While my number one tip for classroom organization is to purge any and all unnecessary items from your environment, there will still be a large amount of things that you need to keep. Therefore, it is important to maximize storage.
Today I am going to share some tips, ideas and strategies for making the most of your current space and will help you find storage areas you didn’t even realize existed in your classroom.
Take advantage of deep shelving by placing storage containers filled with infrequently used items or seasonal books behind objects you use more often.
I use tables instead of desks in my classroom. Before I was able to obtain enough tables for all the students and phase out the desks, I treated the desks as if they were tables and did not have the students keep their personal belongings inside. I was then able to use the desks for additional storage.
Adding a skirt or tablecloth to a table that students don't sit at will allow you to store tubs and boxes underneath and out of site.
Using cheap wooden shelves that are marketed for shoe storage (available at most big box stores) can be added to tabletops to create additional supply storage.
Since you need places for your students to sit anyway you might want to consider creating seats that do double duty. Above are some storage crate seats made from plywood and plastic crates (be sure to use quality crates or they will crack and bend). Below are some bench seats made by turning Ikea's Expedits on their side. We have several of these at our house and they are a strong, quality piece of furniture. Wooden shelves are available at craft stores and unfinished wood stores would be a cheaper option and you could paint them to match your classroom. These would make great benches at a rectangle small group teaching table or as seating in your whole group lesson area.
Always take advantage of your vertical space. Stacking boxes and wall-mounted shoe pockets are great ways to use space that would otherwise be wasted.
Also think about over the door and small mounted shelves for the backs of closets and cupboard doors.
Adding plastic drawers or neat looking storage boxes under tables and desks maximizes storage room without taking up any additional floor space in the classroom since the table has already created a footprint.
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