The race is on—school starts soon! Here’s a tough question . . . how’s your budget doing?

If you’re running short on funds, but still need a few things for your classroom, check out these ten ideas. You’ll stay organized and save money!

  1. Stack heavy-duty boxes or plastic crates to make shelves.
  2. Glue cereal boxes together and cover them with colored contact paper to create an easy way to sort and store papers.
  3. Use paint stir sticks or heavy cardboard strips to divide books by genre.
  4. Hot glue clothespins to a brick or cement wall to hang student artwork.
  5. Instead of buying a fancy desk organizer, store small desk items like paperclips, erasers, and push pins in empty tuna cans (make sure the edges aren’t sharp), yogurt containers, or other recycled bowls.
  6. Have you seen a bulletin board design you like in a catalog? Trace it on a clear plastic sheet. Then, use an overhead projector to enlarge it and make it your own.
  7. On a large piece of tag board, draw and decorate an unnumbered calendar for each month of the school year. Cover each tag board piece with clear contact paper and use them year after year.
  8. Get rid of the giant bucket of crayons. Keep them sorted by color in small, short cups or baskets. Keep those cups in a muffin tin.
  9. Do you have a great idea for a future lesson or something you really want to remember at a later date? Write it on a sticky note and put it in a file or in your lesson plan book where you will be sure to see it. For example, you may have bought Valentine’s Day cards last year on clearance. On a sticky note, write down where you stored them and put it in your lesson plan book near the end of January.
  10. Make individual white boards for your students. Attach a white piece of paper to a sturdy piece of cardboard and cover with clear contact paper. Make a border and finish off the edges with colored duct tape.


You are welcome to copy this article for one-time use when you include this credit line and receive no monetary benefit from it: © 2017 CTA, Inc. Used with permission.

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