Classroom storage ideas don’t have to break your bank account. Wondering how to optimise space and organise your classroom? The teachers on the Teach Starter team have walked into many a school year and found classrooms of all shapes and sizes. We’ve put together some of our favourite storage ideas for you to implement now to reap the benefits of a more organised classroom all year.
These classroom organisation and storage options are simple but clever. Best of all, our teacher team can tell you from experience: Implementing effective classroom storage solutions will help you feel more organised, save you time when setting up (and packing up!), and provide an ordered learning environment for your students!
How Do Teachers Organise Their Classrooms?
Of all the things you learned in uni, how to organise a classroom probably wasn’t one of them. It’s a skill we all learn on the job, and there is no right way to organise or one-size-fits-all storage solution for every teacher.
If you’re new to the classroom, here are a few things to keep in mind before we dive into the ways creative and clever ways teachers are optimising their storage with organised classroom solutions:
- Don’t overdo it. Especially in those early years, we teachers tend to go a bit overboard on classroom set-up before realising less is more!
- Think about the types of spaces you will need in your classroom. You’ll need space for both teacher-directed and student-led learning, and you’ll want to keep small and large group activities in mind as well. Are you doing rotations? What will your seating look like?
- Consider the needs of individual students. Are there students with disabilities who will need special access to items or other accommodations? Are you teaching foundation or prep students who have very different needs from those upper year students?
- Set up boundaries and visual cues for your students. Everything from colour coding to simple labels can be useful in directing students to contain the clutter — without you ever having to say a word.
- Use a classroom layout organiser to get the most out of your space. This digital tool can save you heaps of time!
- Check the home storage sections of cheap shops or variety stores. You’ll find these offer some awesome alternatives for storage. Hardware stores also have loads of great storage options at a low cost, so check them out too!
Read on for tips on how to store specific resources and how to create space in a classroom, plus some of our favourite classroom storage ideas from teachers around Australia (and the world)!
Want to skip right to some serious organisation help? Explore thousands of printable classroom signs, labels, decorations and more now!
How to Create Space in a Classroom
While there’s no rulebook for how to set up your classroom storage solutions, it certainly helps to keep a few pointers in mind. Our teacher team has some quick storage hacks that we’ve learned over the years for creating space in the classroom:
- Repurpose storage containers you already own or can easily acquire. For example, cleaned-out clear takeaway tubs are perfect for storing tiny craft bits and bobs, and they’re stackable!
- Label everything! Your stored equipment and supplies will be much easier to locate (by yourself, your aide, or your relief teacher!) if everything is clearly labelled, and it allows you to store things away in your cupboards more easily.
- Hang things up! Get as much of your gear (and theirs) off the floor to free up precious floor space.
Classroom Storage Ideas
Now it’s time for the good stuff — all those clever storage ideas we’ve been promising.
Every part of a classroom is prime real estate. With floors occupied with furniture, and walls often filled with learning materials and student work, hanging storage solutions might be the key to your classroom storage kingdom. Here are some of our favourite storage ideas for the classroom:
Use Coat Racks for Storage of Bulky Items
Can we share a teacher secret? The real key to keeping the classroom neat and tidy is setting up systems that give students ownership of clean-up tasks. Take flexible seating, for example. These rocker chairs are popular with teachers and students, but they can be a little awkward to stack.
By using some coat rack hooks, the students can be responsible for putting the chairs back after using them. Thanks to Mrs. F from @perfectlypolkadot who shared this clever idea for storing chairs in the classroom!
Storing Student Work
Need an easy idea for storing students’ work samples for the term and making them easily accessible for meetings that you may have for that particular student? A member of our teacher team swears by this dish-drying rack trick! The front compartments of the dish drying rack could be used for pencils or name tags — whatever you may need handy on your desk during the day.
You could use our range of customisable name tags to label each folder (we used the 16 name tags to a page option).
Hang Up the Kids’ Things, Too!
Well, this is cool! Buy the drink bottle holders that you would normally attach to bikes, but attach them to your students’ chairs for easy storage! No more condensation all over their desks, and more accessible and hygienic than a communal drinks station.
Thanks to tech integration teacher Sam Reid (over on Instagram as @educationlifeboat) for sharing this awesome idea with us.
Storing Classroom Tech Equipment
You won’t have any more tangled headphones in a box with this super awesome idea — use a shoe pocket organiser to hang your headphones. By creating a clearly marked place where the headphones are always stored, students will begin to get into the habit of putting the headphones away.
Thanks to teacher Katie Keegan (over on Instagram as @mskeeganandco) for sharing this fantastic idea and photo with us!
Simple Storage Solution for Class Tablets
All that classroom technology is helpful, but it creates even more you have to store. We have a solution for you! Teacher Corinne (@theclassroomflow) was lucky enough for her husband to make one of these for her so she could store more of her laptops on each shelf. You don’t have to be handy and build a shelf, though. The IKEA wooden dish drying rack would work a treat for classroom tablets!
Classroom Clipboard Storage
You know by now that all those clipboards just do not stack — at least not easily. So grab another dish rack, and you’ve got the perfect classroom storage solution for your clipboards!
Where’s My Whiteboard Pen?!?
… Said every teacher at least once this week!
This makes us smile! Of course, we are talking about the all-important storage of whiteboard markers. Make sure you find a container that will fit all of your beautiful pens and that you can store them upside down (makes them last longer).
Then, you need to add a super cute sign like this so that they don’t go walkabout! Thanks to the teacher behind the @stylininsixth account for this great photo and idea.
Multi-Use Pockets = Parent Pockets
Parent pockets for the early years classroom are always a must-have for our teacher team! They can be used to pass on notes for individual students as well as for parents to access take-home letters and important information. What’s more, parents and guardians will love you for it too!
You can buy super fancy parent pockets with 30 pouches, or you can save yourself some pocket money and make your own using hanging shoe organisers (yup, just like the ones we mentioned earlier for your headphones).
Parent pockets work equally well for upper years students if you make it the student’s responsibility to check their parent pocket before they go home. You’ll soon see which students are forgetting to take letters home.
Teach Starter Teacher Tip: Do you have students who often forget to take things home? Skip the pockets, and save paper this term with an easy editable classroom newsletter you can email to parents or post on your class website!
Tidy Up Student Belongings
You’ve probably worked out that we’re big fans of pocket organisers. Some of our teachers use them for storing student belongings! All you need is a few of these handy classroom organisation gems, jazz them up with colourful name tags, and you can use them to store just about anything! You can hang them in a cupboard, on the wall, outside of your classroom (under cover), or behind a door.
Do you find water bottles lying around the classroom? Are you tired of students asking you whether you have seen their water bottle? Perhaps the system that you had in place to store water bottles just isn’t working out.
Take your classroom storage to the next level and create the perfect clutter-free water bottle storage with — you guessed it — a pocket organiser.
This printable water bottles sign can help remind students to stow their drinks bottles!
Plastic Bag Storage
Do you have a tonne of empty plastic wipes containers? Don’t throw them out. Upcycle them into simple storage for plastic bags in your classroom so you always have them on hand when a student needs to take home a pile of old artwork or clothes that got a little too messy!
Because they’re designed with a special mouth to prevent you from pulling all of the wipes out at once, they also help students to grab just one bag at a time instead of the entire container’s worth.
Worried the plastic bag container will disappear in your classroom? Mount it on the wall right near your classroom door, so students have easy access.
Desktop Stationery Storage
You can’t do an organisation hack without featuring the ever-famous stationery drawers! These drawers and the different ways to decorate them have been all over social media! We purchased these drawers from Bunnings and used our customisable desk name tags to label each drawer.
Teach Starter Teacher Tip: Print these two to a page to get the correct size.
This organisation hack prevents the drawers in your desk from getting full of all of those bits and bobs that you seem to collect as a teacher.
How to Store Resources in the Classroom
We can’t forget about ideas for storing resources in the classroom, can we? We love hearing that many of the resources our teachers create for you are used year and year again in your classrooms, so we thought it would be a good idea to share some of our favourite hacks for keeping them stored and protected well.
As teachers, we love to rotate through a variety of activities depending on the ability level, interests, and focus area of our current students. So, even if your resources are taking a little break of their own, effective storage will help preserve them.
Hang Smaller Teaching Resources on Utility Hooks
Do you ever have so many sets of task cards that they get all mixed up? Or, you forget you even have them?
This clever idea comes from year 4 teacher Desiree who goes by @desireephilip2614 on Instagram. She told us got the large clip from Bunnings. You can then store each set of cards on individual rings to make them easier to find and get off!
Looking for amazing task cards for your next lesson? Be sure to view our Task Card Resource Collection!
Worksheet Sorting Drawers
If you’d prefer to pop your planning away, use a drawer set up like the photo below to sort it all. You’ll feel super organised, and if for some reason you’re away, your relief teacher will know where to look for the materials you’d planned to use.
To create the drawer set up below, use a set of five desk drawers (we purchased this one from Kmart). Then, use some washi tape to decorate each drawer (who doesn’t love a bit of washi tape?). Finally, you can use any of our customisable tray labels to create the days of the week.
Once downloaded, we printed these tray labels two to a page to get the correct size for the drawers.
Poster and Large Teaching Resource Storage Ideas
Do you have lots of fantastic maths games that you have printed but don’t know where they are? Queensland teacher Camilla McCloud (@missmccloudsclassroom on Instagram) tells us she purchased this rod from Daiso and has used some coat hangers and pegs to create this super duper amazing maths games storage solution!
We spot a Teach Starter resource too!
How to Store Classroom Games
Teacher Amelia Campbell of Tasmania (you can follow her at @misscampbell_tas) shared this a while back and we just can’t help but absolutely love it! She used colourful folders to store all of her Teach Starter Bingo cards and made them easily accessible by storing them in this dishwashing rack.
Now that’s genius!
How to Store Bulletin Board Border Trimmers
Does anyone else roll their border trimmers up and put a rubber band around them? This makes it tricky when it comes to unrolling them and using them again the next year. This year, try attaching a hook to the wall and clasping your borders at one end with a bulldog clip, then simply hanging them from the clip on the wall!
Storing Your Handouts for Upcoming Lessons
Nothing feels more organised than when you have all of your copying done for the week! Don’t let your desk become Mount Paper! That’s where these printable binder clip label templates become surprisingly helpful.
Paper Storage Solution
This picture is just so satisfying! All of the colours! All of that order! Do you have lots of coloured paper you use? Have you got a slight obsession with the different colours you can buy? Do you colour code your resources?
If so, we have a storage solution for you. Thanks to @teachingmondaythroughfriyay for this great photo of coloured paper stored perfectly in a filing cabinet drawer in her classroom.