With so many current unknowns about the upcoming school year, one thing is certain: classroom organization will be a must in order to ensure the highest levels of cleanliness. Storing student supplies may look very different in the coming school year. We must keep in mind CDC guidelines, including staying 6 feet apart, not sharing materials, and wearing masks. Believe it or not, changing up your organization systems might actually be therapeutic as you get rid of unnecessary items and neatly store the essentials! No one is saying that teachers should break the bank to create separate storage systems for each student, but it is a good time to get creative with what you already have, think carefully when making purchases through school, and to shop thriftily at the dollar store.
Here are 25 classroom storage hacks that comply with the CDC guidelines!
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1. Zip tie baskets under chairs for personal supply storage
2. Convert plant pots into individual storage containers
Get a set of 12 colorful flower plants for under $10 HERE!
3. Independent reading bins will be a must
Grab some book bins HERE!
4. Use individual supply bins as an alternative to group caddies
With considerations to cleanliness, having supplies separated for each student will limit the need for sharing materials. You can find affordable binson Amazon.
5. Use zipper envelopes to organize centers, games, task cards, and more!
Color-code the envelopes by level or individualize them for specific students. If students end up using the same materials within an envelope, be sure to have a system for sanitizing the items before the next student uses it. Grab these envelopes here or find them at your local Dollar Tree.
6. Utilize individual cubby spaces for lots of extra supplies
If students will be unable to share most materials, it means that we will need all the space we can find to store more-than-normal amounts of supplies. Cubby tray cabinets can be pricey, ranging from $150 to $450 so make sure you check local thrift stores, before investing in a brand new one.
7. This new storage container found at Dollar Tree can be used for individualized sensory bins, task cards, supply holders, STEM supplies, and more
8. Avoid germy hands touching the tissue box by storing the boxes upside down in hanging baskets
Grab a set of two hanging baskets here!
9. Use magnetic dollar store dice shakers for the storing and use of dice
10. Organize a cleaning kit for easy access
Having all cleaning supplies in one spot will make it easier for students to know and understand cleanliness expectations.
11. Use magnetic pockets to store individual manipulatives
Magnetic pockets can be purchased on Amazon or from Oriental Trading!
12. Store student passwords separately
You can use reusable plastic I.D. holders, attach it to the keyring and just print and place their online passwords inside! You can reuse these every year and no need for lamination. Grab a set of affordable ID holders HERE, and colorful keyrings HERE!
13. Store supplies on a gardening ladder
The pictured ladder was purchased at Ikea, but gardening ladders can also be found on Amazon or could even be handmade!
14. Put counters inside of small eraser or snack containers
Each student could have their own counters container that could be stored in their supply bins! Grab a set of those snack containers HERE!
15. Create individual math toolkits
These toolkits could be organized to last for one week or for an entire unit. The key is that all tools are found in one place for each student!
16. Make space for a “book return” shelf in the classroom to allow time between sharing books
Similar to how public libraries are running these days, there may need to be a certain amount of days between returning a book to the class library and allowing another student to obtain it. Prepare for this with space to store “quarantined books.”
17. Create a teacher’s mask & sanitizer storage container
This hack is meant for teacher use in order to keep track of masks during the week and remind the adult to sanitize.
18. Is an apron to store cleaning supplies over the top?
19. Create mini dry erase kits
20. Use individual supply bins that have handles!
It’s very possible that students will be taking supplies back and forth from home to school in case of another emergency shut down. For our youngest learners, the handles on storage bins may be very helpful when packing up belongings! You can fond those at the Dollar Tree.
21. Store pencils for each student in toothbrush containers
Grab a set of toothbrush containers HERE.
22. Store base ten blocks in caddies to hand out to students individually
That’s right, caddies are for more than just pencils and scissors! You can find classroom caddies on Amazon but also at any Dollar Store.
23. Utilize colorful drawers for each student
Grab this colorful drawer set at Michaels and individualize the drawers for each student’s belongings! These drawers also fully pull out for easy access.
24. Put calculators or headphones in shoe hanging organizers
Shoe organizers are an old hack the work wonders in the classroom. Grab some cheap ones on HERE.
25. Store crayons in travel soap containers so that students have their own set
Grab a set of 4 travel soap containers on Amazon for a little under $10.
As you begin to prepare your supply order for the upcoming school year, keep in mind any of the storage changes that will be necessary. Most importantly, try to have a little fun with this, and maybe you’ll even stumble upon a new and better storage system in the process!