20 Clever Classroom Storage Ideas for the Busy Teacher - Teach Starter (2023)

If you’ve ever wondered why classroom storage is so hard to come by, you’ve stumbled upon one of the great mysteries of the world. The folks who design schools don’t exactly seem to spend any time in them, do they?

Of course, that leaves it to teachers to come up with classroom storage ideas and storage hacks that will make the best use of the learning space without cutting into the much-needed … well … learning space! This goes double if you have a small classroom or even a larger classroom but a large class roster.Wondering how to create storage space in the classroom and how to store student supplies when they don’t have desks?

To save you the much-needed time you need to devote to educating your students, the team of teachers creating all the resources you love from Teach Starter is here with a few simple, cheap, and clever storage ideas that you could implement in your classroom today — all while reaping the benefits of a more organized classroom.

Get back-to-school ready with our favorite teacher-created resources!

Classroom Storage Ideas and Hacks

How to Store Classroom Headphones

Classroom headphones … they’re fabulous for students to all be listening to things on their tablets in the classroom, but keeping track of all of them is, to quote Jean Ralphio from Parks & Recreation, the woooooorst!

Try this brilliant trick for headphone storage in the classroom! Using a hanging shoe organizer allows each headphone to have its own personal spot, so you can say goodbye to tangled cords. Thanks to teacher Katie Keegan (@mskeeganandco) for this idea.

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Art Supply Storage

Shoe organizers aren’t just good for headphone storage in the classroom! They’re also a cheap classroom storage option for storing art supplies, especially when you find the organizers with clear pockets so your kiddos can see through to spot the exact item they need. Bonus? You can store all of your markers upside down in a shoe organizer, so they don’t dry out as quickly.

Tray Labels

Yes, we know it’s basic. But while many teachers are already using tray labels to let students know how to find things, we sometimes forget that labels help US too!

Decorate boxes, trays, filing cabinets, rolling carts … whatever can be labeled SHOULD be labeled so you can use that big ol’ teacher brain for the important stuff — teaching your kids!

Grab labels for dozens of classroom themes, here.

Flexible Seating Storage

If you love rocker chairs, you’ve probably already realized their benefits … and their challenges when it comes to classroom storage.

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By using some bag hooks, Mrs. F from @perfectlypolkadot realized the students can be responsible for putting the chairs back after using them! There are plenty of sturdy Command Hooks that could hold the weight of these seats too! (Check out more ideas for using flexible seating in the classroom).

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Plastic Bag Storage

Do you have a ton 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 on the playground!

Because they’re designed with a special mouth to prevent you from pull 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!

Classroom Games Storage Solution – BINGO!

One of our very clever Instagram teachers shared this a while back, and we were hooked! She used colorful folders to store all of her Teach Starter BINGO cards and made them easily accessible by storing them in this dish drying rack. You can also use an old CD rack (remember those)?

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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!

Classroom iPad Storage

This is a classroom storage oldie, but we’re filing it under goodie. Purchase a bamboo wooden dish rack, and your classroom laptops and tablets fit beautifully between each set of pegs! @theclassroomflow shared this tip with us.

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Print a technology rules poster to remind students to put the technology back where it belongs when they are done!

Anchor Chart Storage

Anchor charts are huge (and we’re huge fans), and they’re easy to roll up … but what the heck do you do with them after that? Grab a hamper, and stand them up inside. Easy. Peasy. Lemon. Squeezey!

Small Containers for Counters

This not only is a great way to store your counters and other manipulatives, but this classroom storage tip also saves a lot of time! If students need counters for individual or small group work, they grab a container, and off they go. No more having to stop what you are doing to pour out counters for students each time they need it. You and your students are able to go grab a container any time you need them! It’s a win-win!

(Video) Teaching Strategies we are Using Inside the Classroom

@teachingwithmissvandijk grabbed these containers from her local dollar store, and they’re also perfect for creating small sets of crayons for students to have at their individual desks!

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Ice Bin Turned Turn In Bin

Do you have a turn-in bin in the classroom so students know where to turn in their work when they’re done? If not, we highly recommend it! They help keep your teacher desk from becoming a mess of papers.

But you don’t have to get fancy — one of the teachers on our team uses ice bins from the dollar store for her turn-in bin. She has one bin for each student in the classroom, labeled with that student’s number!

Dishwasher Pod Boxes

It’s getting harder and harder to find dishwashing detergent as more companies move to pods, but those boxes shouldn’t be chucked in the trash! They make for perfect storage for markers, pencils, or even all those math manipulatives. Best of all, with the flip-top lids, you can close them up and carefully store them in your classroom closet without worrying that you’ll lose small pieces.

Oh, and did we mention this is a cheap classroom storage idea? You’re literally turning “trash” into treasure!

Zip-Loc Bag Storage

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Keep your printed games and game pieces straight with this easy classroom idea — store them in Zip-Loc bags! This also goes for task cards, flash cards … really the sky is the limit on this one!

Wooden Storage Container for the Win

Another one of our fabulous Instagram followers got creative with wooden Aldi storage caddies.

She painted them these bright colors to brighten up her classroom. Best of all, they are perfect desk storage units for desk groups in the classroom. Or, why not use them for reading or math centers?

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Letter Tiles Storage Solution

Teacher @miss_bingham is using one of these mini toolboxes (found at your local craft or hardware store) to store our printable letter tiles resource.

No more shuffling through all the tiles to find the letters that you want to give to your students…

(Video) Classroom Management

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Task Card Carabiners

Do you ever have so many sets of task cards that they get all mixed up? Or worse, you forget you even have them?

This clever idea by @desireephilip2614 will solve that problem. She got the large carabiner from her local hardware store, but you can also order them online, and store each set of cards on individual binder rings to make them easier to find and get off!

(Psst … grab our 120 Comprehension Task Cards – all organized and ready to go!)

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Hanging Resource Storage

Math games can get complicated to store, but @missmccloudsclassroom purchased this rod from her local dollar store and has used some hangers and clothespins to create this simple game storage solution!

We spot a Teach Starter resource, too!

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Classroom Water Bottle Storage

Water bottles in the classroom are tricky. We want our kids to stay hydrated, but we don’t need all that condensation on students’ desks … or a lot of spillage. Thanks to @educationlifeboat for sharing this awesome idea that solves it all — store those water bottles with a bottle rack made for bikes that can be mounted on each student’s chair. They’re easy to access, but they leave room on the desk for important stuff — like schoolwork!

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Classroom Paper Storage Solution

All of the beautiful colors! Do you have a lot of colored paper or cardstock that you use? Have you got a slight obsession with the different colors you can buy? Cough, cough, us too.

And because we get it, we have a storage solution for you; thanks to @teachingmondaythroughfriyay for this great photo of colored paper stored perfectly in a filing cabinet drawer and sorted by color. It’s a rainbow, and it’s so soothing.

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Display Border Storage Solution

Raise your hand if you just roll their borders up and put a rubber band around them. We used to do that too, but it makes it tricky when it comes to unrolling them and using them again the next year. This teacher hack from @mrscessac5th is super simple— just use command hooks and binder clips in your classroom closet.

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Classroom Cart Storage

We couldn’t write a classroom storage blog without featuring the famous IKEA utility cart! This cart can be used for so many things, but we love how @miss_jaysclassroom has added hooks to hers to help with the storage of task cards that you use regularly with your students.

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Whiteboard Pen Storage Solution

We would be lost without our whiteboard markers. and @stylininsixthgets it. She found a containerthat will fit all of her beautiful markers and that can store them upside down (makes them last longer), added some magnetic backing, and poof — it’s a whiteboard pen storage solution that keeps the pens handy right where you need them!

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Need help with controlling the classroom clutter? Print these trash, compost, and recycling posters to encourage your students to properly dispose of waste!

Banner image via shutterstock/Monkey Business Images

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