School’s Out Organizing Part II: The Backpack Black Hole

In a recent post I recommended that parents undertake an end-of-year paper purge of school information. Continuing with that theme…don’t forget the black hole of your student’s backpack!

For many students, the backpack is a black hole: things go in and they don’t come out.

Even if your child is usually good at routinely going through the contents of the backpack, the end of year busyness may mean that papers, projects and other things get shoved in, and there isn’t as much time to go through them.  (My kindergartener is fairly organized but I know all spring she has been stashing more and more toys in her backpack for “free choice time.” I don’t think she has any idea how many erasers and Polly Pockets she has accumulated.)

Now’s the time to take a look in the backpack and clean out the papers, trash, food remnants, toys, and whatever else has been hiding in there. Parents of younger kids may need to lend a helping hand, but for older elementary school kids they should be able to do this on their own. At minimum, a child can dump everything out and the parent can guide the sorting of items into basic categories: trash, recycle, and things to keep.

Don’t forget to check out the lunch box too! If it can be used next year, give it a good cleaning. If not, be sure to make a note to buy a new one in the summer.