Organize Your Child Care Space

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The new year is a great time to organize your child care space. Providers from our message board and Facebook page share some ideas and tips for storage and reducing clutter.

How to Store Puppets

Here are some ways to store puppets

  1. Get a wire shoe rack and put a puppet over each hoop.
  2. Fill 16 oz. pop bottles with sand and hot glue the lids on. Place on shelf or hot glue to a purchased length of shelving.
  3. use hot glue or construction adhesive and stick clothes pins (clip kind) along the wall in your puppet area. Clip a puppet to each clothes pin.

Get Organized

Shelves on the wall in the art area, and on the shelves I have about 12 of those shoe box containers, and in each one I have things like cotton balls, yarn, felt, etc....., it has worked out great
~ Sandynfl

I found these cool shoebox size clear plastic containers at the Dollar Store, the lids clamp on, and they have handles on the top that fold flat. I bought ten of them (wish I would have bought more!) and I have the things we use daily organized in those (glue sticks, glue, markers, crayons, lacing beads...)
~ Mkindall1

For my daycare books, I just recently went through and split them all into themes and put them in labeled cardboard boxes. Then when I have a certain theme I need books for, I can just find the labeled box and pull those books out instead of having to dig through a gazillion books. I just did this recently, and so far it has worked great. This also keeps my books from being just cleared off the bookshelf onto the floor constantly by the 2 yr old. Now there are not near as many he can dump.
~ Kiddokare

I found large plastic portfolio cases at our school supply, we put bulliten board items in each one and they hang nicely in the supply closet. I have one for each month.
~ KidGuru

Then I found an over the door plastic garment bag sort of thing with about 50 little pockets for small items like eyes, small wooden or foamie shapes, stickers etc and attached that to one door in the inside. The other door has a shoe organizer for bingo makers, glitter glue, etc. You would be amazed at how much stuff fits in those pockets." Containers with clear drawers of various sizes to fit across the top shelf for the smaller items like pipe cleaners, craft sticks, glue sticks etc. When we need something for a project I just pull out the drawer. On the one shelf in the lower part I bought 2 literature storage shelf from Sam's Club to separate all my construction papers by color and size. Classroom Direct discount catalog has a lot of storage ideas I look at and get ideas from.( The other side of the closet has shelves that come with the closet, for books, work sheets, bulletin board materials, more clear plastic boxes for things so I can see what I need at a glance. I shut the doors and the mess is hidden! Works great.
~ Alohadavis

Each themematic unit has its own large tote with items needed for that unit, each unit also has an organized binder.
~ Kim G.

I bought cheap storage benches from Walmart that the tops filp over to serve as a table...we have 3 in our living room, one with toys, one with winter hats & mittens and one with photo albums. Its an easy way to stash clutter. I also buy the cheap gladware containers with screw on lids for all our little toys and craft supplies and I line the cabinets with those. In my playroom, I put shelves around the ceiling and I store all the board games with small pieces up there so little kids can't get them with out my knowledge. The rest of the shevling units and closets are lined with bins and labels.
~ Alison S.

I have a box for each month in my basement storage for themes and holiday projects.
~ Lori A.

I have a tote that is the color of the season. I put my seasonal books, activities, and decorations in it. Than I store it in the basment. When the season arrives...ta da...instant materials.
~ Cheryl C.