We’re well into our first full week of school here at All Saints Academy, and we love having our students and faculty back on campus ready to enjoy a GREAT year. The first part of the year is always fun, because the newness and excitement carries over into the classrooms, and all the way down to the students’ supplies. New backpacks, new folders, new pencils, fun erasers, and all of the other goodies picked up in preparation for school are now ready to be used, and it gives the beginning of the year an extra bit of joy, especially for younger students. However, that fresh new backpack and shiny pencil case can quickly turn into an ugly mess if you’re not prepared. Backpacks undergo a lot of wear and tear each year, and that’s just on the outside! Inside, by next semester, you could likely find crumpled papers, lost homework, remnants of snacks and wrappers, half-used pencils, and a plethora of other things. So, how can you keep your student’s bag under control all year long?
A few organization tips can make all the difference!
- Prepare for organization with designated pockets, folders, binders, and bags. Much like organizing their bedroom, or you organizing your office, if your student has a predetermined place for each item in his or her bag, it’s more likely to stay organized for the long term. Have a particular bag for pens, pencils, and related supplies, so they stay together and are easy to access. Your student’s teachers will likely provide instruction on organizing homework folders, binders, etc., but there might also be general use notebooks or binders in your student’s bag. Have them labeled, and take out anything that doesn’t have a purpose or isn’t used regularly. Don’t forget to include the little things in your plan! Smaller items like earbuds, cell phones, etc. should also have a set spot within the bag.
- Have a weekly “bag dump”. Fridays are a great day for this, since it’s the last school day for the week and it gives you a fresh start on Sunday night when you’re preparing for Monday morning’s school routine. Have your child(ren) empty their entire bag of its contents, and sort through everything. Older students can do this on their own, while younger children might need some help. Any unneeded papers, garbage, crumbs, etc. can be cleaned out and thrown away, and you can “reset” the organization system for the week by making sure everything else in the bag is put back in its place. This is a great way to ensure you don’t miss important notes from teachers, permission slips, etc. as well!
- Add it to your laundry list! Periodically, use the weekly bag dump as a time to wash and dry your child’s backpack if possible. Many of them can be washed on the gentle cycle and hung to dry. This will keep it fresh for the entire school year. If you can’t fully launder it, spot clean it as needed, and let it air out for the weekend before repacking it!
Hopefully these tips will keep your student’s backpack ready to go all year long, and you won’t be left with a huge mess at the end of school. The same ideas can apply to lunch boxes, gym bags, and even your own briefcase for work, so set yourself up for a successful year and get organized!