Thursday, March 25, 2010

Classroom Storage Boxes: Thrifty Thursday

Today's Thrifty Thursday Tip is:
The photo above shows my classroom shelves.  Normally this is not the view you would see in my classroom because I've covered the open shelves with bulletin board paper because even in all it's organizational glory that you see here, it is still too much visual clutter for me.  But that is another post for another day.


I have a post in my head about covering open shelving.  Stay tuned.

In the meantime.  It's Thrifty Thursday so this entry is about the bargain that is "Free Boxes."

Well, technically one is free and the other is the misuse of government supplies.  

Let's start with the legit freebies: the blue boxes

Each summer the big name stores start to put out their school supplies.  This includes folders and notebooks that are displayed on shelves in sturdy, colorful boxes.  After the folders sell, they crush up the boxes and discard them.  

Unless a teacher swoops in and snatches them up.  

I'm sure I've been mistaken many a time for a Walmart worker as I 'organize' their school supply section, but condensing the half-filled boxes into one box so that I may load my cart with this free cardboard goodness. They are great for sorting books, units, etc.  I've even used them as book boxes for the kids.  I just printed labels and covered over the printing on the box.

Now onto the free depending on your scruples boxes: the plain brown ones

Except they aren't supposed to be brown.

They are supposed to be white.

And red.

And blue.

And they aren't supposed to be plain.

They are supposed to read, "Priority Mail" and "United States Postal Service."

But, if you assemble them inside out (super easy to do) and cut the top flap off they become very sturdy storage boxes for the classroom.

You can actually order these on the post office website and they will deliver them to you.  For free.

I have sent A LOT of packages over the years.  Typically, I purchase boxes to mail out my thematic units, centers and games (insert shameless plug for my business here: and pay our friendly postal workers priority mail prices to deliver them through rain and sleet and snow.  I "could" have used their "free" boxes in those cases, but I didn't.  And so I justify my using the boxes in my classroom as a credit from the post office and that is how I sleep at night.  :)


tara_singley said...

Wow, I have used these boxes for years. I have NEVER thought about putting them together wrong side out! What a brilliant idea. I've already ordered more. Thanks for the info!

Anonymous said...

I thought this was a brilliant I ordered some. I guess the PO has gotten wise to the misuse of their boxes because mine came with the words priority mail stamped all oved the inside too so I can't use them. I figure I will save them and use them at some point for something...just not sure what yet. Just a heads up though for those of you thinking about orcering some...:-)

Emily said...

Which size box is it that you order?

Amy Taylor said...

I have reorganized all of my chapter books in my classroom using Keurig Coffee boxes. I have several relatives that save their boxes for me.