My New System For Organizing My TpT Materials

picture of clear plastic boxes on shelves
There's a lot of talk this time of year of how everyone organizes their TpT materials. I keep looking for better ways to store everything. I've reorganized my materials quite a few times, but I really like my new system for organizing my TpT Materials.

At the end of last school year, I decided enough was enough and I purged. Gone are materials that I had when I first started working as a school-based SLP over 30 years ago. With all of the great materials offered through TpT, a lot of my things were just so outdated. I figured if I hadn't used them in a few years they weren't worth keeping. Was it hard? You betcha, but it felt so great to clean that stuff out!

Before I even knew anything about TpT, I kept my homemade materials in clear plastic boxes and notebooks.
2 big plastic boxes on a shelf
As my TpT materials grew, I put most things in notebooks.
Notebooks with labels on the spine sitting on a shelf
I also started using bins from the dollar store. I put packets in gallon freezer bags and had a bin for each month.
Different color plastic bins on shelves
Using bins, my shelves were somewhat organized but some of the bins were stuffed full.
I've planned around monthly themes pretty much my whole career (it's so much easier to plan that way!) so notebooks and bins fit my needs...until I started buying and downloading cards. Off I went to Michaels to buy these containers:
Plastic containers on shelves
Apparently, these containers are a hot commodity now. My Instagram feed blew up with SLPs trying to find them on sale. They weren't that easy to find a few years ago when I discovered them so I'm not surprised they were hard to find. These containers are absolutely fantastic for cards. Each container has 16 cases that are the perfect size for cards.
Top view of a plastic card container with labels on each card container.
I organized each container by seasonal activities. I put a label on each individual case so I can just look at the top of the case to see what cards are in the container.
Top View of card containers with a label on the individual container

When I purged last spring, I also purged these boxes. I had a lot of cards that I downloaded as freebies that I didn't have any use for, so they were "filed". I didn't get rid of the boxes or containers, just the contents.

I work with an awesome Special Ed Teacher who puts my organization skills to shame. I thought I was pretty organized, but she's peer-pressured me into upping my game! Enter: more plastic containers and the need to really get my materials organized in a prettier way. I told my principal I "Bartonized" my room (since the teacher's last name is Barton).  I'm quite pleased with the end result.
Shelves with plastic boxes and notebooks
These 12x12 plastic scrapbook storage cases are perfect for holding materials by themes. I just put them in the case, made labels for the front indicating the theme, and printed out a list of items in each case. When I'm looking for something, I don't have to open each case and rummage through it; the contents of the case are on the top.



As you can tell, I have plenty of space to add more boxes if I need to. Moving everything to the scrapbook cases gave me more room on my shelves. There's going to be a time when I don't have the whole classroom at this school, so I'm trying to think ahead and plan for not having all of the storage space I have right now.

So far I really like my new system for organizing my TpT items. Everything is together by theme/month so planning is much faster. Now I need to start organizing my cabinets!
picture of clear plastic boxes on shelves with "Organizing TpT Materials" below picture.



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