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Classroom Set Up: Ideas for Organizing School Supplies and Learning Materials

Back to School, Classroom Setup

Written by: Mary Kate Bolinder

The average teacher spends close to 1,500 hours in the classroom each year. With so much time spent here, the classroom should be a place you and your students can all enjoy! An organized classroom brings a sense of calm, purpose, and efficiency to the everyday routine. Check out these classroom setup ideas for organizing student supplies and learning materials.

Top Classroom Setup & Organization Tips for Teachers

The teachers in our amazing and supportive Facebook Community offered their best tips and advice for organizing school supplies and student learning materials. Take a look at what they have to say below, and join in the conversation in our Lucky 1st Grade Teachers and Lucky 2nd Grade Teachers groups.

  • It’s your classroom – do what works for you!
  • Teach your students your expectations for keeping supplies nice and neat, and MODEL MODEL MODEL! 
  • “Color scheme over theme! Organization trumps theme every time. It is so much easier (and more cost-effective) to stop caring if items match the classroom theme.  Switching to just solid colors was the best decision!  I could easily make labels for literally anything in my class.” Check out the Classroom setup pack for editable classroom supply labels. 

Download HERE

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Keep reading for tips and suggestions on how to organize school supplies and student materials.

School Supplies & Student Materials

Cubbies for Storage: Low on storage space? Repurpose student cubbies for classroom supply storage. Plastic tubs with labels hold extra supplies, journals, and other things like season-specific books. On top of the shelf are tubs for room transformations.

Supply Tubs: Use inexpensive shoebox-sized tubs for overflow supply storage.

Colored Paper Organizer: Organize colored paper in hanging files in a desk drawer or filing cabinet. It’s such a little thing but it’s been a tremendous time saver!

Construction Paper & Cardstock Storage: Each color of construction paper is actually in a file folder to keep it separate. It makes it super easy to pull out the bins and let students choose their colors.

Self-Serve Student Supply Drawers: The above skinny drawers are all filled with items students can get when they need them. The top drawer is the spot they drop in timely, miscellaneous things in (ice cream money, permission slips, etc.)

Supply Drawers (Not Student Self-Serve): These drawers are filled with supplies to pass out when students need them.

Login Cards & Headphones Storage: Use a pocket chart to organize student log-in cards and headphones. This student log-in sheet is also super helpful to keep all those usernames and passwords organized!

Download HERE

Headphones Storage Hack: Label colored clothespins with students’ class numbers, then label the headphones with their number as well using washi tape. Have students clip the earbuds and then wrap, wrap, wrap the cord until the end. Then, the silver part sticks perfectly in the little clip hole. Or, they can just tuck it under the cord.

More School Supplies and Scoop Rocker Storage: These white “recycling bins” are from IKEA! They hold so many supplies! They are filled with extra supplies that are replenished throughout the year. My scoop rockers fit perfectly in these big bins from Big Lots.

Pencils and People of the World Coloring Utensils: This is a cart that holds People of the World coloring utensils and also sharp and dull pencils.

Extra Crayon Drawers: Have a tub of old crayons for extras? Try this Montessori-inspired idea and organize them by color. LIFE CHANGING!!! When students need a specific color, they just go grab what they need! No more wasted time digging through a bin of mixed crayon colors!

Student Computers: These are stored in dish racks that I stuck to the top with poster tape. Each computer is labeled with the student number and also color-coded. The computer has a strip of tape, as does the slot on the dish rack it goes onto, and so does the charging cord. Zip-tie the cords to the dish rack so it doesn’t fall behind the shelf.

Math Manipulative Shelf: All the math tools are stored here!

Download HERE

Supply Closet: Store craft supplies, games, fun Friday activities – literally everything! Use a shoe pouch organizer or clear hanging puch for centers and random supplies – works great!

Looking for more great classroom organization tips and ideas? Check out our Classroom Set-Up Materials for everything you need for back-to-school classroom setup!

Download HERE


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