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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

ORGANIZATION-Part 1- "Milk" Crates

“Milk” Crates

Hello Again! I am excited to write this next series on organization and making your space work for you. Who of us doesn’t appreciate a tip on making our day go just a little bit smoother? Leah (the other SLP of 2 Gals Speech Products) is the QUEEN OF ORGANIZATION, so much so, that what I share are basically all her ideas.

This entry is dedicated solely to the use of “milk” crates. These versatile bins are priceless when working with little to no budget for office supplies. I have used them straight up, on their side, and upside down! Today they are readily available at any major retail chain such as Wal-Mart, K-Mart, or Target, and are inexpensive. We love inexpensive!

Milk crates can be used in many ways, but here are a few suggestions:
Simple storage bins that can he kept in closets or closed cabinets.
As a step for a child (wouldn’t hold adult weight) to reach a sink or fountain.
As a seat for a child while doing small group activities.
As a riser to hold another crate at table height.
Turned on its side and placed on top of existing shelving it creates more shelving.
Stacked on its side it creates independent shelving.
Storage for frequently used therapy materials and data sheets by your table.
Can be a portable file cabinet.

Leah and I used them as file cabinets, which we kept by our therapy tables to hold our “working folders.” We kept our working folders within our reach so that we did not have to get up and go pull the folders from a file cabinet, which was great little time-saver. She and I organized our files within them slightly differently so I will share both ideas.

Leah kept her folders filed by grade level and I kept my by time slots. Leah’s school schedule is limiting in that she typically cannot have more than one grade level in her therapy groups. Since this is so, she uses colored 3-prong pocket-folders for her working files. Each color represents a different grade level. She writes the students name along the left-hand edge of the folder and then puts them in her milk crate with the names now showing at the top edge of the folder. When a group comes to therapy, she quickly grabs the student’s folders from the milk crate beside her chair. Putting them away is simple too! Just put them back with the same color folders.

For my system, I kept hanging folders in my crate labeled by my therapy time slots; 8;30, 9:00, 9:30 etc. Within those hanging files I kept the children’s working folders by their therapy group time. All the students who came at 8:30 were kept in the 8:30 hanging file folder. It was very convenient just to grab the “8:30” group of files and be ready to go! Returning them to the proper location back in the crate/file cabinet didn’t take 2 seconds. Simply put them back in the empty time slot.

Here's a visual example:

Next week I’ll go into detail about organizing your working files to streamline your documentation. Simple little ideas that have a big pay off in saving you TIME.

May you find joy in your work this week.


  1. I really like these organizational ideas. How do you organize seasonal materials, articulation, and language materials for easy access? In the course of a day, it seems I use a variety of books, picture cards, and games to meet different needs. How do you keep it all accessible AND neat? Thanks!

  2. Speaking for myself, I (Dean) had my room set up with a wall of bookcases directly behind me and the therapy table. My bookshelves were organized with speech workbooks & materials in one bookcase and language workbooks & materials on the others. I even sub-categorized my speech materials (Apraxia materials on one shelf, artic, phonology, one another etc), so I could quickly grab what I needed. Language I divided into the area of Syntax, Semantic, Morphology, Pragmatics, Auditory Processing-memory, etc.

    At days end I would have a pile of materials that I had to return to the shelf but that didn't take 5 minutes since there was a specific place for everything.

    I kept generic and seasonal
    worksheets in folders in a milk crate, under the crate that held my working folders. I hope you are following me here :)

  3. I am trying to use your adventure pack game and some of it does not seem to be working and all you websites seem to not be working any more. Please help. Email