5 Tips for Prepping Teaching Materials at Home

If you're an elementary or special education teacher, you probably spend a fair bit of time prepping-- so why not make it as efficient and fun as possible? 

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1. Get Organized.
While I completely understand not wanting school stuff to take up space in your home, you'll save yourself time by actually dedicating a space to your prep materials. If you're lucky enough to have a home office, consider organizing with a few shelves and baskets for easy access. If you prep at the kitchen table, or ahem, the floor, try a rolling cart or small shelf for your supplies. I'm obsessed with this organizer I got on Amazon for my Astrobrights, but there are always ton of options at Target, or even better-- The Container Store 😍

2. Buy in bulk.
There's nothing more frustrating than running out of supplies part way through a project. Sure, you can make a Target run, but you'll find yourself paying a ton more for items like laminating sheets and sticky velcro if you buy them in small amounts. Here are a few of the items I always buy in bulk from Amazon:
Cardstock  Laminating Sheets  Book Rings  Velcro Dots

3. Use HP Instant Ink.
You know what's actually more frustrating than running out of laminating sheets? Running out of ink. Seriously, the worst. I've been using HP Instant Ink for two years now, and it's made my teacher life so much easier. Once you sign up, you just pay a set amount a month for a certain amount of pages, whether they're color or black and white. When you're running low on ink, HP will automatically send you another cartridge in the mail. Oh, and if you go over your amount of pages, you can still print, it's just a few more cents per page. I do the $9.99 month for 300 pages and and it's SO worth it. I was paying around $30 a month for ink cartridges before, so that's a big savings. Plus, I never have to worry about running out of ink and I don't have to feel guilty about printing those full-color products or photos. If you sign up through my referral link, we'll both get a free month!

4. Invest in Quality Tools.
Yes, you could use your kitchen scissors to cut apart laminate for the rest of your life, but why not just buy a $30 paper cutter and be done with it?! I know we all try and save money where we can, but remember that your time is worth something too! If your paper cutter saves you an hour a week, or even an hour a month, it'll pay for itself within a few uses. Consider purchasing a nice hole punch and laminator too!

5. Make Prepping Fun.
I actually enjoy prepping materials most of the time, believe it or not! I pour myself some coffee (or wine, depending on the hour!), put on an audiobook or podcast, and get to work. I find I actually work faster when I'm listening to something engaging, because I'm not getting bored and checking Facebook or Instagram.

Happy Prepping!

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