Saturday, August 8, 2015

Creative Classroom Storage Solutions

Hi there! Today I (K's Classroom Kreations) am going to let you all in on a little secret....I have an addiction to containers! That's right. I just love shopping for baskets and boxes and whatever other little containers I can get my hands on. Problem is, I can easily end up with a few too many (and buying new each year isn't a realistic possibility). I'm going to share with you some creative storage options that fill my need to organize and store, without breaking the bank.

The first type of storage you will find in my classroom consists of recycled food containers. Sometimes I use them to store manipulatives like my Base 10 blocks in the giant Animal Cracker container. Other times I use them as inspiration and storage for simple centers. The Pringles can is holding my Munchin on Punctuation writing center. I also found this adorable popcorn container (bottom left) at the Dollar Tree. I think it could work perfectly with my popcorn counting math activity (but the recycled popcorn box is just as cute!)

I'm sure if you search Pinterest you will see dozens of other ideas like using baby food jars to hold small items or an empty frosting container to organizer bulletin board border in. What I like most about this type of storage is that it adds excitement to the learning. Plus, I am always looking at food boxes now and getting inspiration for future classroom games. Next up on my list will have to be something with Popsicle sticks and a Popsicle box....

As teachers, our brains have a hard time shutting off from the classroom. This is evident in the next ideas where everyday household items take on a new purpose.

First up, the Kitchen aisle! I have used the plastic sink bins (bottom left) for years as open storage to hold books, notebooks, and my "New Kid on the Block" box. This year, after some more Pinterest-ing, I learned about the drying rack option for technology. I am waiting to get my iPads back from over the summer but I plan on standing them up in the rack as a charging station. Best part, the cords won't tangle! Next, I found this sturdy teal laundry basket to keep all of our recess toys in. Items like this are on sale now for College Back to School season (and it matched...and I have an addiction to I had to have it). Lastly, the toolbox! There are dozens of versions out there to download. I kept mine pretty simple with colored paper, ocean themed stickers, and mini address labels.

Of course I can't recycle and reuse all the time- sometimes (my favorite times) I just need to buy things! I love plastic containers from Dollar Tree for my library, manipulatives, and center materials. Little tin pails have been all the rage at Target this summer - I am storing reading trackers in this little guy (googly eye on popsicle sticks, drink stirrers, highlighting strips). These cardboard banker boxes have been some of my best purchases. I am able to store materials (special books, lessons, decorating supplies, etc.) by season and topic. These were a bit pricier but have held up extremely well for cardboard. Lastly, baskets. I use these for sorting activities mostly but the storage possibilities are endless.

 Last type of storage in my room requires getting a bit creative! I was able to get these milk crates for free a few years ago. I originally covered them in Duct Fabric but redid them in this teal vinyl this summer. Last year I stored my kid's morning work and small group activities inside of them. The bench is simply 3 crates screwed together and spray painted. I like the final look but do not suggest spray works fine and is a lot less of a pain. You can now find the crates in different colors too. The bench is by far one of the favorite places to hang out in my classroom.
 Just a few more Dollar Tree finds (geesh, I should get a commision for how often I suggest them)! I snagged these little sandwich holders and snack boxes earlier this summer. I plan on using the sandwich containers to put a deck of cards, dice, or other small center activity in. Just the fact that it has Minions or Spiderman on it will make it an instant favorite. The snack containers could be used for the same thing but I plan on using them for behavior. Last year I implemented a token system for a few of my challanging students (read more about it here). I used velcro to stick a plastic cup to each desk but they would still get tipped over. These little containers will hold the tokens and again, the theme makes it even more exciting!
Last up is my pirate themed treasure box. I bought this a few years ago at a craft store (with a 50% coupon of course!). I used it to store materials for my Pirate day at the end of the year. It could also be used as a prize box or simply as storage.

Hope you were able to find a few new storage and organizational ideas. Setting up a classroom this time of year can be overwhelming, especially finding a place for everything. Good luck and have a great year!

For other ideas be sure to check out my blog, K's Classroom Kreations. Thank you!

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