Classroom Organization Essentials: The Ultimate Top 10 List

Classroom Organization, Classroom Set-Up
Blog Header for blog post about classroom organization

Classroom organization is a topic that is near and dear to my Type A teacher heart. Whether you are a Type A, Type B, Type C, or Type Z teacher – organization to a degree is important in any classroom.  

Here are three benefits to having an organized classroom…

  • Less clutter and chaos in the classroom can reduce stress for you and your students
  • Saves time when materials are organized and easy to find for you and your students
  • Sets a positive example for students which helps them continue to build their executive functioning skills

I’ve been teaching for 17 going on 18 years and classroom organization is something that I’ve continued to refine and change over time. Today I’m sharing my Top 10 list of items to use to help keep your classroom organized and efficient. A lot of these organizational items are extremely versatile and could be used in many different ways in the classroom.

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Classroom Organization Essential #1 – 6 Qt Storage Box

Photo of classroom organization tool - a storage box used to hold classroom library books

Over the years, I have probably bought 1 billion of the shoe box plastic storage bins. These are great for storing extra supplies, organizing your classroom library, storing math manipulatives, and more. Sometimes I use them with the lid and sometimes I use them without. These storage boxes are extremely versatile!

Classroom Organization Essential #2 – Mesh Bags

Picture of mesh bags being used to hold classroom games

These mesh bags have been a game changer for my classroom organization. I have them in tons of different sizes and use them for ALL of the things! They are a great way to store literacy stations and math games and can also be used for other materials. The smaller sizes I used to organize my decodable books and I’ve used some of the larger sizes to organize all of the materials that come with our phonics program. 

Classroom Organization Essential #3 – Rotating Supply Organizer

Picture of rotating supply organizer for classroom organization

This classroom supply organizer is new to my classroom this year! I’m so excited to use it at one of my small group tables to have supplies organized and easily accessible for when they are working there. I love that these containers come out and the best part of all – it’s a lazy susan – it spins!

Classroom Organization Essential #4 – Teacher Toolbox

Photo of a teacher toolbox for supplies

I was on the fence about making a teacher toolbox a few years ago and wondered if I’d really actually use it. But, I caved to the peer pressure and made one. And, best of all – I actually use it! This toolbox has been extremely handy to keep small supplies organized – paper clips, binder clips, sticky notes, etc.  Super easy to make and use! 

Classroom Organization Essential #5 – Grey Storage Bins

Photo of grey storage box holding decodable books

These bins are also extremely versatile in the classroom. I am currently using these bins to house my decodable books (in their mesh bags) and my book study sets.  I have also used them in cubbies for students to keep their crayons and headphones in. These storage boxes will also often fit inside a desk so that is an option too.

Classroom Organization Essential #6 – 3 Drawer Storage

Photo of 3 drawer organizer for classroom organization

I love the Iris brand for storage materials! They are always sturdy and are long-lasting. I got this 3 drawer storage as a two pack set. I decided to use one to organize my writing station materials. So, I made little signs to go in each drawer so students would know what they’d find. I use the other organizer to organize our writing workshop papers.

Classroom Organization Essential #7 – Plastic Case

Photo of plastic project case

I am currently using these project cases to reorganize some of my math materials and games. I love how it’s clear so you can see what is inside and it’s a great way to divide out some of the math topics. For example, instead of a big bin for measurement – I now have a measurement one and a perimeter/area one.

Classroom Organization Essential #8 – 16qt Clear Storage Box

Picture of plastic organizer for geometry materials

Another organizational item that can be used for pretty much anything! I have used these to organize stations. So one bin might be the fluency station and all of the station materials are inside that bin. Then when students are at that station they would grab that bin and take it to their work area. I have also used these to organize math task cards, materials, and games by topic.  I have used these as book bins for larger picture books and nonfiction books in my classroom library.

Classroom Organization Essential #9 – Brag Tag Organizer

Photo on brag tag organizer

I love using brag tags as a positive behavior system in my classroom. However, I don’t love all the eight billion pieces! Using one of the toolboxes as an organizer has made it so much easier to keep track of it all!

Classroom Organization Essential #10 – Large Clip Box

Photo of mentor texts organized in clip boxes

The stackable storage option is great for a variety of things. I currently use it to organize my teacher books/mentor texts. Each bin is a different topic – reading skills, back to school, behavior, growth mindset, science, etc. This makes it easy for me to pull mentor texts when I’m looking for them for specific lessons.

For more info…

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