11 Best Classroom Mailboxes to Keep Students Organized

Today I’m going to help you simplify your life. This is super important for everyone but doubly so for an elementary school teacher. The year starts in good order but as things get hectic, papers either get lost or take forever to find.

best-classroom-mailboxes

If you have ever wondered where in the world is that notice, letter to parents, flyer for the school picnic or yesterday’s homework because you’re sure you put it somewhere safe, you’ll love what I have to say. Classroom mailboxes are the ultimate organizing tool, so you and your students can get your hands on anything in a matter of seconds.

This article will give you examples of many ways teachers organize the paperwork in their classroom.

For me, the video below gave me the best solution. It’s neat and clean, keeps everything together and is easy to use.

The teacher shows the plastic, stackable drawers and explains how she labeled them. I especially like that she gave herself a drawer. It gives each child a chance to communicate with the teacher privately if they want, give her a birthday or other holiday card and feel like she is one among them, creating an even closer relationship with her students. I’ve organized my classroom with mailboxes like the ones in this video and it has cut my searching hours dramatically.

The following paper sorters and mailboxes are examples of the different types available. Hopefully, you will find a style that suits your organizational goals.

  1. 30 Pocket Storage Chart →
  2. Seville Classics Stacking Desktop File Organizer →
  3. Bankers Box Decorative Eight Compartment Literature Sorter →
  4. Oak Classroom Mail Center with 27 Slots →
  5. Bankers Box Classroom 9 Compartment Cubby Storage →
  6. Rubbermaid 12-Compartment Organizer →
  7. Safco Products Mesh Literature Organizer →
  8. 12 Pack – SimpleHouseware Organizer Box →
  9. SimpleHouseware 6 Tier Wall Mount Organizer →
  10. Safco Products 8 Sort Vertical Desktop Organizer →
  11. AmazonBasics Wooden 12 Section Horizontal Storage Organizer →

1. 30 Pocket Storage Chart

30 Pocket Storage Chart

30 standard-size pockets for 8.5” x 11” paper made from high-density nylon. It has five steel 3/8” grommets at the top for hanging. Each pocket is 13.5” wide and 6.5” deep and has a 5” x 1” clear vinyl window so you can see inside the pocket or stick a label on it.

Goodies I found:

  • Six additional pockets for often-used classroom materials such as pens, pencils, rulers and erasers.
  • Removable, multi-colored heavy-duty Manila cardboard files.

My final verdict: This mailbox is useful if you don’t have much space in your classroom because it hangs flat against a wall. You just need to make sure all your papers are neatly stacked before you put them in or they will crumple. This takes a little more time to keep everything in order than other styles of mailboxes but is better than no mailbox. It may be more useful for older children who can insert a paper in the file carefully so it doesn’t crumple. Little hands may tend to stuff the paper in, which means at the end of the day, you have to neaten up each bulging file.

2. Seville Classics Stacking Desktop File Organizer

Seville Classics Stacking Desktop File Organizer

These are steel net shelves that have 10 slots including five spaces on each side with six if you include the top. Everything in the organizer is on display, so while it keeps things in their proper places, if neatness counts for you, this one may not be your choice. Each shelf will hold a tablet and a few thin storybooks but nothing very big like a binder or children’s encyclopedia.

Goodies I found:

  • Clear silicone feet to prevent scratching surfaces.
  • Comes with clip-on labels.
  • Stackable up to three racks.

My final verdict: I’m a neatness freak and while this makes a great classroom mailbox, I prefer my plastic drawers, as discussed above, because they look good. This mail sorter is functional and strong, but not particularly attractive.

3. Bankers Box Decorative Eight Compartment Literature Sorter

Bankers Box Decorative Eight Compartment Literature Sorter

It’s called a banker’s box because it is intended to sit on a desk and hold letters and receipts. The box arrives flat and needs to be assembled but it is easy and doesn’t require glue, scissors or staples. Each box has eight compartments, so you may need three or four for a classroom to have a shelf for each student. Theyэre very user-friendly and keep the papers from becoming shuffled and crumpled.

Goodies I found:

  • The attractive black and white design goes with all classroom decorations.
  • The shelves are soft on little hands.
  • If you are worried about longevity, you can strengthen the joints with decorative duct tape.

My final verdict: The banker’s box is an inexpensive solution to a paper problem in the classroom. Even though it is a cardboard mailbox, it is very strong and will last for several years if itэs not handled roughly. It may start to look shabby after three years.

4. Oak Classroom Mail Center with 27 Slots

Oak Classroom Mail Center with 27 Slots

This mail center is made of industrial-grade ½” wood substrate with laminated and durable Melamine. It will last for years even when handled by little children. The shelves are wide enough for a binder and large books. The center comes in five colors, blue, black, white, oak and mahogany.

Goodies I found:

  • Self-adhesive 2” x 5/8” cardstock labels.
  • It’s good for storing and charging tablets.
  • Can be assembled with just a screwdriver.

My final verdict: This is a beautiful piece of furniture that resembles natural wood and a great addition to any classroom if you have room for it. It’s not easy to transport as it weighs almost 50 pounds, so may not be the best classroom mailbox if you often change classrooms and want to take it with you.

5. Bankers Box Classroom 9 Compartment Cubby Storage

Bankers Box Classroom 9 Compartment Cubby Storage

I like this mailbox because it fits beautifully on a shelf so it’s easy for children to reach and the shelves are bigger to hold books and tablets as well as paper and files. It’s strong enough to hold one heavy book like an illustrated encyclopedia or several smaller library books or textbooks.

Goodies I found:

  • Lightweight and easy to transport.
  • A good system when space is less.
  • The bright blue color adds vibrancy to the classroom.

My final verdict: This is a cheap mailbox that will last for a few years, but cardboard does deteriorate especially when it’s used by many children and it may start to look a bit worn. You can reinforce it with duct tape, but this tends to look shabby too. If your classroom is centrally air-conditioned and maintains a regular temperature, this paper mailbox may last longer.

6. Rubbermaid 12-Compartment Organizer

Rubbermaid 12-Compartment Organizer

This organizer makes a good classroom mailbox. It has 12 drawers that slide easily and can be removed. The back is barred so the drawers cannot be moved from the back. Children can keep their drawers at their desks if they want to store activity sheets, homework or books and put the drawer away at the end of the day. If you have the room, you can stack them and have 24 mailboxes.

Goodies I found:

  • A flat surface in front for labeling each drawer.
  • You can see what is in each drawer.
  • Drawers hold 8 1/2” x 11” paper.

My final verdict: If appearance is important in your classroom, this mailbox is classy looking. It looks very professional and kids seem to like that feature. It’s also a good organizer for homeschooled work.

7. Safco Products Mesh Literature Organizer

Safco Products Mesh Literature Organizer

This is a very attractive paper organizer and makes a good classroom mailbox. The boxes hold 10 x 12 paper so not great for craft supplies. The best place to put it is on a desk or shelf. You will have to be creative about labeling if you’re going to use it for the children in your class as it doesn’t have a front.

Goodies I found:

  • Has connecter clips so you can stack units.
  • It comes as single units with five drawers each.
  • You can use magnetic labels for each drawer.

My final verdict: One thing nice about these 12 drawer mailboxes is you can put them on opposite sides of the room. They don’t all have to be in the same place. If you travel to different schools, this one isn’t too heavy to travel with you. Rather than assigning one drawer to each child, you can assign one to each assignment, so when they hand in homework or classwork it goes in the right place and is automatically organized.

8. 12 Pack – SimpleHouseware Organizer Box

12 Pack - SimpleHouseware Organizer Box

It’s an inexpensive solution as a sorter or classroom mailbox. It comes with 12 units that have different colors so you can color-code the contents. If you need fewer than 12 or 24, you can put out the number you need and save the rest as replacements. This is the only type of classroom mailbox on this list that has individual boxes. If a box is assigned to a child, if you dare, you can let them put their box wherever they want, within reason.

Goodies I found:

  • The colors are attractive and useful for sorting.
  • Clear label area for easy identification.
  • Best for book storage.

My final verdict: As with all the cardboard items on this list, these sorters will last about three years with careful handling. If children are rough on them, they won’t look nice that long. This product is great for books, workbooks and stiff files, but it’s not suitable for individual sheets of paper, notices or flyers. Paper will flop over and fall out or become crumpled. However, this organizer can make a perfect mailbox for a teacher.

9. SimpleHouseware 6 Tier Wall Mount Organizer

SimpleHouseware 6 Tier Wall Mount Organizer

This is an attractive organizer that looks great for an office. It would work in a classroom of older students but is a little too sophisticated for elementary kids. It makes it easy to grab folders and organize them according to content, but there’s no place for labels and my kids really love to see their names on their mailboxes.

Goodies I found:

  • It can be mounted on a wall or stand on a desk or shelf.
  • It’s easy to assemble and can be broken down for transport.

My final verdict: Wall mounting is better for classroom use, but you will need several, so you need a long stretch of wall. They can be mounted one above the other, but not stacked. It works well for file folders and papers but is not suitable for large textbooks. 

10. Safco Products 8 Sort Vertical Desktop Organizer

Safco Products 8 Sort Vertical Desktop Organizer

This organizer is sturdy and will hold binders, large textbooks and files without tipping over. It’s very stylish, looks professional and won’t detract from the appearance of your classroom.

Goodies I found:

  • No assembly required.
  • Very durable and will last for years.
  • It’s an attractive addition to a classroom.

My final verdict: It’s a great piece of equipment to keep your desk or office files organized, but I don’t see this working as a classroom mailbox for youngsters. It could be a place where older students turn in their homework or find activity sheets, homework instructions, flyers or notices to take home. For that use, one unit would probably be enough for one classroom. It will hold binders and tablets.

11. AmazonBasics Wooden 12 Section Horizontal Storage Organizer

AmazonBasics Wooden 12 Section Horizontal Storage Organizer

This wooden mailbox is much more attractive and durable than shelves made from particleboard. It takes about 45 minutes to assemble. The cubbies are large enough to hold a regular-sized paper, but children may put large books, tablets and toys in their compartment. It can be used as a support for plastic storage bins. Children can keep their bin with them or on their desks and put them in the cubby at the end of the day.

Goodies I found:

  • It is wall-mountable.
  • Comes with non-tip hardware brackets for safety.
  • Easy on the hands with rounded smooth edges on the shelves.

My final verdict: I like this item because the cubbies are big and there is space to put a name tag. It’s very sturdy and can be used by young children for years. This mailbox is also stackable to save space in a classroom. It looks a bit inviting for children to climb on, but this should be avoided as it was not designed for sitting.

Tips for a More Organized Classroom

There are a thousand ideas for keeping an elementary classroom organized from storing puzzle pieces in a pencil box to hanging homework on the wall. Each one of you has your own ideas of what you consider organized. Here are a few and by no means, all of the things I do that have made my classroom more efficient and thereby increased my students’ confidence in me and themselves.

Student portfolio holders

I just fold a large-size piece of cardboard in half and write the child’s name on the front. It’s large enough to keep drawings on chart paper as well as ordinary pages of activity sheets and homework.

Student portfolio holders
Source: “Folders” by Chris Dillon – Under Creative Commons license

Portfolios make it easy to see how the child progresses over the year. The handwriting improves, math worksheets have fewer eraser marks and book reports become more sophisticated. You just have to put the latest page on top or, if you prefer, stuff it at the back and you will have chronological examples of the child’s development. I use a giant-sized rubber band to put around the middle of the portfolio to stop pages from sliding out. It’s very DIY, but it’s also very effective. I have a vertical portfolio holder but they can be kept in a cupboard.

Drawers for crayons, colored pencils and sketch pens

Just like the classroom mailboxes I love, you can get smaller drawers to hold coloring supplies. Label each drawer a color and children quickly find what they want without yelling “where’s the pink”.

Sorted crayons
Source: “Crayons” by Jackie – Under Creative Commons license

It also makes it easy for them to put the crayons back so others can use them and keep the area neat. Instead of dividing the crayons by boxes, they are divided by color. It’s an unusual idea but it works.

A lazy Susan

This is another art and craft trick that works wonders when you have a group of children sitting at a table. You can glue small baskets or boxes to the lazy Susan that hold glue, pens, rulers, erasers, scissors, staplers and any other item they need for their projects. You can’t believe how beautiful it is to see them spin the Lazy Susan to get with they want instead of quarreling and complaining about people who don’t share.

Added factoid: The Lazy Susan was invented by Thomas Jefferson in the 18th century for his daughter. She complained that she was always served last and didn’t get enough to eat. They were called dumbwaiters at the time. Another version is it was invented by Thomas Edison, however, they predate his lifetime.

Bins

Bins are the go-to organizational tool for everything from art supplies to sporting equipment. They are usually made of plastic and come in all shapes and sizes. They are open at the top, so it is easy for children to put supplies in and take supplies out.

Classroom bins
Source: “Another classroom shot” by Sharyn Morrow – Under Creative Commons license

However, in my classroom, bins are for large items such as teaching tools that won’t get lost in any case. If you have math cubes, dice, puzzle pieces and other small items, bins with lids are essential. They may take a bit more time to use as they have to be opened and closed, but it’s worth it.

Final Thoughts

It’s easy to say an organized classroom provides more efficient learning, but it’s not so easy to do. You may have great plans and have an organized classroom when the new school year starts, but it’s downhill from there.

When I feel disorganized and my desk is cluttered, I think, “It’s OK I can handle it”, but when my children feel my disorganization is affecting their school day it’s not good for anyone. The classroom mailbox offers the advantage of letting each child feel valued. I mean the individual mailbox with their name on it, not just a file sorter. So my recommendation is to get one of the above file sorters for you and the individual mailboxes for your kids. I know you are off to a good start at the beginning of the year, and I hope I have given you some ideas on how to keep it up throughout the year.

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