22 Brilliant Organization Hacks You Need to Try in Your Classroom


22 Brilliant Organization Hacks You Need to Try in Your Classroom

Teachers are constantly finding hack ideas to try in their classrooms during the school year. Unfortunately, between lesson planning, parent/teacher conferences, and, oh yeah, TEACHING, there are just not enough hours in a day to carry out many of the hacks that would actually end up making a teacher’s life easier. Summer is the best time to try the latest hacks in the teaching world. After all, is there anything better than stepping into your classroom in the fall with freshly painted, color-coded storage bins? Actually, knowing that NONE of the markers in your classroom are dried up at the moment (because you’ve created a Marker Hotel over the summer) is probably even more satisfying. Here are 22 useful teacher hacks to try over summer break while you have the time!

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1. Use salt and pepper shakers to store glitter

 
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2. Use pillowcases on chairs to assist students in extra organization space

 
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3. Collect empty soap dispensers and fill them with paint for independent student use

 
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After organizing your paints into soap dispensers, you could also label the dispensers with instructions for mixing colors! These paint dispensers provide easy access for creative explorations throughout the school day.

4. Use dry-erase sleeves to pack up all your flat belongings.

 
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You’ll be so proud of yourself comes back to school. Dry erase sleeves save the day yet again!

5. Use a rubber band to limit the amount of hand sanitizer coming out of the pump. This is extremely relevant for this fall!

 
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6. Transform the mess on your desk into an adorable “Teacher Toolbox”!

 
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You can purchase a “teacher toolbox” at any home improvement store, but Amazon also sells them for around $20. This toolbox could store all your markers, binder clips, staples, paper clips, erasers, batteries… you get the idea. Take it to the next level by spraypainting it and labeling each drawer!

7. Get those Morning Tubs in tip-top shape by cleaning out last year’s bins, throwing away overly-used items, and re-organizing them to prepare for the new school year.

 
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If you haven’t used Morning Tubs before, the summer is a perfect time to start creating this teacher hack. Morning Tubs are used when students first arrive at school to implement a predictable morning routine that also includes opportunities for play, STEM exploration, and quiet time. You can find some affordable bins here.

8. Get ahead on sub plans over the summer by creating a Substitute Bin!

 
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Is there anything worse than creating sub plans during the school year? Save yourself the headache and give yourself one less thing to worry about come fall. You can find affordable caddies like this one at Target or Marshalls.

9. Use zipper pouches to organize your classroom board games

 
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Get rid of the bulky cardboard boxes and invest in zipper pouches from Amazon to create more space for other essentials in your classroom.

10. Part with those dried up markers and make yourself a Marker Hotel using three-drawer bins from Walmart.

 
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A Marker Hotel is an organization system that uses color-coded drawers. According to @teachingthetinies, this hack saves a lot of time during the school year because students now know where to find the color they’re looking for AND they know that markers can only go back to the Hotel with a cap on.

11. Spray paint classroom items to make sure your classroom is INCREDIBLY color-coordinated next school year.

 
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The anxiety of mismatching colors is just not how we want to start the school year. When buying spray paint, be sure to use a paint that also has primer in it AND, if you’re spray painting plastic, be on the lookout for a paint that’s suitable for such a job. These book bins are from the Dollar Tree!

12. Make sure your classroom supplies are organized next year by labeling all your bins and drawers!

 
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Yes, we’ll take any excuse to use our label makers! You can find tons of drawer organization options at Michaels! If you don’t have your own label maker, you can also find free or cheap pre-made labels on TpT by searching “drawer labels.”

Would it really be the first day of school if we weren’t handing out punny gifts? You can get a pack of cheap highlighters at the Dollar Tree or Walmart. Visit Pinterest for other punny first-day gift ideas.

13. Use a makeup caddy to organize your desk supplies

 
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14. Draw smiley faces on closed Elmer’s glue bottles so that students know when the cap is twisted completed closed

 
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15. Wash your classroom scissors in your dishwasher. You heard that right.

 
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Don’t forget to grab all of your classroom scissors before summer so you can wash them properly over the break. Put your dishwasher on the sanitizing mode and watch the magic happen! Wondering what else I can put in my dishwasher…

16. Use straw containers to get those pencils under control

 
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Grab these straw containers at the dollar spot in Target! Alternatively, Dollar Tree always has several container options for cheap.

17. Use fridge shelves as magazine racks to organize your teaching textbooks this summer.

 
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Word on the street is that fridge racks hold up better than cardboard ones!

18. Make your own sticky-note templates and print them right onto sticky notes!

 
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You can download free editable post-it note printing templates on TpT. Preparing these ahead of time for student use ensures an engaging start to the school year!

19. Take the time to mark your own pencils and supplies so that students know they must be returned to you

 
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Tired of your own pencils disappearing? Use this duct tape hack to remind students which supplies need to be returned to you.

20. Use poly envelopes to organize literacy centers by skill!

 
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Enter the school year with a fresh organization system set in place. If students know where to find materials, they are more likely to also find success. Also, this is another hack that could involve your label maker *insert silent cheers*.

21. Organize table supplies, teacher supplies, or guided reading supplies in these colorful beauties!

 
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You can find these cute caddys at Aldi!

22. Organize your classroom playdoh this summer with a K-cup holder

 
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Treat yourself to a new k-cup holder at home and bring the old one to school.

23. Always a sucker for a new bin hack. Organize your teaching materials by topic or month and label bins with what’s inside.

 
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Have you ever rummaged through several bins looking for one specific item? This hack will save you the trouble and frustration of trying to find that one pack of flashcards that could be in any of 20 different unlabeled bins. Labels are our friends.

24. Color-code laptops and cords in rainbow order so that students know which cord belongs to which laptop.

 
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I would literally do anything to avoid tangled charging cords. THIS IS A MUST. You can use colored tape or stickers, or you could even use markers to color plain masking tape.

All teachers look forward to some extra free time during summer break, but we all know that by mid-July teachers just want some kind of colorful project to keep them busy. These teacher hacks are sure to entertain you throughout summer and benefit your students in the fall!

ALSO CHECK OUT:

22 Brilliant Organization Hacks You Need to Try in Your Classroom

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Jenna Marcal

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Jenna is a 5th grade teacher in Upstate New York! She loves to cook, dance, and dance while cooking! When she's not taking care of her succulent babies, Jenna can be found grading a stack of papers with one hand and holding a chilled glass of white wine in the other.

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