Organized SLP

30 Day Challenge of SLP Organization

Last January, I posted on my Instagram a 30 day challenge to help SLPs like myself organized. Was my mission to have me completely organized at the end of the 30 days? Probably not, but only because I tend to be a hot mess of disorganization. That being said, it was a great start! One that help me see the places that I was doing pretty good or places that it was easier to light a match and start over. Since January is known for the month that we try to get our entire life on tract and organized, I figured why not share that challenge again but in the form of a blog?!

  • 1: Set your calendar up for the new year. This might be vacations, days off, IEP meetings, Re-evaluations, staff meetings, and special personal events. Whatever it maybe, get in the calendar!
  • 2: Set your therapy themes for the year. I like to do this at the beginning of January that way I know I what is coming up each month.
  • 3: Organize your therapy bag. Chances are good you brought it home with good intentions. But now it is time to go back to work, and your bag has not moved. Clean it out! What do you really need in there?
  • 4: Set up a system for “to do” lists. Whether you are pen/paper girl or you like those lists at your fingertips digitally, create a system. I created some freebie lists that you can find here!
  • 5: Clean out your student work files. Take out old worksheets, etc. WARNING: We are not touching their main speech files! These are the folders you keep your data in, worksheets for the coming weeks (if you plan that far ahead), or little notes to yourself about goals.
  • 6: Step away from the speech stuff for this today. Create a list of things you enjoy for self care. Write things you enjoy that take 5 mins, 15 minutes, 30 minutes and an hour. This way when you are feeling overwhelmed or need a minute, you have a go to list to treat yourself. Maybe it’s walk to the vending machine to get some chocolate or a walk outside for some fresh air.
  • 7: Files…enough said. Make this quick though! It’s the start of a new year. Do you have kids no longer on your caseload? Get their files out of your filing cabinet! Is your filing cabinet a mess? Now’s the time to organize it!
  • 8: Task Box Organization…What? What’s your system that allows you to keep folders off your desk but still let you know where they are in the process? I have a 3 drawer organizer with the drawers labeled “To be tested,” “at doctor’s office,” and “at insurance.” I also have a basket that says “to be written” for those reports that need to be completed.
  • 9: Theme Organization…Discover your way to keep your thematic units organized and together. You can see how I organize my themes here.
  • 10: Theme Organization…continued. Now that you have a system in place, organize your activities in that box. For a resource that has multiple pieces or comes as as set, I use a plastic zipper bag to keep it together in the box. I generally like to have my artic resources on top for super quick grab and go planning.
  • 11: Book Organization…still on therapy stuff! I don’t keep my books in my thematic bins. I used to but it got out of control! I also keep track of what books I own in an app. I use an app called “Books” by Sort It Apps. With this app, I scan the barcode for it to easily be added to my collection.
  • 12: Mini Office in a Box. Since I travel to homes, I don’t have access to all my “desk stuff.” Staplers, dry erase markers, hole punch…that kind of stuff. So I created my own little office in a box. I found a pencil box with a small top lip and a bigger compartment on the bottom. Typically, the top holds my crayons. Right now, that is where I store my scissors. The bottom compartment has my single hole puncher, stapler, extra staples, and a couple of scented markers. This makes things much easier to find and I don’t have to worry about little hands getting into them.
  • 13: Puzzles. Probably one of the most difficult things to organize as parents and pediatric SLPs. I have found the best way to organize mine is by putting all of the pieces to each puzzle in a pencil zipper bag. I bought several at the Dollar Tree with the clear plastic panel so that I can see what’s inside. This makes them easier to travel with too. No more getting to a house and realizing I lost a piece at the last kid’s house!
  • 14: Oral Motor Box. I found a great little box at a dollar store with slots in it. I keep my “Throatscope” blades in there. My box of gloves are right next to it. I can keep assorted spoons and straws in there if needed. Since it is slotted, everything stays in it’s place making it easier for that quick grab!
  • 15: IPad Apps. This one is easy and takes very little time! Place all of your apps in folders. I have a folder for articulation and language. I also have several folders for popular themes like transportation, animals, and food. Keeping them in folders makes it easier when you are needing to find an app quickly.
  • 16: Desktop Folders. Our desktops can get a little crazy. I have files all over my desktop and when I need one, guess what? It takes me FOREVER to find in the hot mess! Search on Pinterest for “desktop organization wallpapers” and you will find an endless amount of how-to’s and blogs on the subject! The point is take 30 minutes today organize your desktop so that you don’t spend 30 minutes looking for a file on it tomorrow!
  • 17: Construction Paper. This was one of the more problematic areas for me. Crazy, I know. I had stacks of construction paper EVERYWHERE and never really knew what colors I actually used more and needed more of. Then I bought the famous multicolored 10 drawer organizer from Michael’s and my problems were solved. (Here’s a link to a similar one.) Each drawer is a different color so no need to label what color was in each drawer. Red paper goes in the red drawer, etc. Now I can see exactly what I have and order only the colors I need.
  • 18: Craft Supplies Tower. Since I loved the first tower so much, I bought a second one that stores my “most used” craft supplies such as glue, wiggly eyes, paper sacks, and dot paints. My dot paints are organized by type-regular, scented and shimmery. Again, easy for grab and go!
  • 19: Google Drive. Now we are back to digital storage. Create folders and find your digital files easier. My drive is set up by the themes I use in therapy. I also have a file for parent handouts. Periodically, I go through and clean files up. I get rid of resources I have recently updated or no longer use.
  • 20: Flash Drive. More digital clean-up! I use the same system on my flash drives. I have a separate flash drive for all of my clipart. I also take this time to back up both flash drives to an external hard drive.
  • 21: Mini Erasers. If you don’t use these in therapy, no need to read any further. However, if you have drank the “mini eraser” Kool-aid, keep reading! I bought 4 of these storage systems. I hot glued an eraser on the front of each box to let me know what type was in each compartment. This way I can quickly find what I need as I am running out the door…noticing a theme with the “grab and go”?!
  • 22: Toys. As SLPs, we accumulate a tons of toys! I cleaned out toys over the summer so that mine could all fit on one shelf. I grouped toys together by theme (transportation toys) or type (magnetic tins or stacker toys). Again, everything is clearly labeled so that I can… you guessed it…grab and go!
  • 23: Forms. For my practice, I have in-take forms, Medicaid forms, visit logs, and insurance verification forms. These are no longer hanging out in random places all over my office! Each form is stored in a {very cute} file folder, labeled and all kept by the printer/copier for quick copying or scanning. I have all of those forms stored on my computer in a file marked “FORMS.”
  • 24: Take a BREAK!!! You have been organizing all month. Use today to set back and see all of your accomplishments so far!!
  • 25: Pictures. This may or may not apply to everyone. For me, I have tons of photos of things we have done in therapy. These photos are often used on social media, in my blog or for a TpT resource. Sit down and organize those photos! I created folders such a “blog” or “TpT resources” for easy finding.
  • 26: Organize Saved IG Collections. Have you saved tons of ideas, books, quotes, etc in IG when they added the “saved” option?! Me too, girl! Go through your saved collection and create categorized sections such as “books,” “articulation ideas/tips,” “blog posts to read,” “TpT Resources.” Once your system is all set up, it will so much easier when you are scrolling and saving the next time.
  • 27: Organize Saved Facebook Posts. I started doing this early on! I have Facebook collections ranging from dinner ideas to speech therapy articles to products I need. This has made things so much easier than sharing everything to my page and clogging up friends’ feeds. Use the same collection names in both social media platforms for consistency and ease.
  • 28: Front Console of Car. This may or may not apply to you. I travel so having things at my fingertips in important. In the front console of my car, I have a thermometer (Thanks COVID-19!), ibuprofen, cough drops/peppermints, chapstick, lotion, hand sanitizer, extra pens/pencils and a Tide pen.
  • 29: Back of the Car Organization. Again, if you don’t travel, this may not apply to you. The organization of my car has evolved over the years. With COVID-19, it has changed even more! I used to carry ALL. THE. THINGS! Now, I carry the bare minimum of therapy supplies. My therapy bag is smaller (Thirty-One has great bags with all the pockets for all the things!). Each little one I see that requires some toys has their own bag. Thankfully, this is not a huge amount. I have a 3 section organizer (from 31 of course!) that holds my “sanitizing station” (antibacterial spray for shoes, Clorox wipes, paper towels, clear Saran wrap for the IPad) in one section. The second holds my face shield. The third slot is not being used at the moment so it is buttoned up. Yes, the organizer is expandable and had two small mesh outside pockets that can hold a bottle of hand sanitizer!
  • 30: You made it through the challenge! You deserve a treat so be sure to treat yo’self!!!!

Remember, you don’t have to only do this in January. You can get organized any time of year!

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