I cannot even tell you how much time I have completely wasted trying to find something for my preschool class or my own children. Usually the smaller the item is, the harder I have to look to find it. Teachers could be described as selective hoarders. We have to keep so many supplies around, and it’s so easy to find a “must have curriculum item” at the store and say “oh, I will use that…sometime…for something.” Preschoolers use so many small objects: googly eyes, gems, marbles, pom poms, sequins, recycled lids, beads, loose pieces, etc. Whether you are a crafty parent or teacher, all of those items add up. Especially once you add things like glue, scissors, magnet strips, markers, crayons…I know I haven’t even scratched the surface.
I have been on the lookout for a perfect solution to store all of these items. My IKEA containers have been adding up, and as time goes on, my collection really just grows (a nice word for describing overflow really). So after some time with pinterest, I found an organizing solution: a teacher’s toolbox! These are rampant on the elementary school teacher’s pinterest boards, but I think the preschool world should adopt it too.
This toolbox is from the hardware store, Home Depot, and it was right around $17. In the tool world, they are known as screw and bolt organizers. It has 22 shelves, and there are also some with 30 or more. I wanted a bigger one, but my bookshelves weren’t tall enough. The one I bought is 18 inches tall. It is deep enough to fit dry erase markers, sharpies, craft sticks, and eye droppers, so I was sure it would be the perfect fit.
I dressed it up a little too. While I did not have the motivation (or time) to take out all the drawers and spray paint the organizer a different color, I did make time to print out some labels. I found these free labels at Teachers Pay Teachers. These ones are editable, and there are tons more to choose from. The font I used is called Hello Belle, and it is free as well.
If you are wondering what some of my favorite supplies to add to a toolbox are, I encourage you to take a look at my favorite preschool art supplies.