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."