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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Anchor Chart Storage Solutions

Happy Sunday, and welcome to another month of Bright Ideas!  I am teaming up with Shelly at Teaching in the Early Years as well as over 150 other bloggers to bring you a monthly "bright idea."

I'm a little bit sheepish about this "Bright Idea."  It's not super bright, and I am willing to bet that a ton of you do this already, but something had to be done about my anchor chart storage drama.  Yes.  Drama.  Every time I went searching for an old anchor chart to reference, I would take one look in my cabinet, shut it, and say something like, "Okay, you remember that anchor chart we made 6 months ago?  Yes?  Good!"  I wanted to be able to pull them out and use them, especially now, around test prep time when we are reviewing, reviewing, reviewing.

I have seen brilliant ideas on Pinterest about anchor charts, including putting pictures of them in a binder or taping a hanger to the back so that you can hang them up.  Except, I don't have anywhere to store them that would work to hang them, and I wanted to be able to leave them up for several days at a time when we review.  Also, I admit that I couldn't quite bear to just throw away some of my more aesthetically pleasing charts. :)

I have a small space between my file cabinet and a bookshelf where I could fit something to store them, and here is what I came up with.

I went to Target hoping I could find an adorable bin that would be tall enough to keep all of the charts in check but also large enough to store them all.  I didn't find anything.  So, I resorted to an 8-gallon black trash can.  It was actually the perfect size.  As gorgeous as a black trash can is not, I had to do something about it.  After all, I couldn't chance letting the custodian throw away all of my anchor charts after I spent so much time making them.

I went to Hobby Lobby searching for some vinyl dots to decorate the trash can with, and I lucked out and found some big dot stickers that were only $2.99 (Plus a 40% coupon).  

They worked perfectly!  I also printed out a title and put it on with double sided tape.  It definitely doesn't look like a trash can anymore.

I neatly rolled up each of the individual charts and put a single rubber band around each one.  I also wanted a way to be able to easily find which chart I was looking for.  I bought an inexpensive set of colored labels at Target, and despite my urge to print them out in fancy fonts, wrote the topic of each anchor chart in Sharpie and put the little sticker at the top of the rolled up chart.  It won't interfere at all with the chart itself, but finding the chart I'm looking for is a breeze!  I labeled all of my math anchor charts with a yellow sticker, and all of my reading and language arts anchor charts with a pink sticker.

That's it!  Nothing fancy, but it accomplished my goal.  I organized my anchor charts, I can easily find the one I am looking for, and it looks pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself (and my husband also says so, and that must mean something.  Right?)  

This was a breeze to put together, and it will be so easy to keep up with.  Just a rubber band and a label, and I can plop each anchor chart in, ready to access when I need it again!  

Now, before you go get your trashcan Bin of Adorable Anchor Chart Organization ready, continue hopping through these other bright ideas from my fellow bloggers!  

Make sure you stop by Molly at Classroom Confections to see a neat way to use calculators to teach expanded form.  How cool is that!?

Classroom Confections

And look through these other bloggers to get even more "Bright Ideas"!


  1. This was not sheepish at all!! I love this idea. I always struggle with it also because of the lack of storage space. This works so well and the dots look adorable. My whole room is red and black polka dots (ladybugs) so even the dots work well for me.

  2. You don't give yourself enough credit! I love this idea! I already pinned it to remind myself as one of my "to-do" lists for my spring break. :)
    Thank you for sharing a simple, yet helpful tip!

    Tales of a Teacher

  3. This is a wonderful idea! I literally laughed out loud when you decided to just close the cabinet door and ask if anyone remembered something from months prior. I'm also quite guilty of doing this! Thanks for sharing!

    Theresa @ True Life I'm a Teacher!

  4. Oh my gosh, how can you not think this is a super bright idea??? I love it!! The use (and decoration!) of the trash bin is so smart and the labels make it so easy to find!!!!!

    Thank you Mary! :) :) :)

  5. You have no reason to feel sheepish, that is a super bright idea! I love it!!!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Hodges Herald

  6. This is a great idea!! Thanks for sharing!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  7. When I first saw this I didn't realize that you had simply rolled them and put a rubber band around them! I thought they were in poster tubes, and I was trying to visualize in my mind how big the poster tubes at Walmart were. I thought it was a good idea before, now I think this is a fabulous idea! I really like your dots, too! I can't wait to check out our local Hobby Lobby and see what kind of assortment they have! Thanks for the idea!


  8. This is definitely a bright idea! I struggle with storing my charts and this is a great solution. Thank you for sharing it with us!


  9. This is amazing! I am always looking for ways to store my charts. This seems perfect (and cheap)!

    Sara :)
    The Colorful Apple

  10. Great idea! My charts are always a mess, I feel like I spend so much time making them, and then we always manage to destroy them! Thanks for sharing.

    Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans

  11. Love this idea...your "trash can" worked wonderfully!! Thanks for sharing!

  12. When I saw the color-coded labels, I actually said out loud, "Ahhhh..." I love this! Makes so much sense.

    Buzzing with Ms. B

  13. This is great! What a great way to keep them from getting crumpled and disorganized throughout the year!

    The Second Grade Superkids

  14. What a wonderful idea! I will definitely be passing this post along to my teacher friends!

  15. It's the cutest trash can I've ever seen. ;)

  16. Don't be modest! This is a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing :)

    Mindful Rambles

  17. Sheepish-NO! Brilliant-YES!! Can't believe I never thought to label my posters and anchor charts. I love the brilliance of simplicity Everytime!

  18. Can you post examples of your anchor charts? As a new teacher in English and math I need all the help I can get!

  19. Do you have the title page? The one that says Anchor Charts you put on the bin... I love it!

  20. Great idea! I roll mine up and secure them with toilet paper rolls covered in scrapbook paper. I have been looking for a better way to store them than my ratty old paper box.

  21. The colors on the anchor chart title label are the colors in my room. Would you mind sharing the label with us or sending it over to me? I would really love to use it. My email is if you wouldn't mind. Thanks for the great idea!

    1. Could you share it with me as well please?? Thanks!

  22. Great idea! I bought my trashcan today. I would love to have your title label also. My email is Thanks! :)

  23. Love this idea! Could you share the sign for the front with me as well?

  24. Recently moved out of my apartment and I'm not going to be homeless forever. So, I shopped around a bit for the best price/facilities and found this storage place.
    Self storage in Rothwell

  25. Hi
    Love this!
    Would you mind sharing the label with me too?

  26. Love this!
    Can you please share with me the title label?