I saw on the Teaching Channel with Amy Spies. She uses three drawer rubber maids for her students to hold classroom supplies and has a basket on top. Her students are seated in pods with the drawers in the middle. What a time saver!
Since I have a middle school science classroom, I had to modify her design to work for me. I repurposed salad containers and placed die cuts on each of them that correspond to tables in my room. The buckets contain highlighters, scissors, glue, tape, red pens, and a calculator. (At the beginning of the year, it was enough supplies for groups of four.) My students know to just grab the bucket when they need them and leave them tidy for the next class period.
It was an easy thing to implement. Just a little training at the beginning of the school year and no extra cost since I was already purchasing the salad for my tortoise.