Back to School: Locker Organization Tips

I remember my friends and I pulling a practical joke on a classmate in high school. She was famous for her notoriously messy locker - papers spilling out, books piled high, and the door usually held shut only by its padlock. One day, we secretly cleaned and organized everything for her, and hid out to watch her reaction. She was horrified. "I'll never find anything!" she cried! She still blames me for her lost French homework.

If your child has trouble finding assignment, misses due dates or loses things frequently, it's worth investing in a few organization accoutrements that can make a huge difference in keeping him or her on track at school.


Locker Storage

  • There are many different shelving systems designed to fit inside standard lockers. Add an extra shelf or two so you can keep your books, backpack and personal items separated. Be sure it's a strong shelf that can hold the weight of heavy textbooks without bending or collapsing.
  • Magnets and magnetic hooks are great for keeping things off the bottom of your locker. You can buy magnetic bins for pens and pencils, or make your own by hot-gluing extra strong magnets to small cans, boxes or holders you already have.
  • You can also add a small magnetic dry erase board to keep track of assignments and important dates.


  • Use different colored book covers for each subject, and match the color to the notebook or binder you use each class.
  • Hold books and binders for each class together with large rubber bands.
  • When you finish a class, put the books and assignments you'll need at home in your backpack.
  • Organize your books and binders in order by class period, so you'll have what you need throughout the day.


  • Invest in a sturdy three-ring binder. You'll need one that's big enough to hold note-taking paper and has a separate folder section for your handouts and assignments.
  • Use tabbed dividers to separate your binder into areas for homework and projects.
  • Plastic sheet protectors can keep important papers intact throughout the term
  • Small plastic pouches for binders are great for storing pens and pencils, index cards, and calculators.
  • Snap-In folder pockets with labels will keep loose papers from falling out of your binder.

Small Supplies

  • You'll save money by purchasing boxes of pens, pencils, and highlighters instead of buying them one by one.
  • Keep a small amount of money in your locker in case you forget to bring your lunch or need to catch public transportation.

Personalize It

  • Add a small magnetic mirror with bin to the inside of your locker door.
  • Magnetic picture frames allow you to rotate your favorite photos throughout the year
  • Discount stores often sell inexpensive plaques, flags, and other small items to represent your favorite sports teams or hobbies. Take these to school instead of valuable items like that autographed CD you got for your birthday last year; keep the pricey stuff at home.


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