It isn’t long before the backpack becomes a “rat pack.” Papers are curled into little balls in the bottom, uneaten parts of previous lunches or snacks are stuck to the sides, and finding what is needed becomes impossible. This becomes not only frustrating, but also causes low grades when the student is unable to find what they need to study, or turn in to the teacher. To prevent this from happening, help your child:
- Take everything out of the backpack
- Throw out any obvious trash (old food, candy wrappers, etc.)
- Go through the folders, binders and notebooks
-Take out any papers that are trash. Be careful here. If in doubt, it’s better to keep it, and put it in a keep pile to be filed (See Part 2: How to organize a filing system)
-Take out any papers for the semester/marking period that don’t need to stay in the backpack, and set aside in a keep pile to be filed (See Part 2: How to organize a filing system)
-Check that any papers left are in their correct “homes.” In other words, make sure that the English paper isn’t in the Math folder
- Go through textbooks and look for loose papers. If any are found, determine if they are trash, need to be filed in the correct folder, or can go in the keep pile ( See Part 2: How to organize a filing system)
- Return all books, folders, binders, and notebooks to the backpack
- Check that supplies, such as calculators, rulers, pencils, pens, etc. are in good condition, and in a “home” in one of the sections of the backpack
- Put the organized backpack near the door, ready to go to school the next day
- Take the papers that were set aside to file, and file in their proper folders (See Part 2: How to organize a filing system.
Take these steps at least once a week, and your backpack will stay organized, so you can find what you need when you need it.
©Kathy Schlegel, Organized Enough LLC (permission granted to copy as long as contact info is included)