The classroom closet might be the most ignored space in the classroom. Random supplies are just thrown in there with abandon, perhaps forgotten until the end of the school year. But if the closet is effective, you stand a really good chance of keeping the rest of the classroom organized. Here are some best practices.
Success starts at the beginning of the year
Most teachers order the bulk of their school supplies at the beginning of the year, and then supplement their haul with what the parents buy off of supply lists. This deluge of stuff might be chaotic, but take the time to place it strategically in the closet. It could make the difference in stuff accumulating in the room itself.
You can never have too many plastic bins
Plastic bins are the panacea of classroom organization. They can be used to gather everything. They make organizing your closet—and the classroom in general—a snap. If you don’t have enough (and there is never enough), consider asking for them on your supply list. Parents won’t have a problem providing one with all the other supplies they’ll have to buy.
Don’t leave the shoe organizer at home
The pouches of shoe organizers are great for gathering smaller items, like writing utensils or anything consumable. Go ahead and put one on the inner side of the closet door.
Consider going inside out
The closet is the logical place to keep supplies, but think about this: which would you rather students have access to: your files or the supplies? Think about strategically using shelves and bins out in the classroom for your supplies so students can use them as needed, and moving your files into the closet behind closed doors. It makes a lot of sense when you think about it.
There are closet disasters and closet masterpieces throughout your school. What we’re willing to bet is that each reflects the state of the classroom itself. Every teacher wants a masterpiece classroom. It starts in the closet.