Get a handle on how to organize all the new back to school clothes, books and bags

The beginning of a new school year can be mentally and financially draining on a household; and all the new school accessories, books, clothes and backpacks are cluttering up the bedrooms. Getting a jump now on back-to-school closet organization can decrease stress, help keep your student’s bedroom and closet tidy and ease the transition from summer vacation to back-to-school madness.

Back to School Closet Organization Made Simple

Not everything about the start of a new school season has to be hectic. We’ve got a few easy tips that can make back-to-school closet organization the least of your worries during your busy schedule.

Well, students, kindergarten through high school, will… well, grow. They often outgrow clothes from the previous school year quickly. Back-to-school closet organization needs to start with purging all the unwearable (size and otherwise) clothes from your child’s closet. If there are younger ones in the house, these items can become hand-me-downs, if not, they can be donated or likely items for a garage sale. This is also a great time to take out any other items in the closet that would be better stored somewhere else or donated. Getting rid of the older items will make extra room for the new back to school garments.

What clothes go where?

Unlike “regular” closet organization, the back-to-school closet organization needs to focus on how the closet can be set-up in a way that will make school clothes, books, backpacks and other related items more accessible and easier to put away. Other items and clothing are important too. However, it is the school-related items that will be accessed daily and laundered more often.

School clothes and uniforms should be organized near the front of the closet in plain view. When helping your student with back-to-school closet organization, realize these are the clothes they will be looking at every day. Be sure clothes are at eye level for younger children, keep only clothes that are acceptable to the school’s dress code, include other accessories such as shoes and outerwear that students may need for their school day. Having all choices of clothing in one view may also help students dress for school quicker leaving more time for breakfast and other morning activities.


All students will have books, there’s no doubt about it. And books can take up room on the floor, desk or homework center that should be used for workspace. Utilize eye level closet shelving if you have it or possibly add a modular closet shelving unit in the closet space for school books. Back-to-school organization can help eliminate the seemingly endless piles of books…everywhere.

Students can access the books from these shelves when needed, then put them back in the closet when finished. Many pre-teens and teenagers like this because when they are finished with homework or having fun on the weekend, the books are put away in the closet and their bedrooms can retain all their own personality without school book clutter. Also consider compartments, boxes or file cabinets in the closet for storing completed assignments and reference materials.

Are backpacks getting bigger?

With technology evolving faster than lots of us can keep up, it’s not hard to notice the growing number of items a student needs to carry with them throughout the school day. While standards have remained the same (books, pencils, paper, etc.) many students now use laptops, electronic notebooks and so forth. A great back-to-school closet organization tip is to have a heavy-duty closet hook placed on or over the closet door for backpacks. Don’t place it too high up as backpacks today are heavy! This way, the bag and all it’s contents can be off the floor and will have a designated space to keep clutter to a minimum.

Extracurricular doesn’t have to mean extra clutter

Student council, football, choir, track, drama and loads of extracurricular activities are available for students to join, but they do come with lots of accessories, don’t they? Costumes for plays, uniforms, sports equipment and other such extracurricular items also need some back-to-school closet organization help.

First, focus on what items you would normally put in the closet space. If you typically leave the hockey sticks in the garage and it works for you…keep it that way (for now at least). Differently sized closets can handle different amounts of storage items. Clothes such as uniforms, club based t-shirts, choir gowns and other clothing for year long school activities should go near the section for regular school clothing or mixed in if it’s an item of frequent use.

Back-to-school closet organization doesn’t have to be a big or expensive project; plastic bins are widely available and can be used for other storage when school is over or out for the summer.  Other closet accessories or a new closet organizer solution can help also.

Other Great School Closet Organization Tips

  • Keep library books separate from textbooks to avoid overdue fees.
  • Keep a separate hamper for sports-related laundry – it may need some heavy-duty care.
  • Clothes hooks, over-the-door shoe organizers and other closet accessories can help keep clutter from the floor, vanity area, bathroom, and bedroom.
  • Don’t take retail tags off of new school clothes until they are worn.  If a student sees too many friends at school with the same outfit, they may want to return it.
  • Students should keep up with the organization: Perhaps include a closet organization with cleaning the bedroom.