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.
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.