Declutter the school backpack

On that wonderful last day of school, the backpack will arrive home for the last time of the year. This is a moment of great temptation. You or your child may be thinking “Yay! I don’t need this any more- or at least until September!”  (The backpack is then dropped in the corner of the bedroom/ garage/ basement.)

Student Wearing a Backpack

Resist that thought. For one thing, there may be leftover lunch or dirty food containers, and if you open that two months in the future, you will encounter a sight and smell that you will remember for years.

Instead, take the first step to being organized for the next school year.

If you wait for the fall, decluttering the last year’s papers and projects will be like greeting last night’s dishes in the morning. Ick. Not a nice way to start. Go through them now, take pictures of things you want to remember, and recycle the paper.

It is very likely there are notices from the school that you will need. They will tell you starting dates, hours, when class lists will be posted; all sorts of good information. Find a safe place to keep that. Perhaps you have a file named “school,” or a special magnet on your fridge. There may also be a list of supplies required for the next grade. That brings us to the next step:

Sort out the supplies that have come home. Figure out what is still usable; if the ruler/ scissors/ pencil crayons are still in good condition, you will save money by reusing them. Some things will need washing, some may be tossed or added to the home office supplies, some will go to the craft area (worn crayons, felt pens, partial glue sticks and notebooks,) and some will be tossed. Check the condition of the backpack itself; if it’s still good, give it a cleaning instead of buying a new one. Make yourself some notes on the school supply list, so you don’t duplicate what you already have. Then pack those supplies where you will find them in the fall- perhaps in the backpack itself.

One or two hours now will set you up for a fresh start in the fall, with your information and equipment at your fingertips. You’ll have less mess, and less stress.

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