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May 13, 2013

End of the Year Classroom Storage Ideas

Written By: Brandi Jordan
X End of the Year Classroom Storage Ideas

End of the Year Classroom Storage Ideas

Classroom storage is at a premium in even the most spacious of classrooms.  Figuring out where to put everything at the end of the school year is equally as challenging! That’s why we asked Really Good Teachers from around the country to share with us their tips and tricks for storing and organizing items in (and out) of the classroom.  Check out these three ideas from veteran teachers who know what it’s like to have more teaching materials and supplies than they have storage space for in their rooms and homes.

Classroom Storage Solutions for End of the School Year

Book Organization Solutions

This idea comes from Melissa, a Kindergarten Teacher, from Plant City, FL.  “As I get my classroom library ready for the next year, I make sure all books are back in their home and update my database of books,” she explains.  “I have over 1,000 book titles to date. I keep all of my books in labeled plastic magazine file boxes. I organize the boxes by topic, theme, author, and favorite characters. ‘I Can Read’ books get their own box. I am working on adding mini-labels to each book (to make it easier to find homes for them) and on adding library pockets for class checkout. I do have a few books that don’t fit in the boxes, and they just live on a shelf. Keeping the books organized this way makes setting up my class library each year a pleasure.”

 

Storing Math Manipulatives

Marie, a 1st Grade Teacher, from Lago Vista, TX describes how she packs up her supplies at the end of the year to make classroom set-up a breeze.  “At the end of the year, I store my math manipulatives in clear plastic “shoe boxes” similar to the Stackable Storage Tubs With Locking Lids from Really Good Stuff® ,” she says. “The boxes or tubs store plenty and stack easily. Come next year, I’ll be able to see at a glance what I have and where each manipulative is when I need it.

 

Large Item Storage

“When storing larger manipulatives and posters, I use under the bed plastic boxes,” explains E., a K-5 Special Ed Teacher, from Dry Ridge, KY. “They fit perfectly into my large two-door cabinets. I can put several boxes on each shelf. I place the items in there and hide them neatly until needed. Since they are clear, it is easy to see what is in them, easily labeled with contents.”

 

What’s your best tip or trick for making the most of your classroom storage space? Leave a comment below or join us on the Really Good Teachers forums to share your expertise!

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  • katialpz
    April 27, 2015

    Great Ideas! I Organize them on shelves by level because I have different groups and ages. I run a free book club. In order to have more books for the children I sell books also so I get to keep some copies for the children that come here. I organize the books also by chapter books, board books, fiction, and non fiction.
    Children just need to sign out the book and I simply erase it from the list once is returned.

    If you want to check some books here is the link
    bookandgifts.highwire.com

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  • Kristin Cappelli
    May 17, 2012

    I really need a better way to organize my books! I don’t have book bins or magazine files because they are expensive, my books are on shelves. Will be checking out some of these ideas!

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  • allison brocking
    May 14, 2012

    What a great idea. Will look foward to trying it in the fall.

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  • Leah Demain
    May 11, 2012

    Wow! Cool ideas, I can wait to reorganize my library his summer

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  • Daina R.
    May 9, 2012

    I use a similar idea. Thanks for sharing!

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  • Julie P.
    May 8, 2012

    I use ideas close to this as well. It makes things a lot easier!

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  • Christina D.
    May 8, 2012

    These would be great for organizing some workbooks that I have in class.

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  • Amanda
    May 7, 2012

    My library is “organized chaos”. I am searching for a way that works for my students and I. I’ve been looking at various storage options and just haven’t been able to decide on one way. Thanks for the suggestions!

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  • Caitlin
    May 7, 2012

    I still havn’t found a way to organize my books that works for me. Every idea is appreciated!

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  • Jenna
    May 7, 2012

    Love your organizational ideas!

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  • Hattie
    May 7, 2012

    I am always looking for new ways to organize my books. Thanks for the great ideas. I can’t wait to put some of them into effect.

    Thanks again

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  • Belinda
    May 7, 2012

    Great idea! Love your baskets. Love books, too!

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  • Tiffany Coleman
    May 7, 2012

    I use magazine file boxes for The Daily 5. An amazing book about organizing centers and differentiating instruction in the class room. I love the magazine book boxes.

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  • Jenny Galla
    May 7, 2012

    I love that the covers of the books are shown. This builds the student interest levels and encourages them to pick up the books. Very cool!

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  • Christin Senechal
    May 7, 2012

    For books that I own personally, I had a set of address labels printed with “From the Library of Mrs. Senechal”. I chose a bright pattern from http://www.vistaprint.com. It’s easy for the kids to differentiate them from the school library books. Also, I love the metal wire bins in the photo – anyone know where those are from?

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  • Paige
    May 7, 2012

    I got some great ideas for organizing my library especially since I am moving into a smaller space. May be spending some of my teacher allotment on these baskets.

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  • Marie Madden
    May 7, 2012

    I, too, do a very similar thing. I also went to putting a label on the back of each book to identify which box it went back into. This way it is SSOOOO much easier for the kiddos to keep the library neat and organized. I rely on a few capable students to do this each year for me. Also, I put a little label on the front of the box to match the label on the back.I tried keeping a database of all my books, but kind of stopped doing that. I was wondering why you do that? Should I be keeping up a database?

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  • Lesa
    May 7, 2012

    Always enjoy looking at how others organize their classroom libraries! Such a big task-thanks for the ideas!!

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  • Felicia Christian
    May 7, 2012

    I teach third grade and my students were not always the most principled when it came to putting the books back in the correct tubs. We had a class meeting and the kids came up with the idea of having a class library card. Each student decorated a 3×5 index card with their name and designs. I put an envelope in each book tub with the tub’s name or theme. When a student wants to borrow a book, they put their card in that tub’s envelope and when they want to return the book, they look for the envelope with their card in it. This was a great way to ensure students are returning books to the correct tub and making sure students only had one book in their desk at a time.

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  • grace gRant
    May 6, 2012

    magazine file holders are my new best friend!

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  • Ellen Parker
    May 6, 2012

    What a great idea to use magazine file boxes to store our books. I am always looking for ways to better organize my classroom. Thanks for the tips!

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  • Marianne Griffith
    May 6, 2012

    This is a great filing system with organizing tabs. I have lots of How to Draw books in the art room and this would help the students find the type of drawing book they wanted faster!

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  • Karen Harris
    May 6, 2012

    The other great bonus of these fileboxes is the weight. I used to use larger tubs, divided into sections by cool orgainzing tabs. The only problem with this is that the tubs became too heavy for my second graders. Kids can easily lift-out the magazine boxes to browse, which also helps to relieve the crowded congestion at book shopping time. I like to add the clear plastic pockets to the front of the magazine file. That allows me to slip-in a colorful label, while also making it easy to reclassify the books.

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  • Karen Harris
    May 6, 2012

    This is important for so many reasons. Not only does it keep your books organized, it teaches children classification and differentiation regarding genre and fiction/nonfiction. It is an on-going lesson that the kids practice all year,

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  • Allison
    May 6, 2012

    I base my classroom library organization after Beth Newingham’s. If you haven’t checked out her site, you definitely should – http://hill.troy.k12.mi.us/staff/bnewingham/myweb3/library.htm. She has some phenomenal ideas!

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  • Wendy
    May 6, 2012

    I organized my books into baskets by subject and coded them with shapes/colors stickers on the baskets. Periodically I go through the baskets and get rid of books that are no longer in decent shape. I also will periodically have students help me check/resort the books when it appears that they have not been put back in their proper places.

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  • Sarah
    May 6, 2012

    I love the idea of putting mini-labels on each book! Could be time-consuming, but will save a lot of time later if kids have a visual that helps them put books back in the right place!

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  • Janet Reynolds
    May 6, 2012

    I have found an inexpensive way to organize books using cereal boxes. Cut the box diagonally but up from each end 3 or 4 inches and you have 2 book organizers out of each box. Cover with contact paper, scrap booking paper and apply a label. This is a good way to recycle/reuse something that will end up in the trash–and save you money too!

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  • Christy Setzke
    May 6, 2012

    I organized my library in the similar manner. I have also labeled the books according to the Fountas & Pinnell reading guides. Then I took the time to separate the books into categories. Special books for each month and holidays that I wanted to use to for teaching were pulled and placed into special covered bins. The months of November and December so far have three bins between them.

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  • Anne
    May 6, 2012

    I have boxes that hold my books according to author, genre, etc…, however, I like the idea of using these baskets so the books can be seen easier without having to rummage through them every time a book is needed.

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  • Christin Frank
    May 6, 2012

    I like your organization idea….I agree that students are more likely to read if they can find a book they enjoy. Your idea steers them in multiple ways- topic, by author, character, etc. Students will love this too!

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  • Judy Harris
    May 6, 2012

    My classroom library is around 1,000 and it takes me all summer to get it separated and organized. I have a student job each week for someone to keep the shelves neat, but the books still get out of order. Thanks, definitely going to give it a try.

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  • Alice pomeroy
    May 6, 2012

    I have the set of neon green magazine holders for my students to keep their journals in. They love the bright color.

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  • Cynthia
    May 6, 2012

    Thanks for the tips. I’m trying to decide how to set up my library next year 🙂

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  • Amanda Lawson
    May 6, 2012

    I organize my books by AR Level. i really like the way you organize yours and it seems like it would be much easier for students to find exactly what they like to read.

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  • Kiersten
    May 6, 2012

    This is a great idea. You may want to try visiting the website, classroom.booksource.com. You can keep track of your classroom library electronically, plus the students can check in or out books! It’s a great resource.

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  • Cid
    May 6, 2012

    I have a similar way of organizing my classroom library. I like the idea of mini labels to assist in finding the correct home for the book. I may have to try that next year. Since I teach second grade, my book bins are labeled with both the category of book and a picture(s) so it is easier for students to put them back correctly.

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