10 Tips to Organize a Backpack

August 26, 2023

All the hustle and bustle of back to school brings with it the great task of keeping up with backpacks. But don’t stress…we have some ideas for you! Organizing kids’ backpacks will help create a smoother and more efficient routine for both you and your kids this school year. Here are 10 tips to organize a backpack:

First Things First…

(1) Choose the Right Backpack:

We recommend that you opt for a backpack with multiple compartments and pockets to help separate items and keep things organized. If there is only one compartment it can tend to become a black hole.

(2) Clean the Backpack:

Make sure that the school year starts with a clean backpack. Here are some great tips for how to wash a backpack. Check in a couple times throughout the school year and go through your child’s backpack to keep it clean and organized.

Pockets and Pouches…

(3) Designate Pockets:

It can be hard to find items quickly unless they have their specific home. We recommend assigning specific pockets or compartments for different items such as books, notebooks, pencils, and personal items. This makes it easier to find things quickly.

(4) Use Pouches or Ziplock Bags:

Use small pouches or ziplock bags to store small items like writing utensils, erasers, or toiletries.  This prevents these small items from getting lost in the main compartment.

(5) Containerize Electronics Together:

Headphones, computer cords, and USB drives can get lost way too quickly. Keep them all together and help prevent tangles by containerizing them. Here are some suggestions from other professional organizers: Tech Accessory PouchTravelon Tech Accessory Organizer, or these Cord Organizers.

Backpack Paper Organization…


(6) Homework Folder:

Include a separate folder or section for homework assignments. This keeps them separate from other papers and makes it easy to access. Here are more professional organizers’ suggestions  for back-to-school supplies.

(7) Communication Pocket:

Dedicate a folder, pocket, or compartment for communication between school and home. This communication will involve permission slips, newsletters, and other parent documents. Because these documents need to come in and out of the backpack with ease, a designated communication pocket works best.

(8) Keepsake Bin:

You are about to get flooded with paper! It can get very overwhelming to sort through documents if you do not have a system for organizing kids’ documents – a file box solves this! Nothing beats a file box to create a keepsake bin for all those drawings, special papers from school, and other documents that will fit into hanging files. 

Backpack Routines…

(9) Daily Check-In:

Develop a habit of checking the backpack daily to remove any unnecessary items or trash that may accumulate. This can all be incorporated into back-to-school routines. Here are some more tips for building back-to-school routines.

(10) “Drop Zone” for the Win:

Do you have a launchpad for kids? Creating an organized and functional drop zone for kids’ back-to-school backpacks can help streamline your morning routines and keep things tidy. This is the perfect place to store a backpack, and it will help you and your child make sure that nothing is forgotten! 

Do you have anything to add to these 10 tips to organize a backpack? Anything you want specific help with, or maybe something else you have found that works well? Let us know in our Abundance Declutter Facebook Group!