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Time Management Tip: Outsmart the Clutter

Turn everyday items like coffee cans and see-through cosmetic bags into classroom clutter-busters!

By Margie Markarian
  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

Clutter in the classroom means valuable instructional time lost scrambling to find small items like math manipulatives, glue sticks, and extra No. 2 pencils.  

Here's a tip: You can prevent clutter from taking over your classroom without spending a fortune. The answer? Recycling everyday items to create clearly marked storage containers for everything.

Ask your friends and family to help you collect the following:

  • coffee and baby formula cans (cover with contact paper)
  • shoe and cigar boxes (cover with contact paper)
  • tea tins
  • old canister sets
  • tall plastic cups
  • plastic cereal bowls
  • see-through cosmetic bags
  • plastic-zippered bags
  • plastic milk crates
  • egg cartons
  • durable restaurant and deli takeout containers with lids
  • plastic ice cream and sherbet containers
  • wicker baskets of any size
  • shoe caddy with see-through pockets
  • small pails/buckets (often available as part of kids' meal promotions)

 

Need advice on clearing out the clutter another teacher left behind? Check out "How to Make an Old Classroom New Again."

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  • Subjects:
    Classroom Management, Homework and Studying Support, New Teacher Resources, Teacher Tips and Strategies
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