Monday, August 5, 2013

Centers Storage

Two weeks before I go back to work! The summer has flown by. But thanks to Monday Made It, I've got some cute stuff to use in my classroom this year!
I don't know about you, but I really struggle with how to store and organize my centers when they are not in use. I have three different types of center storage. My seasonal centers are stored in tubs up on top of one of my cupboards. Then I have baskets with grammar/language arts centers of laminated manila envelopes. I also have basic centers and activities that are not in permanent manila envelopes. Things like spelling activities, sight word stamping, etc. This is what I use most often. This is what that bunch looked like right out of my cupboard.

Because I use Ziploc bags, they tend to slide and collapse when not in use. I can't find what I'm looking for and it's one big jumbled mess! My type A heart hates opening the cupboard these are stored in! So my mission this summer was to figure out a way to store them and organize them so they are easy to find when I want to use a specific center.

First, I needed a way for the bags to stand up in a basket when not in use and not fold in half. I printed this cute chevron composition book clip art with the name of the center on cardstock. I attached them to the front with contact paper. That gave the bags enough strength to not fold over. I was able to reuse most of my bags from before by using a Magic Eraser to take off the Sharpie marker that was on the bags as center labels.

Then I sorted each of the centers. I have 1st-6th grade students, so I have a wide variety of abilities. My centers are differentiated to target all of their needs. I had to categorize each of the centers so they will be easy to find later. I used chip board for dividers that I covered with scrapbook paper and added a label to the top. This helps give the bags some more stability in the tub.

Once they were sorted I put the primary and intermediate levels into black dish tubs from Walmart. My husband made me wooden 'book ends' if you will, for the back of the tubs to keep the bags upright. At some point these tubs will be full, but for now there is room to grow.

Now my centers are organized and ready for a new year. Plus, I won't dread opening up that cupboard any more! I'd love to see how you've organized your centers when they are not in use.


  1. Organization is my downfall. I wish my cabinet had doors so that I could hide my mess. :) Your centers look so nice and organized.

  2. I'm a neat freak and I'm constantly re-organizing. Great idea to attach card stock to the ziploc bag! I never thought of that. Glad to be your newest follower!

    Diary of a Grumpy Teacher

  3. Kelly, you are brilliant. I have a love/hate relationship with Ziplocs. I love using them, but I hate when they get messy. I started using manila envelopes and laminating them in the library, but I don't think the library likes that. Your idea is so fresh and clean everything you make.
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'