Thursday, February 21, 2013

How I Organize TPT Materials

I've heard a lot of discussion lately about how to store those TPT packets, especially when you have a small space.  I figured I'd share how I organize my materials and maybe you'll find something that could work for you!  

For starters, I print and laminate the materials I plan on using (I do not always print the instruction sheets and I do not print sections that I think will be too difficult/too easy for my kids).  When I first started printing various materials from the internet (pre-Pinterest and pre-TPT), I used these large mailing envelopes.  I wrote the topic and contents on the front of the envelope.  

It may be difficult to see in this picture because they are the same color as the envelopes, but I use sheets of cardboard (from the bottom of water bottles) as dividers.  They are labeled with categories like Animals: Zoo, Animals: Farm, Books, Seasonal/Holiday, Articulation, Language Concepts, Games, etc.  I put them in these build-it-yourself shelving system I got at Target when they have their back-to-school college dorm items.  The one above is on top of my closet.  

Well, I ran out of envelopes, so I started using the gallon-size Ziplock bags.  I actually like these so much better because I can see what's inside!  Since I'm running out of space in the shelves above, I started putting some into theme-based binders.  You can place duct tape on one end of the Ziplock bag and hole-punch through it (I got this idea from Speech-Language Pirates). Here's a peek at my Thanksgiving binder:

I have more materials for some themes than for others.  For those themes that have a lot of materials, I use plastic storage containers like these:

(Click image to view on Amazon)

What about the materials you're using or about to use?

Here's how I keep the "What we're doing this week" items:

They're basically in a mail organizer I got from a local odd-lot store and I keep them on the shelf right behind my chair so I can just turn around and grab what I want.

And I store the "What's we'll be working on soon" in a dish-drainer organizer on another shelf.

In the silverware cup, I store my baggie of game pieces.  These are what I use for those open-ended game boards.  The baggie contains several game die, and game pawns.  I've been using those little rubber erasers as game pawns to make it more interesting for the kids.  I have transportation and animal themed erasers.

 I think that's about it!  How do you store your printed materials?

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