Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Center Storage and Organization

I’ve tried a couple of different ways to organize my centers and game pieces, but I think I’ve found something that works.  It’s been a year-long process, but I am totally happy with the results!

I use these storage containers that I purchased at Target.  I have seen them in the Really Good Stuff catalog as well.  They are kind of spendy – about $4-5 each, but I thought the investment was worth it. And, like I said, I’ve purchased through out the past year, so it didn’t FEEL like I was spending so much!


I put each unit into one container – sometimes I am able to fit more than one.  Both math and literacy centers go into the container.


I keep everything that I might need for that week’s centers in the container.  Center cards, dice inserts, manipulatives, master copies, and answer keys.  I also keep the black line master’s in a file folder in my filing cabinet, but I wanted to have a copy here as well – just in case!

I either clip the pieces together or put everything in a zip top bag.

What works best for you for organizing your center supplies?


  1. I recently started buying these containers one at a time myself. They look great!

    My Different Worlds

  2. I think this is the perfect size!! Some of my containers are too big. I have seen these, and I think if you do just a few units at a time, it shouldn't be so bad.

    The Daily Alphabet

  3. Not sure if you have a Dollar General in your area but they have these exact containers for sale. If you sign up for their emails they frequently have coupons for $5 off a $25 purchase. It makes it all worth spending a little more on your classroom.

    1. Good Tip! Thanks for sharing!! I have gotten them to use for some of our leveled books as an easy way to store mini books! Great thinking for storing units!! Soo smart!!


  4. I did the exact same thing!! I actually asked for a bunch of those bins for Christmas last year, haha! They work wonderfully!
    Rowdy in Room 300

  5. Love it! I've done something similar. I bought brightly colored containers in the dollar section at Target and made labels to specify what is in each basket, then hooked the label to the basket with a plastic word ring (which came free when I ordered my classroom supplies!). By the end of the year, my students would go find the basket that they needed instead of my doing all of the work. It's so much easier on me!

    Sarah @ Learning is for Superstars

  6. They look fantastic! I so am in need of reorganization!

  7. Your system looks so neat and tidy and way to find. I keep all my games with a copy of the recording sheets in large brown mailing envelopes and then in a box by the nine weeks. But I think I may invest in some more plastic boxes and separate by month. I made binders for each month that has my worksheets and teaching materials.

  8. That looks awesome! I would have never thought to do that. I may be reorganizing my stuff this year... Thanks for the great idea!

    How Cute Is This!

  9. I always see those at Target and think, "Those would be great for centers!" If I can find space for them, I just might have to invest ;)
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

  10. I'm jealous. I feel like I'm a fairly organized person, but I just can't seem to find a way that works to organize my centers. I might have to try it your way next year.
    Funky First Grade Fun

  11. I am so excited about your post. I am trying to decide how I want to redo my files and I think you just answered it for me. I love this idea. Thank you!
    Mrs. Shelton's Kindergarten

  12. I love it! I pinned it. I hope you don't mind. If you do just let me know and I will remove it!!! :) I just didn't want to lose it because I am so doing that next year! :) THanks!

    Kindergarten Korner

  13. WOW!! Love those containers!! I will have to check them out! We are doing math workshop in our summer school this year. My co-worker and I are jumping in feet first to get the ball rolling.


    All Things Teachery

  14. You did a great job organizing. At the end of the year I just started tossing random pieces that I found stashed behind bookcases. I need to do something with my games. Thanks for sharing.

    Miss Nelson's blog

  15. Hmmmm I am really liking those containers. This summer I am organizing like a crazy person, I'll have to keep those in mind. Thanks for sharing,

    Simpson Superstars

  16. I am loving those containers. I have been going back & forth about whether to organize my themes/units in binders or containers. After seeing this, I'm thinking containers! Looks great! :)

    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  17. I would LOVE to pin this for TBA with your permission. I am going to look in to those containers!

  18. Those containters are awesome. I would love to do that if I have the room. Once I can get back into my room this summer, I might have to reorganize some things to incorporate this idea. Thanks for sharing.

    The Teacher's Backpack

  19. I love this idea! I've seen those before and had the same thought, but I haven't splurged on them yet...maybe when the TPT quarter ends.
    Grade School Giggles

  20. I love the idea! It looks so nice all stacked up, too. I just started organizing my center games into laminated manila envelopes, but I'm going to need a place to store them all. I may have to get bins that are just a tad bigger. Thanks for sharing!

  21. I don't know where you are, but I find these at my local Dollar General. They've went up to $4 though. So I innocently add one on to about every other trip for fun stuff, just like you!


  22. I love these containers. Great idea to just grab a few at a time. Thanks for sharing.
    "The Wonderful World of Kindergarten"

  23. Thanks for the great idea, Kathleen. I've had some of these storage containers sitting in my cart for some time just trying to figure out the best way to use them. This is perfect. I'd love it if you would check out my new blog.

    Who Loves Kindergarten?

  24. I have something very similar. I use scrapbook paper containers from Michael's. They can hold all of my pocketchart goodies, literacy center materials and anything else related to the theme or unit. They are on sale right now for $4.99 ( I agree pricey but worth it).

  25. Could you send me the labels you created?

    Thanks so much!

  26. I'm a bit behind on reading. Yesterday I went to target and purchased the same boxes. My trunk is filled. I like the way these snap and the variety of sizes Target provided. Crazy how similar our minds are!!! =D


  27. I uses these same containers for my math and literacy stations LOVE THEM

  28. I uses these same containers for my math and literacy stations LOVE THEM

  29. This is an awesome idea! I think a trip to Target (or Dollar General) is in the making....


  30. Okay - so I'm a little (lot) behind. I have the containers now so organizing it all just became one of my many summer projects. Is there any way you would be willing to sell/share those labels? I see we have many of the same themes.

  31. I am going to use this great idea with my Singapore Math centers.
    Thanks so much! :)


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