Does a cluttered classroom make your head hurt? Or do you just accept it as inevitable and go with the flow?
The classroom environment does play an important role in student learning, but with budgets that are small (or more likely nonexistent), it is tough to get rid of anything.
With that said, the visual environment of classroom spaces for young children should be welcoming, yet minimal. A highly decorated classroom can be the cause of classroom management issues such as time off task. It can make a negative impact every day that the materials are overwhelming children and how they learn.
Teacher Organization Hacks
Learning spaces should be filled with natural light, places to work together, and minimal sparse classroom decor. Having places to store all the manipulatives and resources you may need throughout the year becomes a challenge when you are trying to keep the classroom design as simple as possible.
Having a spot, such as a classroom caddy to organize the materials so they are easily accessible, yet hidden from view may help students to pay less attention to the different colored boxes of learning games – and more attention during your science lesson.
Classroom Storage Solutions
If you have extra time over the summer or winter break, a teacher project just might be organizing those supplies all over the classroom. Personally, I prefer to hide my “stuff” to create a cleaner look around the room for the times when visitors are in the class.
I love Sterilite containers to help me organize student supplies, manipulatives, books, art supplies, papers, folders, and more! I like the Sterilite brand because it is easily accessible to most and they are pretty economical.
Now, if you are wanting to have an entire wall of Sterilite then you might want to start saving now because they aren’t THAT economical, but I bought all of the plastics I will show you below for less than $50 and there is quite a bit of storage space there.
Another option is to ask for Sterilites during the holidays or end of the school year when parents never know what to get. They know you might love a Starbucks gift card, but if you have enough Starbucks cash to last you 5 years, perhaps a clear Sterilite is just what you would prefer. 🙂
I have a large collection because I like the fact I can mix and match them and that whenever I changed classrooms – or eventually brought them home – they were mine to keep. They never go out of style!
For those that love having them, but also know that the clutter can accumulate quickly, I just created Sterilite Container Templates! Yay!
These are super cute and will available in the themes below. You can always create your own as well! You just need to measure the dimensions of your drawers, create the templates in a word processing program, print, cut out, and tape to the sides.
Or just use scrapbook paper! Any of the above would work great – and you get to decide what matches your classroom decor!
My templates include labels for 5 different Sterilite containers, and have editable form fields in both .pdf and Power Point versions for you to customize your labels with anything your heart desires.
Another fun bonus are the patterned side panels! Mix and match the designs to keep them all the same, pick 1 or 2 to coordinate, or use all the coordinated designs to match the entire theme.
Each theme is also coordinated with the Common Core Lesson Planning Packs, CCSS Complete Vocabulary Programs, Classroom Essentials Teacher Binder Sets, Personal Planning Calendars, and Classroom Parent Handbooks! If you click on any of the links or images below, you will find the entire collection of that theme, including freebies!
Have fun finding your favorite and getting organized in classroom cuteness! Enjoy!
What is your favorite way to use Sterilite containers in your classroom? I would love to hear in a comment below!