At Big Blueprint hanger, we are proud to say that we’ve become pretty expert at helping architects, engineers, construction contractors, and designers of all walks get their blueprint organization under control. We are extreme specialists when it comes to oversized, high-density paperwork, and we’ve been showing off our unique, flexible, and inexpensive blueprint and art file storage systems for years.
Yet, we’ve always known our blueprint storage rack could be converted to house a wide variety of hanging print files and hanging art files, maps and film files, iron-on transfers, artwork and drafting storage.
Today, we’re actually turning the blog over to a client of ours. Trish is a kindergarten teacher who has been using our storage systems for a while now. We received an email from Trish a few months back, letting us know how well the racks worked in her re-organized classroom. We asked her if she would take her letter of gratitude a step further by writing up a little something we could share on the blog for other teachers who might be looking for useful classroom organization tools.
Trish took it a step further, and shared with us this list of Classroom Organization Hacks for elementary school teachers & homeschoolers using our blueprint storage rack for a variety of her teaching tools and decorations.
Hi Teachers! I’m Trish. As a kindergarten teacher, I’m always on the lookout for storage ideas that make the best use of my tiny classroom. Alright, so my classroom isn’t that tiny, but it sure starts to feel that way when it’s packed with 25 5-year olds, 12 months’ worth of rotating décor, art supplies, anchor charts, maps and books.
- Maps. I do a series of Montessori-style activities with maps to introduce students to geography. A big part of the lesson is learning that symbols represent real things. We do a lot of crafts that include making our own maps throughout the year, adding parts of the children’s neighborhood and our own school campus gradually.
This means that I need to store a lot of large maps to use as demonstration for the whole class to see how different maps look and the variety of symbols used. It also means that I have about 25 poster-sized craft projects that we need to store safely throughout the year until they are finished and go home with the children.
The glide-out storage rack was my school’s first investment from Big Blueprint Hanger. I knew it would be perfect for the mapwork because we can installed it inside an existing tabletop surface to let the kids gather around and explore the map of the day. Safely underneath are all of their homemade maps and our other demonstration maps. We just pull them out when we need them and slide them back under the desktop when not in use.
- Anchor charts. I keep each of my anchor charts, along with the components that go along with them (like Velcro-backed labels that we change out) in an extra-jumbo plastic, zipper style bag. Then I clip the bags inside the blueprint storage rack alongside the maps.
- Posters & Décor. Just like with the anchor charts, all of my decorative and educational posters get clipped directly into the blueprint storage rack. For those with miscellaneous components, I contain everything in a plastic zip bag like the anchor charts.
- Poster-board and construction paper. For regular-sized construction paper, I actually store it on its end inside a plastic shoebox type bin. This way, I don’t have to worry about it sliding around and falling off a stack. The edges won’t get crumpled or dirty either, and I can put the lid on the bin and stack it amidst other art supplies. Lastly, by stacking them on end, I can see all of the colors at once and can grab the one I need without rifling through stacks of paper.
When it comes to poster-board and oversized construction paper, I used to clip similar colors together in skirt hangers and hang them in a coat closet until it was time to pull some out. Once I started using the blueprint storage rack for the maps, though, I discovered that the poly hangers that go with the system actually are much slimmer than the hangers I was using. So I’ve since installed a second rack and now, all my large poster papers are stored in the blueprint storage rack too.
(Note: I am considering the next investment in one of these mobile rack centers to transfer my construction paper to. This way, I would be able to roll the supplies directly to our craft table to pull from, rather than just pulling one or two sheets out of the storage rack at a time and walking them to the students back and forth.)
- Art projects waiting for completion or to go home. Our school policy is to send home artwork at the end of each quarter, which means I often have large, paper, art projects to store safely for a couple of months. These now share space in my 2nd blueprint storage rack.
- Craft supplies & Activity kits. For smaller sets of kits, such as math games with counting pieces or craft sticker sets, I use the standard one-gallon plastic zipper bags clipped with binder clips. The binder clips are then suspended from curtain rings to a towel bar I’ve installed under a shelf. The shower curtain rings allow my bags to swivel in a small space so that I can see which items are in the bags, rather than using the skirt hangers which only fit in sideways.
- Teacher daily notes and command center. I used to have a corkboard just for my own daily needs – sticky notes, to-do lists, graded homework to pass out, print-outs for that day’s use, etc. That is, until I discovered these sticky-back pockets from Big Blueprint Hanger while I was getting my blueprint storage rack. Now, I have a fabulous command center with a variety of sized pockets stuck to the wall behind my desk. I’m no longer worried about losing thumbtacks on the floor where a child could get pricked. I don’t lose sticky notes that get brushed off by a passing student. Everything has its own pocket that I slip them into. And, since they’re clear, I can see exactly what’s inside as a reminder. In fact, I’ve got a handful of these sticky-back pockets to make use of all the nooks and crannies of my classroom.
(Side Note: I’ve also heard about magnetic-back pockets that are similar and would be useful for whiteboard or file cabinets.)
More About Big Blueprint Hanger
A big thank you to Trish for her teacher tips!
If you’re considering a blueprint storage rack for your classroom, here is more information about our rack systems.
The Glide-Out Rack enables easy and convenient access to all your files, artwork, or job jackets. These heavy-duty racks, with drawer-like slide in/out action, can be mounted just about anywhere to save space and your back. No bending or stooping necessary!! They are designed to be side-mounted to the underside of work surfaces and are great for contractors.
Available in 18″ to 48″ widths. All units are custom-made to fit your needs. Simply furnish the inside dimensions of your cabinet and we will custom-make the rack to fit your needs. Shelving and cabinets shown are sold separately. Please call for pricing.
Optional adapter brackets to fit Glide-Out in four post file shelving are available.
Rack prices do not include print hangers or jackets. See our Poly Hangers, Metal Hangers, Heavy-Duty Tag jackets, and See-Thru Vinyl jackets pages for sizes & pricing. Other rack sizes are available. Call for details.
Rack capacity averages 3 poly hangers per inch and 2 aluminum hangers per inch including space for finger room.
1 Tier Blueprint file racks are an effective compact solution to your storage. With various sizes available, these blueprint file racks are ideal for storing all sorts of documents in a minimum amount of space. Experience increased capacity while using less space with our 36” and 48” wide racks!
Rack proportions averages 3 Poly Hangers per inch and 2 aluminum hangers per inch including space for finger room.
Our wall mounted blueprint file racks are an enticing solution to help organize files where floor space is limited. Using the Wal-Stor rack allows you to turn available wall space into print storage space. Include a second tier to double the storage capacity.
Standard Wal-Stor racks are 24″ wide. Beam levels adjust on 1 ½” centers therefore multiple-sized prints fit in conjunction on the same rack.
Rack capacity averages 2 aluminum hangers per inch and 3 Poly Hangers per inch including space for finger room.
All of our storage racks are made from recycled steel and are covered with an environmentally – friendly paint.