Classroom Management

How to Organize a Storage Closet That Works for You

cupboard after

Storage space is always an issue for art teachers. It seems like no matter how much you have, it’s never enough. Although today I’m sharing how I helped my colleague Sally tackle her storage closet, you could apply the same principles to shelves, cupboards, drawers, or whatever other storage space you have available.

sally in her room


The Problem

My fantastic colleague, Sally, wanted help with her overflowing storage closet. As a high school collage, 3-D art, and metals/jewelry teacher, she accumulates a lot of STUFF. The storage systems and spaces she had in place just weren’t working for Sally or her students anymore. Like a majority of us, Sally wanted to get organized and be able to maintain that organization. But, our daily schedules don’t leave much time to achieve these organizational goals. With time last summer, Sally and I worked together to tackle her storage spaces.

The Plan

Sally came in with an incredible list and scheme for the storage closet. She wanted to create an efficient, student-friendly, and accessible system for her varied supplies.

Sally's Plan


The Process

Sally and I discussed her goals and investigated other storage areas around the room. Then, we started with the first cupboard in her storage closet. The plan for this cupboard was to store a majority of materials students would need and use. Ideally, students would know to look in that specific cupboard for their supplies. The rest of the space would be used to store teaching materials, examples, and special supplies.

First, we emptied both sides of the cupboard. We tossed and recycled materials as we sorted like items into groups. Most of Sally’s supplies were sorted well, they just needed to be better grouped with like items. Consolidating these materials helped to clear up space and make the cupboard more student-friendly.

empty shelves

Sally used and bought storage containers to make her organization system more intuitive. But, we still needed permanent homes for supplies and materials that were displaced. We came up with a plan: She would work through her room, cupboard-by-cupboard, to sort and reorganize items. Though there was more work to do, starting the process was the biggest hurdle! 

organization plan


The Payoff

Sally’s collections of materials found more efficient storage spaces. Working through this process allowed us to start and develop a plan of action. Sally kicked off her makeover marathon by tackling her biggest storage issue – her closet!

cupboard after

In the process, we tackled more cupboards than our original goal, labeled items, and even cleared off a cart!

cart before and after

Sometimes starting the process of organizing is the biggest hurdle. If you’re looking for some inspiration, grab the handy download below.

Storage Closet


Download Now


Are you looking for even more ways to get organized in the art room? Check out my tips for organizing your  painting supplies and clay supplies, too!


When do you find time to do big organizational projects? 

What’s the one area of your room that needs the most attention?

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Alecia Eggers Kaczmarek

Alecia Eggers Kaczmarek, an elementary school art educator, is a former AOEU Writer. She is passionate about teaching and reaching students through an innovative and meaningful arts education.

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