Monday, September 8, 2014

TpT Essentials & Storage Tips

To all of you wonderful ladies who spend countless hours making things to share with those of us who have no creative skills:  THANK YOU!  If you are just getting started with TpT or (gasp!) have yet to delve into the TpT world, here are the essentials:
1. A printer with color cartridge
2. Cardstock paper. You could use regular printer paper, but don't you want your materials to last?  Cardstock is the way to go.
3. A laminator.
Mine is about 9 or 10 years old, but it's still going. I bought another one from Amazon a few months ago when it was on sale for under $20. It's in the box in a closet so I'll be prepared when this one finally bites the dust. If you don't have one, keep an eye on Amazon.  Every now & then they'll have an excellent sale.  
To go along with the laminator, of course you'll need laminating sheets, or pockets.  I use 3 MIL, and again, bought some "off brand" when they were on sale at Amazon.  I can't tell the difference between them or the Scotch brand.


3. How did I live without one of these way back when?
Seriously. The other day I was thinking about how much this little goodie has saved my fingers.  (Notice my "lamination station" that it's sitting on. Some people call it an "ironing board".)

To store my TpT materials that are cards, I use Iris Photo Boxes from Michaels. 16 cases come in each box, so you have plenty of storage. Watch for them to go on sale, and don't forget to use your school i.d. for an extra 15% off, or, better yet, don't forget to use the 20% coupon that they have almost every week.

I make a small copy (index-sized) of the title page, then use double-sided tape to tape it in the  front of the individual case:
On the top of the box, I use a labelmaker to make a label.  This keeps me from pulling each individual case out of the box to see what it is.
I have at least one case for each season.

For those materials that are too big to fit in the cases, I have another plan.  I have at least 1  big notebook for each season or holiday. The essentials for these items (besides the notebook):
1. Zipper pencil pouches. 
What SLP doesn't love the dollar store?  I like these because they have 2 zipper pouches:  one smaller, and a larger one. Plus, they're only $1! These are great for book companion packets. I have gone by to get some and they were out. Office Depot will match the price, so if you can't find them at the dollar store but can at Office Depot, keep that in mind!

2.  Snack sized ziplock bags.
Well, maybe not "Ziplock" brand, because I usually buy Kroger brand.  I write the purpose of the cards (i.e.: 1-step directions) with a Sharpie, then put it in the pencil pouch.

3. Page Protectors.
I found these at the dollar store.  They are very thin, so I only plan on using them for items that may get used only once/season. I have items that have worksheets that go along with the activity, so I'll use a better quality for those.

As I said, I have those bigger items stored in big 3-ring binders according to month/season/holiday.  I also have a notebook for Emergent Readers, and another one for homework activities that I've found on TpT.

I download a product, and save it in a folder on my laptop according to when I want to print it out.  I have my folders labeled according to the month.  After I make a product that I've downloaded, I transfer that item over to a flashdrive.  That keeps me from duplicating and wasting cartridges, cardstock, and laminating pouches.

What is your process for downloading and storing TpT material?

1 comment:

  1. Love those photo boxes for storage. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

    ReplyDelete

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