Teachers seem to collect more “stuff” than people in any other profession. How many times have you been on vacation or in a store and have seen something that would work perfectly for a lesson you are planning? Finding the brochure rack and anything with maps is always a little bit like being a kid in a candy store. If you are like most of us, the chances that you are a materials hoarder is probably pretty high. It’s okay, you’re in good company! So, what do you do with all of those extra things when they are not being used? Try some of the quick and easy tips below for keeping your “gotta have this” finds organized.
Storage Ideas for Teaching Materials
Postcards are great educational tools! They are inexpensive and are great for writing prompts, geography and just about every other subject you could possibly want to teach. To keep them organized when they are not being used, place them in a child-size shoe box. Most toddler shoes come in small boxes that are the perfect size for storing postcards. If you do not have a toddler to buy shoes for, ask your local shoe store if they have any extras that you may have.
After a summer of traveling around to different historical sites, your pile of brochures may be threatening to take over your desk. Instead of hiding them away, put them in a small plastic basket in the class library or writing center. Children can them look through them and learn about the different places in their area and across the country that they can visit. If you would rather not keep them out for children to work with, simply place them in a large, zippered pencil pouch. The pouch can them be put in your three ring binder with other geography materials and the brochures will stay wrinkle free and organized.
Tiny Supply Storage
One of the most challenging areas of organization can be keeping those small paper clips, rubber bands, and other office supplies in check. While putting them in your desk drawer or in a desktop organizer can work for some people, for others, it is a mess just waiting to happen. If you struggle with organizing these things try using a hanging jewelry holder. It is a small, pocket style holder that has compartments that are perfectly sized for smaller office supplies. It can be hung on the side of a filing cabinet, on the back of the door of your storage closet or even next to your white board at the front of the classroom. It’s also a great way to display all of your nature treasures from vacation that will help teach your students about a particular region or state.
Keeping your supplies and accessories organized is a challenging proposition, but you can do it! Start with simple steps and organize one thing at a time. Before you know it, your classroom and teaching materials will be neat and tidy.
What are some of your tips and tricks for storing those odds and ends that are so essential to teaching? Share with us!