These essentials are not necessarily universal, they are just what have worked for me. By no means am I saying you have to buy these things to have a good, organized school year, they just help me stay organized. (This post is geared towards middle schoolers, but I think it can be applied to most grade levels.)
•Backpack (duh!) – Just make sure you get a nice sturdy one that can hold all your supplies, I use and recommend Jansport backpacks
•Pencils and Pens – I only use mechanical pencils because I hate having to get up in the middle of class to sharpen my pencil or having my led break all the time. And I always have black and blue pens just in case a teacher has a preference on what color they want you to write in. I also like to carry a few colorful pens to write in my planner with.
•Binder – It’s a pretty basic necessity but try and find one with the rings attached to the back and not the spine so that the papers don’t shift and wrinkle when you open and close it. The size of the binder is your personal choice, but I have found that I don’t need more than a 1 inch binder, I’ll explain why later.
•Dividers – Binder dividers are like the holy grail of school supplies. I especially like the ones with the pockets. They keep me so organized and are easy to use too, which I think is key to organization. If organization is difficult or time consuming no one, or at least I, wouldn’t enjoy doing it, especially when I’m packing up to race to my next class.
•Planner – If your school doesn’t provide you with a planner, PLEASE go and get one for yourself. It is so easy to think, “Oh I’ll just remember all my homework, I don’t need a planner,” but then forget to do something or not remember a deadline. Writing in a planner is easy and makes sure you don’t forget anything. Which for me is important because I tend to forget things, a lot.
•Miscellaneous – Some other school supplies I think are important is a highlighter, a good eraser, some paper clips, a glue stick, and a six inch ruler.
The next part of the list is what I think you should keep in your gym locker or your backpack, depending on what you prefer.
•DEODORANT – Trust me, no one likes to smell, or smell like, sweaty pits. So put one in your locker, and put it on after gym class.
Ok well that pretty much sums up most everything you’ll need for middle school, now let’s get onto how I stay organized and how you can too.
First, a planner is an amazing organizational tool. Everyday, remember to write down every assignment you have to finish. If you have projects due on a certain day, write it on the month page. After you finish that particular assignment, put a check by it or cross it out. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and make you want to be more productive, at least that’s what happens when I do it. Something else I like to do is write each subject’s assignment in a different color because I am a visual learner, and because it looks pretty. 😄
Second, DO NOT STUFF THINGS IN YOUR BINDER! There is a reason it has three rings and a reason why teachers hole punch your papers (most of the time). Seriously, If you stuff things haphazardly into your binder, they will get sucked into a black hole at the bottom of your backpack and will never be seen again. Put papers in the rings, and use dividers for different subjects. I like to only carry one binder with all my subjects in it because our school doesn’t have lockers. I can do that in a one inch binder because I put papers that I may need later but not right then in an accordion folder at home, and I regularly clean out my binder and throw away unnecessary papers.
And lastly, do your homework in a quite, and clean place. By clean I mean that if you have a desk where you do all your work, clear off the top, don’t leave it cluttered with papers because otherwise another black hole will open up there and we don’t want that to happen, right?
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(None of the pictures above belong to me)