Monday, January 27, 2014

Tips for Storing Donated Items in the Classroom {Organization, Tissues, Paper Towels, etc}

If you receive donated tissues, paper towels, wipes, baggies, etc from the families of your students then you probably find yourself in a situation where you need to find ways to store them in your classroom. 

Today I am going to share some ideas for storing donated items until you need to use them.

My biggest issue with these items is that if they are not hidden out of sight they cause a lot of visual clutter. The boxes tend to be brightly colored with varied patterns and lettering. Therefore it will create a much calmer learning environment if you don’t just stick these packages up on a shelf. Here are some ways to conceal them.

Cover copy paper boxes with gift wrap, fabric or contact paper that coordinates with your classroom. Use these to store the donated items together. 
Do you have deep shelves? I have one set that is deep enough that I can store some of the donated supplies (soaps, hand sanitizers, and wipes) behind baskets that hold the kids art supplies. They are easy to get to when needed, but completely out of sight otherwise.
In my school the students have lockers in the hallway to store their coats, backpacks and other personal belongings. I have more lockers than students so I use some extra lockers to hold boxes of tissues and paper towels.

Remove baggies from the boxes. I divided a copy paper box into three sections and emptied all of the individual boxes of bags into one of the three categories (snack, sandwich and gallon). I was able to condense over 30 small boxes of bags into one copy paper box. 

Don’t ask for all the donations at once. In the past we had included all of the above items onto the school supply list and were bombarded with items on the first day of school. This year my teaching partner and I realized that we still had enough supplies to get the year started so we didn’t include these donations on the original supply list. Instead we set up a “Sign Up Genius” asking for a few of the things we were starting to run low on (wipes, tissues and paper towels) and had them replenished within days. I’m very optimistic that doing this will make the supplies so much more manageable.


Follow my Teacher Store so you don't miss
Flash Freebies or Discounted Debut Items and view my easy-to-navigate online catalog.

Check out CFC's Helpful Series for Teachers: 

By the way, if you are not already subscribed to The Clutter-Free Classroom newsletter I encourage you sign up. Subscribers receive weekly tips for organizing and managing a classroom as well as exclusive free printables. You can sign up here.