School's in full swing now -- how is your locker looking?  How about your backpack or tote?  If your spaces could use a little organization, check out the tips below. 

Clean it out and fix it up
Set some time aside to clean out your locker and backpack.
  • Throw out any trash.
  • Clean your locker or backpack with a mild cleanser (like cleaning wipes).
  • Get rid of any food (note here:  it's a good idea to purge food from your locker and backpack every day).
  • Try only to keep necessary items in your locker and backpack -- this helps you make the most of the space you have, retrieve your materials quickly, and keeps your backpack as light as it can be!
  • Check for any repairs that need to be made.  Is your locker door working okay?  If not, report it.  Is a strap or pocket in your backpack starting to come loose?  This is a good time to try out your sewing skills!
Use every bit of space
  • In your locker, use a shelf and hooks to make the most of your space. 
  • Use the door of your locker to post important information that you need to reference this week or throughout the quarter:   this week's schedule, the cafeteria menu, or your practice schedule.  A magnetic notepad and pen work here to capture quick notes to yourself.
  • In your backpack, make use of media pockets, your water bottle holder, and other pockets.  Put things back in the same pocket each time -- this helps you remember where to find everything in a rush.
Find your own system
You'll need your own organization system -- one that works for you.  Here are a few ideas:

By sequence of your day:

Arrange your materials in order of your classes.  If your first three subjects are science, math and art, then set up your books, notebooks, and materials in that order.  This works for your locker and your backpack.  This is especially helpful when you have short times at your locker.  A good tip here is that when you're finished with the materials at the front of the line, move them to the back of the order -- just like a baseball line-up.

By subject:
Keep everything you need for each subject together -- your book, your notebook, or your binder, your pencils and your calculator or other tools.  This way, you won't forget something you need for that class.

By color:
If you love color, go one more step and color code items that go together.  A blue book cover and notebook for math makes them easy to grab together when you are rushing between classes.  Check out the Trapper Keeper® binder for a great way to stay organized by color.

Tools to support your system:
Purchase a few extra tools to keep your organization system going:
  • An extra pencil pouch can keep your colored pencils and glue sticks together for art.  Choose a pencil pouch that matches your notebook cover color for art and you're all set.
  • Try an expanding file for corralling worksheets and art pieces.
Keep it going!
Dedicate 15 minutes each week to review your organization system -- is it working for you?  Follow the three "R's" of keeping your space working:
  • Remove trash
  • Re-sort the tings you need to keep
  • Refresh anything you need to update; like your weekly class schedule or your practice times.