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Some ideas I have coincide with many I've read, and in addition, let me tell
you a couple more. When storing many small items in copy paper boxes, I
subdivide them into groups within the box using zip loc bags AND then I tape
individual samples to the end of the box rather than writing a list--at a
glance, I can see just what's inside.
If you have a Sam's Club, Price Club, etc. warehouse type place available,
they have marvelous "flats". These are boxes that come to display various
items in bulk, but are generally smooth edged and very strong. I've found a
coffee one that exactly fits my cabinet spaces. They stack and I write on
the ends what's inside. esp good for handouts, samples, etc. as they are
almost exactly the 12x18 paper size that I use most often. I also use to
sort papers to grade & return. Other sizes fit inside copy boxes or are
good for paints, etc. Best of all, FREE.
I have ALMOST EVERYTHING labelled by desk number. I even made Pencil boxes
for my drawing classes. IN each, I have a magic rub eraser(cut in half so
they don't have the chance to lose a whole one), a #2 pencil, an H pencil of
some type, an EBONY, and some sort of B pencil, and a blending stump. It's
a large initial investment, but I've lost far fewer drawing supplies since
incorporating this idea. I was fortunate to get some stackable computer
reel boxes from our local recycling center, but you could use old plastic
watercolor trays OR even ziplocs. Altho they can get expensive, I use
ziplocs for a lot of organization on my desk, etc. Again, at a glance, a
student can see the handout, pattern, whatever that is needed.
Also, x-acto knives are in leftover watercolor plastic boxes, numbered to
the desks. Sets of 5 brushes, each numbered and in a box numbered as well.
EVEN my plastic water containers for painting are numbered.
I've just started organizing sets for scratchboard as well--included will be
a nail type scratching tool, a t-pin, a bamboo skewer, a penholder with a
scratch tip, and anything else I find enough of to use.
SCissors and rulers hang on hooks on a wall. All numbered. It's a system
that is really working. It takes a lot of supplies, but if you build it a
little at at time and are creative about solutions, it can work.
One last thing (sorry I rambled) the juice type 2-liter bottles--like
cran-apple, etc. comes in, are GREAT for water containers. Cut about 1/3 of
the way down. They make tall, but not easily tipped water containers. And
of course, they're NUMBERED!!
If anyone knows about TRUE COLORS--the theory about how we are all "color"
types, then know that I'm a serious orange and that these gold techniques
have been developed for my survival.
Marlyn Foell Art TEacher, Rockledge High School Florida.