The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Kristin at The Gold Project.
It is Back to School time around our household, which means purchasing school supplies, getting the school mindset, and attempting to keep everything organized for a year of success. I am not sure about y’all, but at the end of a typical school day, my daughter’s backpack looks like it has been through a horrible storm. This momma can’t stand the chaos that explodes once I open her bag, so there are a few things I do to attempt to keep it presentable.
1. Check it out daily.
I am not sure if their backpacks stay messy as they get older, but my daughter is about to enter first grade and her backpack last year looked like a bomb went off in it daily. It was almost like she used her backpack to collect random things at school; random pieces of paper, items from her friends, and small toys that she somehow snuck in there without me noticing.
I learned that I needed to go through her bag daily. If I didn’t, by the end of the week, I couldn’t even fit a jacket in it.
So, everyday, I pull everything out and ask her if she needs each item. Some things go in the garbage and others are actually important.
2. Place a folder in it to store loose papers.
For the past two years, my daughter’s teachers have placed a folder in her backpack that stays in there all year long. It is their way to communicate with me and vice versa. It helps corral all of my daughter’s papers that she gets at school too.
I highly suggest placing a folder in your child’s backpack if their teacher doesn’t do it for you. It helps keep papers from getting smashed in the bottom of their backpack. You definitely don’t want important papers to get lost in the bottomless pit.
3. Involve your child.
I have found that it works best if my daughter is involved in the process. She is more apt to keep her backpack looking nice if I ask her to help me organize it each afternoon.
4. Take advantage of the pockets.
Not every backpack has multiple pockets, but if it does, I would definitely take advantage of them. My daughter has used the same brand and style backpack in different fabric types for the past three years. They have one main compartment and a small pocket in the front.
I like to place her jacket, extra tennis shoes for physical education, and her school necessities in the main compartment. In the front pocket, I place Kleenex, gloves in the winter, and lip balm.
5. Don’t get frustrated.
At the beginning of last school year, I got really aggravated every time I opened up my daughter’s backpack because it was a mess every time. Then, I realized her backpack was just like my house. I have to pick up my house daily for it to look presentable and the same goes for her backpack.
Now, we have gotten into the routine of cleaning it out daily. And, it actually makes good bonding time for the two of us.
How do you keep your child’s backpack organized and cleaned out?
My name is Kristin and I am a middle school career education teacher by day and a mommy/wife/blogger by night. I am married to my high school sweetheart and we have two loving children. We recently made a life-changing move to Arkansas, so our new house is always under construction. I get excitement out of finding new creative, functional, and cute ways to organize things! I also enjoy writing and documenting life as it happens. So, I put these loves together and created The Gold Project. With the help of my husband, I am attempting to turn our house into a home. So, check out this special place of mine and take this journey with me!