14 Brilliant Organization Hacks I Learned from Teachers on TikTok
More than ever, teachers deserve our respect and admiration. Not only do they teach our children, but they also have to navigate keeping them safe and happy in ways we never could have imagined. A big, if possibly overlooked, impact teachers have comes through in their classrooms. They set things up to keep things running smoothly and efficiently, all while on a tight budget and in a way that makes things fun for the kids. It’s fascinating and downright awe-inspiring.
The teacher subset of TikTok, or “TeacherTok,” gives us unique insight into the world of classroom organization and lets us in on secret storage hacks. Here are a few of those hacks, along with some ways to put teacher magic to use in our own homes:
1. Use Dollar Tree snack bins for storage
The small, lock-top snack containers are the perfect size for storing a box of crayons. If you’re a parent of young kids, you know how fast crayon boxes get crumpled and crayons get strewn and broken and lost. Stashing each child’s set in its own box means everyone takes care of their own supplies and keeps fighting over possession to a minimum. Beyond crayons, these bins are also great for card games, LEGO sets, or anything with little pieces.
The particular boxes this teacher mentions are no longer available online at Dollar Tree, but you can find similar containers on Amazon.
Classroom organization Hack!! #teachersoftiktok #classroomorganization #schoollife #teachertiktok #texasteacher #texanshelpingtexans♬ original sound – Rachel Archer
2. Use a shower caddy to hold essentials
I loved this out-of-the-box use for a shower caddy. The teacher uses it for white board supplies; in addition to holding family command center items like dry erase markers and the like, it could also be used to house cleaning supplies. Hanging a shower caddy in a place besides the bathroom is an easy and inexpensive way to add “shelving” anywhere you need additional storage.
Reply to @shoker.24 Pettiest teacher ever 😂 #teachertiptuesday #teachertip #teachertips #newteachertip #classroomstorage #middleschoolteacher♬ Buttercup – Jack Stauber
3. Hang IKEA bins horizontally
These IKEA bins are great for hanging on a rod, and we use them in our house to store the kids’ colored pencils and other art supplies. But this tip turns this storage essential on its side, literally. Hanging small open bins horizontally, if you have a narrow enough shelf to use to hang them from and allows you and your kids to see exactly what’s in them. In addition to storing markers or other art supplies, they’d also be great for stashing snacks like granola bars or fruit roll-ups.
New teacher toolbox 🙌🏼 @shaynavohs3 modern calm color labels 🤩 #tutorial #teachertips #crafty #teachersoftiktok♬ Freakum Dress Intro – Mona
4. A toolbox is perfect for storing small items
Watching Teacher Tok makes me think I need hardware storage of my own! Teachers seem to use these for supplies like binder clips, notepads, and refills of glue sticks, markers, etc., and I can definitely imagine using one for craft supplies. But I can also picture using it (or a smaller version) for first aid items or personal care items.
5. Organize papers with drawers
Organizing papers is a challenge for everyone, teachers and parents alike. Using a small chest of drawers allows you to separate them and hide them away while still keeping them completely accessible. Whether you use them to store your collection of takeout menus, bills, or school papers that you’ll recycle at the end of the year, drawers are a teacher’s solution that translates perfectly to busting paper clutter at home.
All organized and ready for next school year! #teachertiktok #organization #MACscaraface #fashion #fashiondesignstudent #sewingtiktok #classroom♬ vlog type beat – Fleeky
6. Make dividers out of cardstock
Storing items in bins or boxes is great because your items are contained and easily accessible, especially when the containers are stackable. But the organization within your bins isn’t guaranteed. This teacher demonstrates how a simple piece of labeled cardstock can divide and and conquer your in-bin clutter.
Classroom must haves! #teacher #fyp #classroomtiktok #teachersoftiktok♬ original sound – Early EDventures
7. Use a scanner to “replace” your filing cabinet
By using a scanner and organizing your papers digitally, you can save so much space. If you don’t have a scanner (many printers now have them built-in), try an app like Scannable, which produces clean results straight from your phone. Keep your scans secure with password-protected folders. Just make sure your digital files are neatly organized, because a digital mess might be harder to untangle than a physical one! The good news: once you have your system figured out, it only takes a few minutes a week to maintain the order.
My favorite part of my classroom!! Students can always grab what the need!! #mathteacher #texasteacher #teachersoftiktok #classroomtiktok♬ Summermode – Official Sound Studio
8. Modular containers are key for flexible storage
We love OXO containers for the kitchen, but they’re also great beyond the kitchen. Use them to store blocks, art supplies, or even toiletries all around the house. One thing that makes them such a champion organizational product is that they’re modular: You can easily move them around to see and get to whatever else you’ve stored in adjacent containers. Budget tip: Upcycle food storage containers that have cracked (and are no longer airtight) to use for other items.
The school nurse is going to LOVE me! #dollartreehaul #teacherlife #classroomdecor #classroomhaul #teacherhaul #dollartree #dollartreefinds #bts2021♬ FEEL THE GROOVE – Queens Road, Fabian Graetz
9. Magnetic containers make great storage
This teacher uses magnetic containers to store her white board clips, but uses for these are as varied as your imagination. Of course you can use them on the fridge to stash spices, but you can also use them to store costume jewelry, hair accessories, or small doll clothes and shoes. Affix an extra-long, 16-inch magnetic knife holder to the wall and any space becomes a storage space for these cute magnetic tins.
Teacher Hack👩🏼🏫💡 #teachersoftiktok #kindergarten #teacherhacks #classroom♬ original sound – Sam
10. Save your markers and lids with duct tape
Any parent with kids old enough to color knows the pain of lost lids and dried-up markers. This genius hack with duct tape significantly reduces the chance that your markers and lids get separated from each other. In addition, by keeping each child’s whole marker set together, no one will fight over whose is whose and we all know that’s a gift in itself!
11. Store yarn in empty wipes containers
Yarn is great to keep around for art projects, but kids and yarn don’t mix. If you’ve ever struggled with an unraveling, tangled mess, this hack is for you. Once you’ve finished a container of disinfecting wipes, save it to store a skein of yard. Thread the yard through the opening and enjoy hassle-free cutting and crafting.
12. Use bins to keep bookshelves neat and sorted
Your home library may not be as robust as a teacher’s classroom library, but your books still may need some help staying neat and tidy. Book bins or other plastic bins are great for keeping categories of books together, for allowing children to access a set of books easily, and for being able to both take out and put away a book without dealing with an entire shelf’s worth toppling over. Bins are especially good for storing thinner chapter books and soft-cover picture books. You could even organize them seasonally (Halloween books, birthday books, etc.) and label them with a permanent marker or a tag to make sure to keep like items together.
Teacher Hack! How I organize all my papers!! #teacher #tiktokteacher #tictok newbie #preschool #getorganized♬ Smile – Katy Perry
13. Use Ziploc bags to store paper
I love this hack and I can’t wait to put it to use. Using clear gallon zip-loc bags to separate construction paper by color is so simple but so functional. Storing paper in stacks or vertically in magazine files never works in the long run; everything gets messy and bent and it’s impossible to keep neat, not only for children, but for adults too! Use bags to keep colors in their own specific sections and say hello to your neatly filed paper collection.
14. Use binder clips to hang items
Most of us aren’t storing paper borders, but that doesn’t make this hack any less useful. Using a binder clip, sometimes combined with a ring clip, makes hard-to-store items hang-able. I use this trick to hang rubber gloves from a Command hook on the inside of our under-sink cabinet door. Simply keeping this option in mind will, sooner or later, solve an awkward storage conundrum.
This post has been updated from its initial publication in August 2021.
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