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Today I’m sharing some of my favorite supplies for organizing online classrooms and teaching spaces. With back to school sales all over, I’m looking forward to purchasing a few things I’ve been eyeing for a long time now.
I’ve reconfigured my online classroom setup a lot in the past year or so, and it’s become clear to me that being really, really organized is key, especially if you’re like me and a) teach from a small apartment, b) move a lot, and c) tend to be a pretty disorganized person generally! Also, the longer I work in the same space where I live, the more I realize how important it is to delineate specific spaces for each aspect of my life. I don’t have a permanent classroom area, so I set up my space in our living room each morning before I teach, and if I’m not careful, we can quickly go from having a living room to living in a pile of my props (and feeling like I’m always “at work”). Having the pieces in place to quickly transition my surroundings from “work” to “home” is really important to me, and my goal is to ultimately minimize the setup/take down time of my online classroom. I’m also looking for storage options that I can easily transport with me when I visit friends or family, options that don’t require wall space, and ideally options that can easily break down or be used in other ways when we move or if my circumstances change. At this point in my life, I just don’t want to buy single use storage, especially plastic items, so anything I do purchase has to pass a version of the “how could I use this five other ways in five other places five years in the future” test.
CARTS AND MOBILE SHELVING UNITS
The first thing on my wish list is a rolling cart of some kind. I’ve seen lots of teachers use them on social and I think this would be the perfect thing for moving my props and supplies from room to room or holding all the random things I love to use that don’t really store flat (bubbles, giant sunglasses, balls, etc). I love this pink cart from Darice, the dark blue IKEA Raskog, this white triangular style, and this white more rectangular style.
SHELVES AND DRAWER UNITS
We don’t really have the space right now for more bookshelves, but I am considering buying some sort of mobile drawer unit or flat file to store not only my teaching stuff but my products and packaging supplies for my online shops as well. I’m creating more and more 2D props and flat stuff to sell, and it’s currently kind of just in piles everywhere, so it would definitely be nice to have one contained place to store everything. I love the look of the IKEA Helmer drawers, this five-drawer unit with cutout drawer pulls, this cute three drawer unit, and this modern white three drawer unit with a wooden top.
BINS, BASKETS, AND TOTES
Another solution I’m considering is a bin or basket system. This would be more portable than a cart in some ways, since I could just grab bins or baskets and put them in the car. Right now I use my bike basket and old cardboard boxes or whatever is around to store bigger items. I do like being able to see into a big bin or basket, and I already know baskets are some of the most versatile storage pieces in my home, so I would feel confident if I bought more that I would use them for multiple purposes down the road. My favorite picks currently are these extra large round rope totes, these black and white geometric and white zig zag three piece sets, this cuuute offwhite macrame set, these pretty jute baskets, and this beautiful steel and wood dual handle basket.
DESKTOP AND DRAWER ORGANIZERS
I’m leaning towards some kind of clear desktop organization system that I can keep next to me while I’m teaching and then stow under my coffee table or on our bookshelves at other times. I currently use a combination of cardboard boxes and random clear file folders for my 2D props, which are cumbersome to store and make it difficult to see everything at once. I would love to have one attractive unit for all my random 2D props! I love this MUJI stackable acrylic case, this five drawer organizer, this bamboo paper tray, and this white bamboo caddy.
Happy organizing, friends!