Every classroom needs storage…

Every classroom needs storage – but as obvious as it seems this is not necessarily provided !!

I have visited NEWLY BUILT schools where (presumably) the Headteacher has not had an input and the classroom storage was non existent. In fact in some it was so bad that the school had to buy wardrobe like store units which were then placed out in the corridors for each class.

Note to Headteachers and senior management teams – if you are in the fortunate position of being involved at the planning stage for a new school – work out what storage you need and get it planned into the scheme!

We have looked previously at desks and the types of storage that children may need to keep their things.

However lets consider what you need as a teacher.

Lets start with the basic essentials that you will have in your classroom

  • Class files and folders
  • National curriculum documents
  • Resource books for different subjects
  • Special needs files and records
  • Possibly individual pupil folders and assessment folders….not a great idea but some schools like this!
  • books

Lets move on to Classroom basic storage….these are day to day resources that are used at a moments notice if something runs out. You do not want to be sending for equipment or books every time a child needs something replacing!

  • Spare exercise books of each type you use
  • Pencils / pens
  • Rulers and rubbers
  • Exercise paper. Lined, squared and plain
  • Packs of crayons
  • Art paper and painting equipment

That lot takes quite a bit of storage  –  in addition you will have your personal things which you would naturally want to put into your desk….that’s if you have one!

Depending on what storage you have in your classroom you will either have enough to take these items or you will be struggling.

In some school classrooms there will be a stock cupboard – if you have one of these then that’s great news as you will be able to put all the things from both the above lists into this cupboard….(with the exception of the Art materials which should be kept separately and easily accessed by your Art monitors when needed.


Some Classrooms will have shelves designed to take the items from the first list…i.e folders etc which is a great help. If there is no storage for the class consumables (that sound very professional doesn’t it) then you will have to get creative and either use something else in your classroom or go on a school scavenge hunt for a small cupboard or set of drawers. Consumable items cannot be left out in the classroom or they will be taken and used by the children. It should be made clear that they are stored as spare items and that only YOU are allowed to go into the cupboard/drawers to get them.

If you are unlucky enough to have no storage or very little storage then you are really going to have to think about this as its an important element. See what existent furniture you have and then go looking for extra if you are really struggling. The caretaker is a great person to ask as he/she may know of furniture stored elsewhere that might be useful.

Childrens exercise books

Where is best to store these….there are 2 options.

  • In the child’s identified drawer
  • In class piles somewhere.

This really is up to you – but I would recommend book piles! This means that you are using your monitors (x 4) to hand out and collect books in when needed. It doesn’t take long to do and centralises the process. If children keep their books in drawers arranged in storage units then you have the problem of the whole class accessing their drawers to get their books….time consuming and noisy! If children have modern desks with drawers underneath this can alleviate the problem but more often than not you are collecting in the class books to mark work anyway at the end of the lesson!

If you centralise your books store area then everything is neatly together and both you and the book monitors know where everything “should” be !

Ok…that’s about it – a short glimpse at the glamour world of classroom storage!

Before I go, I will give a word of caution on 1 particular aspect.

If you have a stock room in your class DO NOT leave the key on the outside of the door when you go in to get something. I do know of one teacher who did this and the class locked her in the stockroom! The school was only alerted to the ensuing chaos by a member of the public who lived in the flats opposite the school…..you’ve just got to laugh !

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