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October 31, 2016

5 Tips for Organizing the Tiny Classroom

Written By: Brandi Jordan
Originally Published On: March 27, 2012
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5 Tips for Organizing the Tiny Classroom

Organizing any classroom can be difficult, but when you have a small classroom the task can quickly become overwhelming.  The five tips below help you tackle the task of organizing your tiny space and making it an effective learning environment.  No matter how small your classroom is, there can be room for storage.

Tiny Room Storage Solutions

1.  Construction Paper Organization

Organizing construction paper can be challenging!  Instead of keeping it stacked in a closet or taking up space where it might be torn or damaged, sort it and file it away in an accordion file.  The papers will stay neatly organized and easily accessible.
 

2.  Chair Storage

Make use of students’ chairs and install chair pockets for their books, journals, and folders. Some chair pockets even have built-in pencil pouches and room for students’ water bottles!

 

3.  Proper Bin Sizes

You may think that a larger bin would take up more space and not work as well in your small classroom, but bins and baskets that are sized appropriately for the books and materials they will be holding work out better in the long run.  Not only is it easier to organize the supplies, it is easier for students to keep things organized.  Picture book bins are a great example of containers that are made specifically to protect your book investment and keep your small classroom more organized.

 

4.  Storage Bin Stools

Transform a milk crate into a stool with storage!  Cut a piece of plywood slightly larger than the opening at the top of the milk crate.  Drill two holes on one end through which you would place large metal rings to anchor it to the milk crate.  Cover the plywood with batting and colorful fabric that matches your classroom theme.  Push the metal rings through the fabric and batting so that they go through the holes that you drilled in the plywood.  Loop the rings through the top of the milk crate to secure the seat.  When you lift the seat, there is plenty of storage inside the milk crate for your teacher editions, extra supplies, or center materials.

 

5.  Hanging Pocket Charts

The backs of doors and closets are ideal for storage.  Use a color-coded chart to keep track of and store lesson plans, student work, and frequently used forms.  File folder games can go in larger pocket charts, while small hanging organizers typically used for jewelry can be used for storing office supply type materials.

5 Tips for Organizing the Tiny Classroom - ReallyGoodTeachers.com

Think outside the box when it comes to organizing the small classroom.  Multi-use items make it easy to keep the chaos under control.  Do you have a special tip for keeping your small classroom organized?  Share it with us below!

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9 Comments.
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  • Amanda Lawson
    May 11, 2012

    Great idea using the accordian file to store construction paper!

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  • Barbara J
    April 26, 2012

    I love the idea of the milk crate stool! It is organizational, functional, and pretty! I’ve learned that bins and baskets are the best invention ever, and they belong in every classroom- especially the brightly colored ones from RGS!

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  • Sabrina
    April 13, 2012

    Thanks for the instructions on how to make a storage bin stool. I’ve seen them in pictures but didn’t know how to make them. These are all great ideas!

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  • Mandy W
    April 13, 2012

    Great ideas! I have a super small room and organizining it is a constant headache.

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  • Amanda
    April 13, 2012

    I like the construction paper organizer! I always have construction paper all over the place. Thanks for great ideas!

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  • Stephanie Volkland
    April 13, 2012

    Love the idea of under the chair storage. Their desks are too small to hold much of anything!

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  • Rhea Fuller
    April 8, 2012

    My classroom isn’t small but isn’t large either…it is still very hard to find room for all the items I have and then KNOW where it is when I need it! Great tips thanks.

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  • Dawn Braddock
    March 27, 2012

    We homeschool and live in a small apartment so space for school is at a premium since we also live here.
    Walls are used for those pocket charts, we started with the small Paper Pal for our workbox system which now serves as a place to hold whiteboards, journals, reference materials, etc. We graduated our workbox system into the double-sided/double-wide hanging pocket chart which serves us well for two days of homeschooling.
    We also reuse a lot materials that come into our home. The hanging plastic bags that your curtains and drapes come in already have the built in zipper and hang tab for index cards, items for centers, pens/markers, game pieces and printed out games, etc. You can also use a curtain rod hung out from the wall at different heights to hang the bags on, sort of like books on a shelf. We use those character and normal McDonald’s Happy Meal Boxes for manipulatives, game pieces and printed out/made up games, lego’s, playdoh, puzzles, holiday or themed items that are only used once in awhile but still need to be stored. The boxes close up with the tabs so that pieces don’t spill all over and with them being kid decorative they can sit on shelves or in cabinets in plain view while still looking neat and organized.
    Don’t forget those drink trays from fast food restaurants, they are great for sorting games (use either cups or scrunch paper into the bottom so that things don’t slip out), holding cups of liquids during painting or the paints themselves and they stack into themselves for storage when not in use.

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  • Rebekah
    March 27, 2012

    I second the idea on the bins and pocket charts. I use bins and baskets for literally everything. I even had one of my students last year tell my sub one day, “Yeah, she likes to organize.” Haha! But they really are a great way to keep all that stuff contained into a defined space. I also love hanging pocket charts on my walls, doors, cabinets, you name it. I have one pocket chart stand, but with such a small room, that is all I can squeeze in there. So, hanging pocket charts on my other available places helps me to be able to use them, without being tied to that stand.

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