Whether you're a professional teacher or a homeschooling parent, you know how chaotic classrooms can get. Papers pile up, markers run dry, and glue bottles get clogged. While a little mess is understandable from time to time, it's best not to let it get out of control. A cluttered environment will not only have a negative effect on you but also on your students. It can hamper their concentration, for one, and also lead to heightened levels of stress. Thankfully, there are plenty of creative ways to keep your space tidy and organized. Read on to discover our best storage ideas for the classroom.
Classroom cubbies are incredibly useful for storing everything from art supplies to kids' shoes. If you don't have a lot of floor or shelf space, consider mounting them on the wall. Milk crates are an affordable option and easy to find. Attach them to the wall by their bottoms in a grid to create a floating shelf. You can also use buckets or similar containers to create the same effect. If you don't have the space for a wall shelf, consider putting up a row of hooks instead. As an alternative, you can hang tote bags from them and use those to organize and store your items.
To remove clutter from the floor, add a hook to the back of your classroom chairs for students to hang up jackets and bags. As an alternative, use pillowcases with flap closures. Turn the flaps inside out and hook them over the back of the chairs for easy book bags. You can also attach a plastic cup to the side of each desk using cable ties. Now students have a place to store their pencils and water bottles! Plastic storage baskets can be used in a similar way underneath each of the seats. Simply attach the corners of the bin to the chair legs with cable ties. The suspended basket can now be used to store papers or books.
Lunch boxes aren't just for carrying drinks and snacks. Thanks to the dividers and compartments, they also make excellent storage containers. Use them to stash small items that go together, like dice and counters for classroom games. During group work, they can also be used to easily distribute any necessary supplies or materials to each team. Add a label to the side of each lunchbox and stack them on a shelf when not in use. You can also pack them away in a cupboard for easy access.
Some classroom items, like clipboards and mini whiteboards, are difficult to store because they don't stack well. To avoid towers of supplies toppling to the floor, consider using a dish rack. These affordable, durable household items can be used as makeshift storage. Dish racks come in different materials, like plastic, wood, and stainless steel. All of these will hold up well in a classroom. Look for designs with evenly-spaced pegs; the boards will fit squarely between them. Depending on the size of the dish rack and the number of boards, you may need to invest in more than one. This storage method also works well for laptops, tablets, and binders.
There are so many creative uses for laundry hampers in the classroom. Tall canvas hampers, for example, make excellent storage bins for soft items, like floor pillows and plush toys. They also work for storing rolled-up items, like posters and mats. Shallow laundry baskets make excellent shoe bins and can also be used to store books. With a round basket hamper, it's easy to create your own makeshift umbrella stand. Simply line it with a plastic trash bag to catch excess water and set it at the entrance of your classroom.
Spice racks make excellent storage bins for small desk supplies, like paper clips, staples, and thumb tacks. Simply remove the sifters, fill the jars, and add a label to each. Now you have easy access to whatever you need! You can also remove the spice bottles completely and replace them with bottles of paint and glue. The spice rack can be popped on your desk, set up on a shelf, or stowed away in a cupboard. Go for a revolving carousel design for easy access and to save yourself some space.
With a bit of patience and creativity, it's possible to transform any classroom into a well-organized, clutter-free environment. Try out these great ideas to maximize your space and keep it neat and tidy. It doesn't have to cost you a lot of money; use recyclables and repurpose old items instead. Whether you hang cubbies on the wall or transform an old spice rack, you'll welcome your new space. It'll feel fresh and clean for you and your students, making school a more positive experience for everyone.