Few things are more frustrating than not being able to find the supplies you need. We asked teachers for their best organization techniques and “why didn’t I think of that” storage solutions. Below are five of the many fantastic ideas we received.
1. Numbered Folder System
At the beginning of the school year, assign each student a number to write on their hand-in folders. Sort them in a C-Line all-purpose sorter or desktop hanging file organizer to see at a glance who hasn’t turned in their folder yet. This system also makes grading and returning folders a breeze.
2. Organize Decorations
Bulletin boards are a classroom staple, but keeping up with all the seasonal and themed borders and trimmers can be a challenge. For an easy fix, use binder clips and magnetic or adhesive hooks. Simply sort your strips of border (for example, put all your winter-themed border in one stack and all your spring in another), fasten a binder clip to one end of your stack of strips, and then hang it from a small hook. If you have room on the back or hidden side of your file cabinet to place the hooks, even better – you can keep the border out of sight and your classroom free of visual clutter, which is distracting to kids.
3. Crate Seats
The best storage solutions pull double duty, and these clever crates provide both storage and seating. You may need to enlist the help of a crafty friend for this project, but the results are well worth the extra effort. Use a heavy-weight milk crate or file crate as the base. At a home improvement store or lumber yard, have plywood cut into rectangles to fit the tops of the crates. Add a layer of upholstery foam on top the plywood, then stretch sturdy cotton or canvas fabric across the top, using a staple gun to secure on the other side.
4. Table Caddies
Arrange a small organization center on each table to keep spaces tidy and make prep and transition times more efficient. Use a multi-bin caddy for things like scissors, glue and writing utensils. Add a matching file tray or small bin for kids to deposit work folders, journals or other hand-in materials. Stackable mini-drawers are great for this as well.
5. Clever Containers
Whether you’re on a tight budget or just love to repurpose, it’s easy to turn household items into brilliant little storage containers. Empty cans, tubes and canisters, such as peanut cans, Pringles tubes and Crystal Lite canisters are just begging to be filled with pencils, paint brushes and other supplies. You can wrap the containers in decorative paper and even let students help decorate them. To take this organization trick to the next level, use a wine rack to store tubes horizontally for easy access.
Find more ideas on our DIY Classroom Storage Solutions Pinterest Board!