Sometimes teachers have to get creative when they are creating storage for their classrooms. Going to the store and purchasing everything that you need, especially if you are a first time teacher, can be expensive. Luckily, it isn’t always necessary to buy everything. There are many things that can be repurposed from items that you probably have lying around your house.
Desktop Organization Made Easy
There are several unique ways to make desktop organizers, but perhaps one of the easiest involves emptied vegetable cans and cereal boxes. Thoroughly wash out the can before you begin and then peel the paper off of it. Using construction paper, wallpaper, yarn, or scrap materials, wrap the outside of the can making sure to us enough glue to hold the chosen material onto the surface. If you are using yarn you will have to add the glue as you wind the yarn up the side. Scrap material can either be used in one large piece or in scraps to make a patchwork design. After you are done covering the surface, you can use it to hold pens, pencils, or scissors. Check out this great Yarn Jar project from Elmer’s!
With the cereal boxes, cut off the flaps that you have already opened. Choose one of the sides of the box and, using a box cutter or utility knife, carefully cut down the seams toward the bottom. Leave 1/2 to 1 inch of the side intact for stability. Now using either construction paper or wallpaper, cover all of the still exposed cereal box. These can either be stood upright to hold small folders or laid on their side to hold papers for each of your classes.
Storing Crayons, Markers, and Colored Pencils
If you plan to have extra boxes of crayons, markers, and colored pencils for you students, you can make containers to easily hold these using an old baby wipes container. Simply cover the sides and top with either material or construction paper and then label each container with the contents. If you have milk cartons, you can also cut half of the bottom and side off to create a small hole and then hang them on the wall. The materials will stand nicely inside.
Seating and Storage
If you teach younger students, you can create an area where they can hang their coats and store their supplies without having to spend a lot of money. You can use old binders for the hooks by removing the outer plastic from the metal binder clamp. Then secure the clamp to the wall using a strong tape. Under the hooks, line plastic crates. Each crate can be repurposed into a stool or seat by measuring a piece of styrofoam to fit the side that will be facing upward. (Hint: If you use one of the sides, it becomes the top and the bottom can face outward to become a cubby.) Cover the styrofoam with fun material and then secure to the crate.
Have you repurposed household items for classroom storage? We would love to hear about it!