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     By Scott Lutostanski

The school year has arrived, which means it’s time to get organized. Despite busy summer schedules, summer is usually a time when organization is not practiced nearly as much as it is during the school year. When students transition back to school, it can be a bit challenging and daunting to get back into the daily organizational tasks from the previous school year.

The first step to an organized start to the school year is back to school shopping. This blog will break down some of the essentials for students and some considerations to keep in mind.

The Particular Teacher/Class: Some teachers and classes have an “organization format” that every student has to follow. Whether it be a binder, composition notebook, or accordion folder, some teachers will dictate the organization system that students use in their class. There’s nothing wrong with this reasonable request, so students should follow that format.

Color-Coded Folders/Notebooks: For each class, students should have a 2-pocket folder and a notebook. They should be matching. History is a blue notebook and blue folder. Science is a red notebook and red folder. This is a basic component of the organization system, but I often see it go wrong. Color-coding folders and notebooks makes it easier to both put stuff in the right place and find the right stuff later when you need it.

Avoid Consolidation: The all-in-one school supplies are not effective for storage. A 5 subject notebook (with folder pockets built in) is typically not the best way to go. One notebook cannot house a semester’s worth of notes, worksheets, papers, etc. It also becomes extremely difficult to find anything. Similarly, accordion folders are not good for day-to-day school work (they are, however, great for long term storage). Students need individual folders that will easily lead them to the papers they’re looking for.

Long Term Storage: This is essential and often overlooked. Long term storage is a place at home where students can stash all the important documents they will need come test or finals time. Think study guides, old quizzes, old tests, etc. Most students will use an accordion folder or hanging file folders to accomplish this goal. Not only does this keep important stuff tucked away in a safe space, it also helps keep clutter out of day-to-day operations.

At the end of the day, all papers that students receive will fall into 3 categories: hang on to it, put it in long term storage, or throw it out. By creating a clear cut organization system with the right supplies, students will be in a position to be efficiently organized throughout the school year.