This post is part of my 20 day "Organizing and Managing Paper in the Classroom" Series. Today I am going to share tips and ideas for storing and organizing photocopies, worksheets and other student assignments.

In order to avoid piles from accumulating it is important to have a plan for the copies you bring from the machine to your classroom. 

First, establish a location for the copies and materials you’ll need for the day. I recommend setting them up for the next day each afternoon before you leave school. This will make your morning run much smoother and everything will be accessible for a sub in the event of an unexpected absence. Some ideas include:

  • lying them out in sequential order on a shelf at the front of the room
  • placing them by subject in stacking trays
  • using plastic drawers to sort by subject
  • housing them in a vertical pockets

{Get these FREE labels as an instant download at my Teacher Store}

or Read About How I decorated these boxes at my original blog post

Next, develop a system for holding your copies for the upcoming week. I am currently using cardboard boxes from IKEA that I decorated for each day of the week. I like these because they are open at the top which makes it easy to add papers and they are wide enough to hold everything I need.

I have additional boxes labeled for homework, next week and the week after next. This allows me to get ahead in my copying by up to 3 weeks. 

I used to use plastic drawers for this purpose, but I just prefer the boxes.

In the past I used hanging file folders. I had labeled 31 folders with numbers 1-31 with each representing a day of the month. I would then file my copied papers into the folder for the day I planned to use them. I didn’t hate this system, but I found the folders weren’t big enough and if we had an unexpected snow day it thwarted my system. 


I use these boxes to organize my copies and materials that I will need to go with my lessons each day.

When the copies are made, I simply slide them into the appropriate box for the day I plan to use them. I love this method for a few reasons:

a) everything is at my fingertips
b) the vertical design makes it easy to flip through and find what I need
c) in the event that I am out unexpectedly or need to leave the room, someone can step in and take over
d) if we have a snow day or don't have time to get through everything that had been planned, it is very easy to shift the materials over to the next day.

I decided to spruce up my boxes this year to better mesh with the Blackline Design Decor I have integrated into the space. I made the labels available for you to download and print for free. You'll be able to add your own flair and make everything coordinate to your space by selecting cards tock, border or scrapbook paper to match your classroom theme or color scheme.

{Click here to access and download the labels and directions for creating your own boxes}

Pick and click any or all of the options below.

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