Today I am going to share some ideas for storing donated items until you need to use them.
My biggest issue with these items is that if they are not hidden out of sight they cause a lot of visual clutter. The boxes tend to be brightly colored with varied patterns and lettering. Therefore it will create a much calmer learning environment if you don’t just stick these packages up on a shelf. Here are some ways to conceal them.
Cover copy paper boxes with gift wrap, fabric or contact paper that coordinates with your classroom. Use these to store the donated items together.
Do you have deep shelves? I have one set that is deep enough that I can store some of the donated supplies (soaps, hand sanitizers, and wipes) behind baskets that hold the kids art supplies. They are easy to get to when needed, but completely out of sight otherwise.
In my school the students have lockers in the hallway to store their coats, backpacks and other personal belongings. I have more lockers than students so I use some extra lockers to hold boxes of tissues and paper towels.
Remove baggies from the boxes. I divided a copy paper box into three sections and emptied all of the individual boxes of bags into one of the three categories (snack, sandwich and gallon). I was able to condense over 30 small boxes of bags into one copy paper box.
Don’t ask for all the donations at once. In the past we had included all of the above items onto the school supply list and were bombarded with items on the first day of school. This year my teaching partner and I realized that we still had enough supplies to get the year started so we didn’t include these donations on the original supply list. Instead we set up a “Sign Up Genius” asking for a few of the things we were starting to run low on (wipes, tissues and paper towels) and had them replenished within days. I’m very optimistic that doing this will make the supplies so much more manageable.
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