splash of colour. My room looks welcoming, yet stylish, and this means I can use the space both for therapy sessions with little kids and for meetings with parents or my coworkers, without it being too over-stimulating or difficult to keep tidy!
Tip 2: Put Things Back in the Right Place!
It sounds obvious, right?..Wrong. You would not believe the number of times in the past where I thought I knew where something was, but I couldn’t find it!! I’ve since got into the habit of putting everything back once I’ve finished using it at the end of a session. It’s one of those habits that we all try to have but it can be so hard to find the motivation to put resources away at the end of a stressful/busy day! Trust me though, your future self will love you for it; especially when you’re rushing around last minute and need to grab some resources quickly!
One thing that helps me keep up to putting things away properly is getting the kids to help me tidy away!- most of the time they enjoy being helpful and it teaches them really useful life skills!!
Also, please excuse the tatty appearance of my files- my office supplies are not just for decoration- #reallifeslp!
Tip 3: Store Similar Materials Together.
I really like to do themed activities in my speech therapy sessions, but sometimes I can feel a little overwhelmed with where I’m supposed to store it all when it’s not needed! Thankfully I came up with a great solution which has really helped me…
After I’ve printed and made up all of my amazing TpT resources, I will bind the packs of worksheets and store them all in a zipper wallet (shown below) or I put stimulus cards/smaller games etc. in plastic pop wallets.
If I have a lot of activities in a theme, then the packets get put into clear boxes, like these ones… Clear Plastic Boxes- (Amazon Link). or, white boxes (that I’ve decorated with washi tape), like these… White Paper Boxes (Amazon Link). I usually then stack them in a pile, with the current seasonal theme at the top.
Tip 4: Have Useful Things Within Reach!
You know those things you use all the time (glue, scissors, dot markers, pencils etc.), those things need their own storage space! (No, throwing them into your drawer doesn’t count!!)
I bought some really cheap baskets from a local store, and I keep all the bits and bobs I need for therapy sessions in them. Depending on the activity I’m doing, I’ll bring one of the baskets over to the desk, so I have everything I need at hand. Tidying away at the end of the session is really easy and quick too, because we just put the equipment back into the basket, and I put the basket back on the shelf- no need to be going back and forth putting everything away in the right drawer!
Finally, the last thing I use all the time as storage in my therapy room, (and these don’t cost me anything), are empty washing powder tubs, jars or ice cream tubs! I wash these out and decorate with them a bit of washi tape and a label (if needed!). These are perfect for holding pens, lollipop sticks, scissors, glue, game pieces, stimulus cards etc.
The storage solutions I use in my therapy room aren’t necessarily pretty; but they’re quick and easy to implement and they don’t cost very much! They help me keep my speech room organised so I’m not wasting time looking for materials when I really should be writing notes or delivering therapy!
I’ve also seen some other great ideas for helping you keep your speech therapy room and materials nicely organised; if I had more space, I’d definitely do some of these:
This post by Speechy Musings has some great ideas for maximising the space available in a speech room:
As I said above, I store my themed materials in zip wallets or binders, but another great way for organising resources is by monthly boxes! (how cute are these!)
If I had some space for these rails, I would definitely store TpT materials and resources in book bags like this:
This post has recently been updated; it was originally part of a Linky Party by SLP Runner. I’ve loved showing you the different things I use to keep organised in my speech room. Be sure to check out the other SLPs that have linked up over on SLP Runner.
If you’ve enjoyed this post, I’d love you to share it with others! Feel free to save this pin so your SLP friends can be organised too!