Binders, Bins, & Bags: Organization for Small Spaces


Organization and being an SLP go hand in hand. Unfortunately, I do not have my own entire speech room to pull kids into and to keep my speech materials in (and I tend to be a messy person in general). I travel between different clinics and only have a shared office space in one of them. This means the majority of my speech materials have a home in my small apartment. I’m lucky to have what I call my “speech closet” where I keep EVERYTHING.

First things first, how did I get all of this during graduate school?


It’s a combination of many places: Amazon, Goodwill, garage sales, and gifts from other fantastic people. Additionally, many of these materials are from Teachers Pay Teachers. Since the beginning of graduate school, I’ve made sure to buy a few favorite materials each mega sale so by the time I graduated, I’d have a good base of products to use! (I knew I wanted to do pediatrics so that was good!)


I should mention that some of the organizers and such were from Goodwill. The wooden shelf on the bottom (shown above) said it was a TV stand (although I think it would be fantastic for shoes 😉 ). Note: Go to Goodwill often.


I purchased a bunch of stuff on Amazon before I spent a week organizing! Below is everything I purchased for this project:

I used the jump drives to hold various printable materials! I have/use three different computers so I like having some favorite materials at the ready no matter what computer I have with me!

Check out how I used each of the other items!



I made customized binder covers and spine labels for my materials (most were from my freebie you can download here). Because I have a lot of articulation worksheets, I decided to make binders for articulation sounds. I made binders for: r/l, sh/ch/th/j, k/g/f/v, blends, s/z, data collection/progress monitoring, adult materials, & reference materials.

Additionally, I have a large binder I use for reinforcers. These reinforcers are organized by season and by general reinforcers.

photo 5 (5)

Last, I have several binders with complete activities in them. For example, my interactive materials each have their own binder because I think they transport best this way.



 I’m absolutely in love with my bin ideas. It is my favorite part of my speech closet! I bought 6 bins and 5 colors of file folders. The six bins are organized as follows:

Red – Articulation
Orange – Other
Yellow – Social Skills
Green – Language Level 1
Blue – Language Level 2
Mixed Colors – Themed materials (red=fall, blue=winter, green=spring, yellow=summer)

Why is this system awesome? Well I’ll tell you. I use the bins below for traveling. If you are in multiple locations (like me) use a different bin for each place. Write the initials of each client on a tab in the bin. When you think of an activity you want to use for the week, pull it from your beautifully color-coded bins at home and put it in the client’s traveling folder in the bin. Voila! It’s easy to put back because everything is color-coded.


After I lesson plan and pack each client’s materials into their folders in the traveling bins, I back everything into a fun bag that I can easily carry around the clinic! My absolute favorite bag is from Vera Bradley. Check it out below:

It’s huge and great and huge and practical and huge.

Why I Love This System:

1) It is portable. I can grab and go activity by activity.

2) It’s easy to keep organized as my material collection grows. I can buy more clear bins and more colors of file folders.

3) When life gets crazy, this system makes my life easier. No more thinking about where activities go. Everything makes sense. Things are easy to find and put away.

4) It is extremely space efficient without sacrificing being practical or useful.

Good luck with your organizing!! Could be a fun summer project for those of you who have off in the summer!

{thanks for reading}

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8 Comment

  1. Reply
    May 22, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    Great ideas for organization! I go to Goodwill and Savers a lot for therapy materials but didn’t really think about looking for storage options there. Thanks!

  2. Reply
    May 22, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    I travel too and I love the idea for having activities ready for each student in each loacation. I’m going to reorganize myself this summer and have a great fall! Thanks!

  3. Reply
    Lauren Donohoe
    July 13, 2014 at 6:57 PM

    Hello! I love how you organized! I was looking at the games you have. Can I ask what you target with Cadoo? A friend was kind enough to donate one to me on my Cariboo quest (getting one of those as well but am familiar with that game). I’ve never played Cadoo before. Thanks so mich!

    1. Reply
      July 15, 2014 at 9:42 PM

      I actually haven’t used it yet!! If I get any ideas I’ll post about them though!

  4. Reply
    February 1, 2015 at 11:35 PM

    Wow, your materials are so organized. How I wish I could do that to the toys I hoarded during internship… they’re all stocked up in random bags and plastic crates :((

    Anyway, I would just like to ask, how do you make your worksheets reusable? Printing them over and over is such a waste of time (and paper!). Any suggestions? 😀

    Thank you!

    1. Reply
      February 2, 2015 at 11:49 AM

      Thank you!! I’m obsessed with dry erase pockets for papers! That way, you can reuse any worksheets inside of them using a dry erase marker! They are wonderful 🙂

      1. Reply
        February 2, 2015 at 9:18 PM

        Unfortunately, those aren’t available here in Manila. Hmmm… I guess clear book refills would do. Thanks for the tip! 🙂

  5. Reply
    Michelle M
    February 19, 2016 at 3:08 PM

    I am a first year graduate student and as I am purchasing and utilizing lots of TPT products my supervisor tells me “I hope you save all those wonderful and creative activities” I told her “I know I need to come up with a way to organize this” WELL I JUST DID! THANK YOU! 🙂

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