8 Locker Organization Ideas for Back to School

The first day of school means a shiny new locker and a chance to make this your most organized year yet. A well-organized locker can help you stay on top of assignments and get to class on time, but figuring out how to store textbooks, notebooks, binders, school supplies, and more in such a small space is no easy feat. Check out the following tips to turn your locker into an organized oasis.

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Maximize storage space.

Locker shelves
The Container Store

No matter how small your locker is, smart storage solutions will help you make the most of the space. First, create at least two separate compartments by adding a sturdy shelving unit. Use the top shelf for lightweight items like notebooks and small binders. Store large, heavy textbooks at the bottom. The inside door is an ideal spot for a magnetic organizer filled with pens, pencils, and other supplies. Plus, thanks to peel-and-stick magnetic sheets, you can attach just about anything to the inside of your locker for easy access.

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Keep track of important information with a dry erase board.

Dry erase board

Teachers often make important announcements about upcoming test dates or extra credit opportunities right before the bell rings at the end of class. Instead of scribbling down the information on an easy-to-lose piece of scrap paper, make a note on your dry erase board between classes. At the end of the day, copy the notes into a planner or to-do list.

You can also jot down due dates, reminders to bring home particular textbooks, and anything else you don’t want to forget. Think of the dry erase board as a safety net. If you use it, it will catch important details for you, even when they fall out of your brain.  

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Arrange books and binders according to your daily schedule.

Labeled binders

 When you only have a few minutes between classes, every second counts. Organize your locker according to your class schedule so that you can always grab and go. Label or color code your binders to avoid accidentally bringing Spanish homework to history class. Store books upright with spines facing out so that you can slip them out of your locker quickly. Once you’ve gathered all the items you need, stroll to class with time to spare.

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Use hooks and clips for clothes, accessories, and bags.

hooks in locker

Install magnetic or removable adhesive hooks inside your locker for hanging up jackets, scarves, hats, and gym bags. Small items like earbuds and ponytail holders can be hung up using magnetic clips. Hanging up your belongings will keep them in good shape all year and ensure that they’re always accessible when you need them.

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Stock up on extra school supplies.

Back to school supplies
Image by Catherine MacBride / Getty Images

We all know the feeling of panic that comes from searching through a backpack for pencils or paper and finding none, especially on an exam day. Use your locker to store extra notebook paper, highlighters, pens, pencils, and any other supplies you use on a regular basis so that you’re prepared for every pop quiz.

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Create a new folder for loose papers.

Folder organization

Lockers are not the safest places for loose papers. Toppling textbooks, leaking pens, and spoiled food all spell disaster and lead to crumpled notes and ruined study guides. Don’t take the risk! Instead, designate a folder in your locker for storing loose papers. Next time you receive a handout but don’t have time to insert it into the proper binder, just slip it into the folder and deal with it at the end of the day. 

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Prevent clutter with a miniature trash can.

Fabric trash bin

 Don’t fall into the trap of turning your locker into a personal garbage dump!  A miniature wastebasket makes it easy to avoid clutter overload and doesn’t require much space. Just make sure to take out the trash at least once a week to avoid a smelly surprise on Monday.

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Remember to clean it out!

organized locker
The Container Store

 Even the most organized space eventually needs cleaning. Your pristine locker might become a disaster zone during busy times of year, like exam week. Plan to spruce it up once every one to two months. Fix or discard broken items, reorganize your books and binders, wipe out any crumbs, sort through your loose papers, and replenish your school supply stash.

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Your Citation
Valdes, Olivia. "8 Locker Organization Ideas for Back to School." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/locker-organization-tips-4147713. Valdes, Olivia. (2020, August 27). 8 Locker Organization Ideas for Back to School. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/locker-organization-tips-4147713 Valdes, Olivia. "8 Locker Organization Ideas for Back to School." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/locker-organization-tips-4147713 (accessed June 10, 2023).