If you are just joining us, you'll want to start here or check out my Clutter-Free Guide to Organizing and Managing Your Classroom.

Since Valentines Day is next week, I totally should have saved this topic until then because nothing gets my heart beating quite like talk about storage and storage containers.


I love them all.

Anyhow, on to this week's Clutter-Free Classroom PROJECT...

Throughout this week I'm going to be talking all about storage and storage containers. We'll chat about where to get them. I'll inspire you to recycle and upcycle. We're going to think outside the box (no pun intended). We're going to get crafty and organized all at the same time.

In the upcoming weeks, I'll be spotlighting specific classroom areas and materials and sharing tips and ideas for storage related specifically to them. For now, we are going to keep it general and open-ended.

Assess your current storage situation and make plans for improvement.

  • Start by taking measurements of your space(s) and make an inventory of what you have. Below are two FREEBIES I created to help you plan for the storage you'll need in your classroom. If you are like me, you find it very hard to pass by storage containers in stores. But, it is important to know what your space will allow and what you really need.  Last week we started "surface purging" by making a clean sweep. We'll continue purging, sorting and organizing all of the specific areas in your classroom soon and when we do I think you'll find these free printables to be handy. 

measure your available space {freebie} and inventory what you were keeping {freebie}

  • Take a look at what you already are using for storage and invite trusted friends to give you their honest thoughts about it. Ask yourself...
...Does it look neat and uniform or is it messy and mismatched? 
...Is it easy to access things when you need them? 
...Is everything labeled? 
...Can other people find things easily in your room? 
...Does your choice of storage make it easy to hide clutter (I'm looking at you big rubbermaid bins that are not transparent)? 
...Does your storage cause visual clutter and distraction for your students?
  • Evaluate if your storage is too "out in the open" and brainstorm ways to hide it. Cover open shelving with curtains (or something more purposeful like anchor charts). Place a tablecloth (or just a large piece of fabric) over a table and store seasonal items underneath).
  • Seek out storage that does double-duty. Think about seating that has storage inside, shelving that can also be used to display a pocket chart for a center.
  • CHECK OUT these links to previous blog posts I've written about classroom storage solutions.

Throughout this week I'll be posting daily ideas for DIY Storage. The ideas are simple, cheap/free and will really allow you to customize your space and create a look that is coordinated.

  • Spraypaint is your best friend. Use it to transform your current containers or to upcycle things like boxes, yogurt containers, etc into great (free) storage containers. I HIGHLY suggest black. First of all black is slimming and who doesn't want to look and feel slim? Secondly, it matches EVERYTHING. If you change your classroom theme or color scheme it will still look fantastic. Furthermore, black looks sleek and professional and fancy. Be sure to buy the kind that is made for plastic.
  • Invest in a pad of scrapbook paper that makes you smile. If you don't already have a theme/color scheme then I once again urge you to use a patterns of black/white/grey. You'll be able to easily change things out. I love me some black damask.
  • ModgePodge! Get to know and love it.
  • Keep an ongoing list of your storage needs and possible containers.
  • Ask friends, coworkers, neighbors, and parents for donations of SPECIFIC containers. Did you notice that was bold and in all caps? That, my friends, is because if you just say "containers" you will become the town's new recycling center.
  • Don't buy containers unless you have a specific need for them. This is an area in which I need to "practice what I preach." I am always tempted to buy containers. I've gotten much better at seeking out freebies instead.
  • "Play the teacher card." It is so easy to score freebies by explaining that you are a teacher.
  • Think both "about the box" and "outside the box." Boxes are great and a super easy container to start with. Remember, the goal is to create a uniform look so look for containers that you can acquire in bulk that will be the same size/shape.
  • Look for items specific to your needs in terms of space and shape.
  • Think about items that come with covers (yogurt containers, deli containers, etc.

On Friday, I'll put up the Linky Party related to the Clutter-Free Classroom PROJECT. The Linky will be ongoing and you can always jump in and link up at anytime. If you don't have a blog you can respond to the prompt in the comment section on Friday's post. Below is this week's prompt. Keep these questions in mind as you take your pictures:

classroom organization tips classroom organization ideas classroom organization supplies classroom storage classroom management classroom arrangement classroom organization skills organization ideas for the classroom organization ideas for teachers organization ideas for elementary classrooms decluttering a classroom declutter classroom before pictureskindergarten first grade second grade third grade fourth grade fifth grade sixth grade preschool 1st grade 2nd grade 3rd grade 4th grade 5th grade 6th grade time management, professional organizer, ways to get organized, organizing products, helping kids get organized,ing teachers, the organized classroom, tips for getting organized tips for classroom organization storage manipulatives school supplies classroom storage free storage creative storage solutions

Match and Label Storage Containers

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