We’ve all been there–frantically searching through our backpacks for a scrap piece of paper, only to pull out thousands of ancient objects we don’t even remember putting in there. High schoolers need to have an organized backpack because, with the shortened schedule, teachers can’t afford to wait for students to dig through their backpacks. There are a few things students can do to organize their backpack more and lessen their struggle:
1. Bring as much as you need
For some people, a folder and a pencil are enough to call it a day. Others feel secure when all their binders are with them, ready to be pulled out at a moment’s notice. Regardless of how many supplies you have, you should try to condense them as much as you can. Not only does this reduce back strain, but it makes it a lot easier to find things. For example, combining subjects into one binder and then separating them at home can help declutter things. But for those of you that need 5 binders, using a rotation system will also do the trick. For example, bringing only 3 binders every block day depending on the classes on that day will half the backpack’s weight. Also, sometimes teachers will inform you beforehand if all of the class is going to be dedicated to a lab or test, so you can pack your backpack accordingly.
2. Use the pockets
It’s really easy to toss everything in, zip the backpack up, and head out. But the pockets in backpacks are actually like dividers; using them efficiently will save a lot of time. Keep binders, folders, and laptops (unless there’s a laptop pocket provided) in the main pocket. Smaller objects such as an agenda and pencil pouch can go in the smaller section in the front. Most backpacks also come with a small zipper or inside pocket that is handy for holding small necessities such as band-aids, loose change, scraps of paper, passes, and keys. Not only does organizing by pocket make it easier to locate things, but it also increases the number of things the backpack can fit inside of it.
3. Clean it out
Finding a schedule for cleaning out backpacks is more important than you might think. Little pieces of paper, unused pencils, and sometimes even food items find themselves settling at the bottom of our backpacks. You should do this once every two or three weeks. This will lessen clutter in backpacks, giving them more space. It also makes things easier to find and prevents the accumulation of unnecessary weight.
The above infographic shows some of the bare necessities of every high schooler’s day.