Step 1: Invest in a Backpack with Multiple Compartments
You don’t want your child to have to rifle through one big bag to find anything. A backpack with multiple compartments means you can assign a place for everything. So she knows, for instance, that the front compartment is for her lunch money, the side pocket is for the bus pass and the inside pocket is for the homework folder.
Step 2: Let Them Pick out Accessories
If your child helps shop for the pencil case or daily planner, she will probably be more likely to put those organizational tools to use. She may be excited to put her pencils in the snazzy purple case, rather than scatter them throughout the backpack.
Step 3: Designate a Place for the Backpack
Get your child in the habit of storing her backpack in the same spot every day after school — so in the morning, there is no mad rush to look for it.
- You might find it convenient to have your child hang her backpack on a hook by the door, so when she hangs up her coat, she can hang up her backpack, too. Have more than one child? Label the hooks with small chalkboards that have the children’s names on them.
Tip: Along with their names, add a list of essentials for your children to check off before they leave.
- Hang a hooked-organizer on the back of the front closet door and assign each child a hook. The backpack stays there when they get home so they’ll never lose it.
- Repurpose a coat rack as a cute backpack organizer by hanging it lower to the ground.
- Corkboards make perfect organizers! Hang them around the backpack hooks and pin lunch money, permission slips or anything else that needs to leave with your student so they always know where it is.
- Attach knobs to a blank piece of wood and let your kids decorate them with their names before the first day of school. Screw the wood into the wall by the front door (or in their bedroom) and you’re all set!
Step 4: Create a Routine for Unpacking
You can post a sign that lists the steps so your child learns to pull out planner, homework, notes from school and other things she needs. Create colourful signs or use sticky notes to show where your child should place homework, lunchboxes, artwork and school notes.
Step 5: Pack up Together
Make sure she has everything she needs. Doing it together will ensure she has her bus pass, clarinet, permission slip and everything else she needs!
Step 6: Clean it out
Don’t let the backpack become a dumping ground! At the end of every week, have your child go through the backpack to store and throw out what is no longer needed. Sit beside her and guide her. It may take some time, but if your child makes these steps part of her routine, in time, you will see these organizational skills become second nature.