Speech therapists are BUSY. We have caseloads with 55 children or MORE, do assessments, bill medi-cal, write reports, collaborate with teachers, create visual supports for students, hold IEP meetings, plan therapy and work with groups all day. Organizing speech materials seems to be the last thing on our list of priorities. In order to get everything else completed, we put organizing speech materials on the back burner.
I loved this quote from Christina Scalise (found it thanks to google. I have no idea who she is lol) “Organization isn’t about perfection. It’s about efficiency, reducing stress and clutter, saving time & money & improving your overall quality of life.”
Figuring out easy organizational systems for your materials will help with easier planning for therapy, make your room look orderly and will make cleaning up easier. This means you will feel less overwhelm and will have some extra time to focus on the BIG task items. Amazon affiliate links are provided for your convenience.
Organizing Speech Materials- Give yourself a clutter paper place
Total confession- One way that I keep things clutter free is I have a “clutter paper place”. When it is a busy month, I know that I can stack all those papers that I am not sure if I want to throw them away in one place and deal with them when I have time. This helps me to keep my desk clear when I don’t always have time to sort through everything.
Organizing Speech Materials- Use Your Wall Space
The secret to organizing speech materials is all about finding a functional place. I am more of a type B+ SLP. This basically means that I do strive to be organized, but also accept the organized chaos that happens in my speech room during the busy times of the year.
Hang your materials on your wall with thumb tacks and binder rings. Got task cards or my interactive articulation flipbooks? Attach your materials with binder rings and you can hang all over your room! If you want more ideas for FUNctional decor & organization, check out my post about it HERE.
Have a supplies basket in reach of your speech table. I fill my basket with all the supplies I may need on the fly for lessons, so I keep behavior visuals, timers, dry erase markers, etc. in my basket, so I am never without my supplies. I clean it up after each group and access it as necessary. Dollar store has some great bins!
Organizing Speech Materials- Utilizing Containers & Hooks
Use those file folder boxes to organize your seasonal and skill based materials. I like to use this box to organize all of my craft templates for the year.
I love finding containers like this poly zip file that can keep all my similar things in one spot in different pouches. That way I can shove it all in there and can store it easily. This storage container has all of my AAC Low Tech Communication Tools and it keeps all the small visuals in one place.
Hang frequently used visuals or resources on magnetic hooks. The sides of your metal cabinets work perfectly! When I can see my materials that I use often, it is easier for me to remember to use them lol. These are my visual sentence starters that I use with all of my speech and language groups. I have a metal cabinet right near my therapy table, so I can grab these whenever I need them for a student!
I put all of my TPT resources in plastic bags or zip pouches. Then I store them in larger bins when I am not using them. So, every couple of months, I will look through my big bins and put the seasonal or skilled resources that I need for the upcoming months in my file folder crate that I keep near my therapy table. I use binder clips and washi tape to label the different files.
All of my themed resources that I either create or buy on TPT are placed all in one plastic container. I try to even fit the themed books that I like to use with the theme, so I can grab it and use everything in it. This way materials don’t get misplaced and I know in a pitch, I can grab that container and it will have enough materials to cover me for those days when I don’t have time to plan.
Have a quick organizational tip to share?
If you have a fabulous SLP hack or tip to make the #speechlife a little easier, then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to feature more “quick tips” from school based SLPs on the blog.