August 15, 2012

organized box tops

it's been an emotional day for this mommy. our boys headed back to school today! after a long summer of family time, swimming, play time with friends and a million sweet memories, it was hard dropping them off and giving them a hug goodbye. 

suddenly, it was painfully quiet. not the fun kind of quiet i would have expected. 

*sniff sniff*

since we are in full-swing back to school mode, i thought a post about box top organization would be fitting! if your school collects box tops, you are likely all too familiar with this sight...

for our school, this is an exciting photo. for parents, this pile can be an annoyance and a nuisance. if you have a box top collection program at school, i highly encourage you to get involved by collecting box tops. it can be a very profitable program for our under-funded schools. each year our school collects box tops and through the program we earn enough money to buy technology items for the classrooms. and many of them! items like smart boards and computers.

trust me, box tops are worth your time!

i have been the box top coordinator for our grade level the last several years, so i know quite a bit about box tops and collecting/organizing/counting them. although small in size, there is a simple and easy way to keep these little pieces of school gold under control. 

box tops can be found on a number of products. from cereals...

to yogurt...

to office supply products...

there is a variety of products that carry the small box top label.

most of the box tops we snip come from food packaging, which means i am clipping them in the kitchen. i have found the best way to contain our collection is like this...

in a small snack-size ziploc bag that is clipped to the side of the fridge...

clipping the ziploc bag on one side allows the other side to hang open just a bit, making it easy to quickly drop them in when we clip a new one...

they are hung up high enough to be out of reach of small hands. :-)

our school collects box tops each quarter. when the letter comes home with the return deadline, i turn the job over to our 7 year old. and it's something he doesn't mind helping with because the job includes supplies like crayons and glue.

you have no idea how helpful this step will be for your school box top coordinator. if you can, instead of returning the box tops in one large ziploc bag, consider gluing them to sheets like this...

these sheets can be found at school or online with a quick google search.

since i help coordinate the box top collection at our school, we went ahead and glued all of the box tops we collected over the summer to the collection sheets...over 125!...

there are seasonal collection sheets that our son loves to color. here are a few examples:

valentine's day...



and halloween...

when you glue the box tops to the collection sheets, you are helping your coordinator to not have the pain-staking job of counting the entire bag on his/her own. box tops are generally collected in amounts of 50. so you can find collection sheets in either 10 or 25 count. 

all your child needs to do is glue the box tops inside each of the empty squares and then color the page, if they wish to do that. coloring is obviously not mandatory, but it is fun! then you write your child's name, grade and teacher's name on the sheet - ensuring your child/classroom gets the credit.

our school creates a positive classroom competition, complete with great prizes! there is a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prize for the classrooms that collects the most box tops that quarter. the prizes include a cookie party, a pizza party, a special guest speaker, activities that inspire our families to collect those box tops and turn them in. 

by the way, you don't have to use these collection sheets if you don't want to. but if you still feel like helping out for box top coordinators, consider counting out your box tops into groups of 50. that is generally how that are sorted before being mailed off to the main box top offices. 

do you collect box tops for your school? how do you keep them under control at home? or at school?

(i linked up with org junkie, i heart organizing)


  1. We collect box tops at our school too! In my classroom, I have an old coffee can with a slit in the top of the lid. I covered it in cute paper and printed an enlarged box top to put on the can. It works! When my students come in every morning, it's right by the door. Great program!

    1. the coffee can is a great idea! love that!

      it is a wonderful program! we just received the report from last school year with how much money we earned and the technology items we purchased with the funds. it was amazing to hear how much you can make from collecting these little box tops!

      thank you for the comment,

  2. Lol! The baggie on the fridge with the clip is the exact same way we collect our box tops as well! Our school does contests twice a year to collect the box tops and the classroom with the most collected get a dilly bar party! My children and I count all the box tops we collected then divide them evenly between the two, and every year either my son or my daughter's class wins the contest because we collected so many!! I think even right now, if you go to the box tops website you can print 5 free box tops! Nice post yet again!

    1. oooh, great tip! i'll check the website for the bonus box tops!

      thank you again for always leaving such sweet comments, nadia!
      sam :-)

  3. My family collects Box Tops, and I used to be the coordinator at our school. I send our Box Tops to school in snack baggies of 50 Box Tops, carefully counted out and labelled. When I was in charge of the program I didn't like the collection sheets because the Box Tops were always falling off and it increased the weight of the package when I had to send them in. That's just what worked for me though. Love, love, love Box Tops!

    1. oh boy - yes, i could see how the collection sheets could be an issue if not glued on. i'm not in charge of mailing them for our school - the other coordinator handles that. good to know!

      we love box tops too!!


  4. I never heard of the coloring sheets, how awesome! I collect bocktops, even though my daughter isn't in school yet, and give them to my neices and nephews to turn in... What a cute idea for a little crafty coloring project!

    1. thank you so much for the sweet comment - yes, the coloring sheets are fun and maybe that is a great way your child can get involved, even though she isn't in school yet. unless of course she's too young for crayons. :-)

      thank you again,
      sam :-)

  5. My daughter just started school this year so this will be the first time for me collecting box tops. If I had known about this before she started schoolI would have been busy collecting them. But these are great tips thanks for sharing

  6. I use the collection sheets to send out to the students at my school. I was told to reach our groups of 50 I could just tape those that come in loose to the back of the sheets. This way we get the most out of printing so many sheets and the kids can still have fun while collecting by coloring them. Also means I don't have to count sheets and baggies. We just stack each completed (50) sheet in a UPS Flat Rate box and all I have to do is flip though and count the sheets before sending off. Doing it this way makes it a lot easier to count in the end and I don't have to worry about weight. Plus on PTO Today you can find where some have created and shared the file for collection sheets that will hold 50 box tops.

    1. Sounds like our school is doing exactly what yours is. We love box tops!!!! They make such a difference in technology for our school. How does your school use e money?

      Our first deadline is this friday and we can't wait to count them up to see which classrooms won the big prizes :-)

      All the best,
      Sam :-)

  7. Love this idea! I am not the coordinator, but am in charge of collecting and counting all the box tops from my daughter's room. I have a hanging file box on my kitchen counter that I found on pinterest (to reduce paper clutter...a file hangs for each one of us in the family, coupons, bills and I have dedicated a file for box tops, too!)

  8. I've collected box tops forever, having turned them in to the recycling center (which is run by a private school) until now that my daughter is in Kindy. I recently turned ours into school and was disappointed at the lack of advertising, knowledge our school gives to new parents. The main office has an oversized shoe box to put them into. I'm assuming the secretaries get the job of counting, etc. Even though I'm on the PTO board there has still been no mention. I'll be changing that at our meeting on the 8th! Great idea with the sheets - and putting them into a priority box makes perfect sense. Thanks for the tip! (By the way, we collect ours similiar to yours - I have a baggie taped to the inside of my pantry door).