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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tried It Tuesday {Book Bins Holding Up?}

What have you tried lately?  Link up any ideas you have tried, old or new, and share what worked for you!  I learn so much from all of the creative link ups!

My Tried It:
Book Bins 
This is a pretty simple "Tried It" and I know so many teachers have used bins to hold their books for a long time.  However, this is the first year that I have tried them and was a little apprehensive about how they would work. :)  You can read more about the work I did this summer to my library here.

I thought I would revisit this topic after the bins have been in use for a good 15 weeks.  So far, I really  LOVE having book bins!  I thought that the books might get unorganized and end up in the wrong bins, but they have stayed surprisingly organized!  I have a librarian job that changes every two weeks.  The librarian helps put back books that were returned to the "book return" bin.  The books are also labeled on the inside cover with an Avery label indicating the name of their book bin.

I attached my owl book bin labels using shipping/packaging tape and that has held up great except on these small "holey" bins (all my bins are from the Dollar Tree).  I don't know why I didn't think of it before, but the dust collected on the tape through the little holes and the labels started falling off! I am a tad anal and it was very annoying.
My solution?  I went back to the Dollar Tree and bought these replacement bins (no holes!).  I'm just glad I could find some that they had in stock that matched my other bins and were small enough for this shelf.  Now, there are no holes and the labels should stay put!

I was also worried that the bins would end up in a disarray on the shelves.  I snapped these photos yesterday without straightening the bins on the shelves and they look passable by my standards!  I talk to the students about putting the book bins back neatly and they have listened for the most part. :)  
These bins pictured below are a little easier to keep in line on the shelves since there is not as much extra room for movement.  The bins themselves have held up well (they were only $1 each).  If you look closely at the picture below, the last red bin (closest to the window) has duct tape on the handle.  This actually broke when another teacher grabbed the book bin, so there are no book bins damaged by students yet! :)

The black paint has also held up very well with the clear coat I put on top of the shelves. Again, see this post here for more about that.  The only bookcase that has given me problems with the paint is the tall one in the corner.  That bookcase had the veneer coating all over and there was no real wood.  The other bookcases were higher quality and real wood that I primed first, painted, and then applied the clear coat of varnish on the shelves.  I don't think I could ever go back to not having book bins again!

I also wanted to share these Command Hooks that I have used for two years now on my mantle in case anyone else is looking for a solution to hang stockings.  They really work well and are barely visible.  They remove without leaving any marks on our century old mantle!

 I love Christmas!!  


  1. I'm very impressed at how well your book bins have held up! I tried this before with very little success. Right now I teach math, science, and social studies so I have my library kind of go in disarray! Maybe that will be a summer project!

    Keep Calm and Hoot On

  2. You are so lucky that when you went back to the store, they had your colors. I am never that lucky! I knew you would love the black shelves even after a few months. It makes everything else pop in your room. I was laughing about dust getting in your holes on the tape. That is something that would drive me NUTS! LOL!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  3. I'm impressed that your book bins have held up so well! I'd love to try them, but I have too many books to bin them...oh well!
    Love your Christmas decorations, it looks wonderful!

  4. I have the same dollar store bins for our books. I have had some not hold up so well - it may be because I insisted on overfilling the bins or putting in books that didn't fit (but there is no way to ever know if it was my fault or not : ) ). Still love your black shelving - so sharp!

  5. I wish my kiddos kept our book bins as nice as yours! I always find books in the wrong bins! I might have to try a library helper!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  6. You book bins definitely look neat and organized-huge success! My don't ever look quite so nice but I guess with first graders it is a little more understandable! :) I love the idea of the extra helper! PS love your Christmas tree and decorations-so happy!!

    Learning to the Core

  7. I find that the clear Command strips don't hold things up as well. Have you had that problem? The clear ones have also taken paint off my wall :(

    1. Oh no! I was about to comment on how I love how bright the book bins are, but now I am so distracted about the hooks...ha! I just added 6 hooks (to hang task cards) on the inside of my painted classroom lockers. :( Oh goodness - my fingers and toes are crossed until January 6th! Are they taking your paint off, Holly???? -Catherine