How to Organize a School Bag

Written by emily pate
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How to Organize a School Bag
Colour code folders by subject. (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

The most effective way to keep your school bag organised is to clean it out daily and file papers immediately into a prepared filing system. Keeping your school bag organised means having more control over your tasks and schedule, and it saves you time when looking for important items. If you haven't implemented a system just yet, a thorough school bag organising session is necessary.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • School bag
  • Bag contents
  • Washing machine/dryer
  • Pocket folders/Ring binders/Expandable files
  • Pencil/Pen pouches/Supply pouches
  • Sports/Dance bag (optional)

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  1. 1

    Empty your school bag completely. Remove all items, large and small, from pockets and compartments. Empty the bag over the trash to get rid of any crumbs, pencil shavings and lint. Wash and dry your bag per label instructions.

  2. 2

    Sift through your school bag contents. Place writing utensils in one pile and art supplies in another. Separate papers by class, then by document type -- i.e., graded papers, homework in progress. File old papers you don't need with you at school in a file cabinet or file folder also organised by class and document type. Look through all textbooks and notebooks for loose papers to ensure you've thoroughly weeded it all out.

  3. 3

    File old papers and information you don't need on a daily basis. If you need to keep old school work and syllabi with you, give them a permanent home in a sealed compartment of your binder, or hole punch them, place them in a folder and use dividers for quick reference.

  4. 4

    Place separated, small items and supplies in bags or boxes. Pencils should have their own home, with a smaller compartment for erasers and a sharpener inside the pencil bag. Use this system for other tools like math or art supplies.

  5. 5

    Separate your books by size. Thin, small books are more difficult to find when stuck between larger, heavier books. Look at your school bag and decide which compartments are the appropriate size for which books. Typically, larger books sit in the main compartment, and smaller paperbacks or reference books live in a medium or front compartment for quick access.

  6. 6

    Place books in your bag, followed by your folders or binders. Place only textbooks and binders you need for the classes before lunch or break. Carrying too much weight hurts your back. Place folders and binders next to their respective class books.

  7. 7

    Place small objects like keys and earphones in your backpack's smaller compartments and side pockets on the outside of the bag so they're easy to reach; otherwise, place them inside a small pocket toward the top of the bag.

  8. 8

    Pack a separate bag for sports or dance clothing and supplies. This prevents you from having to pull them out to get to other items in your school bag you use during the day.

  9. 9

    Clean out your school bag daily to prevent accumulating rotten food from lunches and old papers.

Tips and warnings

  • Colour code individual folders and binders for each class so you can recognise them and pull them out quickly.

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