How to Organize School Supplies

Are you flooding in school supplies and lessons? You are not alone! I have been teaching since 2001 and over the years I have accumulated way to much stuff. But, it wasn’t until I started teaching at a Montessori school when things got “out of control.” Since the Montessori teaching relies on a manipulative for almost everything, my piles of “stuff” grew and I started to feel overwhelmed.

I had piles of ‘in-progress’, piles of ‘done’, piles of ‘maybe’, and piles and piles of lessons everywhere. Okay, I still do but they are more manageable. As you can imagine, I started to get anxious and feel overwhelmed because I could never find anything let alone the materials for the next lesson. So, I decided to organize myself! Did I mentioned that I am still trying to get organized?

Crates Organization System

I bought a number of plastic crates and started putting similar school supplies in boxes. Then, I labeled the boxes with something generic. The system is not perfect but it is way easier to find school supplies of what I need in a shorter amount of time. It also makes it easier to see what I own so I don’t keep buying duplicates.

Since I include sewing, crafting, and other projects to our school curricula I extended the organization to those materials as well.

Organizing Teaching Centers

Organizing school materials that I typically use in guided and independent learning centers was a little bit more challenging. After exploring many ways I finally settled on two methods. Using traditional manila folders with a twist and photo boxes.

Photo Boxes

I went to the good old gal Amazon and got myself a large photo storage box. These boxes come with many smaller boxes that then, fit in their own slot. It is perfect! I placed the materials in each little box and created a label for each one.

Manila Folders with a Twist

Ziplock bags + manila folders + cheap crate = organization

As soon as I print a lesson, I create a folder and staple a ziplock bag to the manila folder. Then, I label the folder and place the document inside. Folder ready? It goes into the crate.

Since I am not always able to laminate, cut, and prepare a material this school supplies organization method allows me to work in short periods of time and still be organized.

Organizing Paper Supplies

I love to have all kinds of colored paper and card stock. So, I decided to invest in a multi-drawer cart and sorted the papers. It’s been a life saver. Highly recommend!

I still have a long way to go in my organization but I no longer feel overwhelmed and my piles have gotten quite small.

What things do you do to keep your school supplies organized? I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below.

Reizelie is a former homeschool parent and a trained science and Montessori teacher with a passion for curriculum development. She loves learning and teaching and on her spare time she helps families create home environments that enrich a child's learning. Reizelie has a PhD in science education and has been working in the field of education for the last 19 years. She loves helping teachers, schools, and homeschooling families improve their science curriculum in ways that are authentic to scientists' work.

1 comment on “How to Organize School Supplies

  1. Pingback: Our Montessori Environment – Chillax Science

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