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Do you remember your middle school years? Do you remember being afraid of how you will manage changing classes all day long? It can be quite stressful. Remember, middle school is a transition to high school. It allows students to be more independent and find their style of getting their work done. It's a great place to learn essential organizing habits and test out different ones to find the one that works. Unfortunately, many kids and parents do not get guidance on how to figure out what works.
Here are five organizing essentials to help you and your student make this middle school year a huge success.
- Organizing Essential #1: Make a study space for your student.
- Organizing Essential #2: Have a good place to transport papers from school.
- Organizing Essential #3: Get a great planner to help manage your time.
- Organizing Essential #4: Create a place to store stuff that needs to go to school.
- Organizing Essential #5: Have an area to store all the afterschool activities.
- Update 2023: Some more middle school essential items and tips:
Organizing Essential #1: Make a study space for your student.
Not all students have a designated study area. Find a place that has minimal distraction and allows the student to focus. Have items like a desk, a chair, a place for supplies, and a laptop or tablet so they can get online to research or get homework from the teacher's website. Below are some I found on Amazon (affiliate).
Organizing Essential #2: Have a good place to transport papers from school.
Many middle schoolers can quickly lose documents from their binder to their lockers to their backpack, so having a folder or something for each subject will help them stay on top of the paper clutter. Check out the way we set up our son's backpack for inspiration.
Getting the right backpack is essential for back support, storage, and organization. Invest in this backpack before school starts, and they will most likely be able to use it for at least three or four years. Below are the ones I found on Amazon (affiliate).
Having compartments will make organizing a variety of things more manageable. And will allow for easy access. These backpacks are also great for travel and work.
Organizing Essential #3: Get a great planner to help manage your time.
I particularly like "Order out of Chaos" Academic Planner (affiliate link) for middle school students. It has areas for managing time as well as managing your assignments. Click this link that talks about last week's post on ways to improve the student's success with using a planner.
Read about why I love these planners so much! The Reasons I Love Order Out of Chaos Academic Planners.
Organizing Essential #4: Create a place to store stuff that needs to go to school.
Keeping your drop zone for your middle school student organized will keep your hallway or mud room organized. Have an area in your home that your students know is their place to store anything that comes home or anything that needs to go to school. This could be a cubby system that keeps your student's stuff organized, like the one below. Or it could be a section in a closet. Here is an example of one I had for my kids. Click on the image to read more about the transformation.
Organizing Essential #5: Have an area to store all the afterschool activities.
Another middle school student essential for a successful year is to help them keep their afterschool activities' equipment organized so they never get lost. This can be in an insulated garage, a section of the bedroom, or a mudroom or larger foyer. Customized containers for a particular sport help keep the items organized. Check out my organizing small sports equipment post to give you some ideas.
Update 2023: Some more middle school essential items and tips:
Below are some other middle school essential items and tips that may help you and your student.
- Keep an open line of communication with the middle school student. The student may keep their problems to themselves. Asking open-ended questions about their day will help them to elaborate on their situation.
- Reach out and meet new people. Trying different clubs and activities will help find the right place for the student. In the middle school years, they find out what they like and what type of people they want to be around.
- Be yourself and kind to others. Middle school students can feel a little shy. But instead, take a chance and ask people how to help. Minimize the gossip and minimize the drama.
- Middle school is hard at first. But it will get better and easier to manage. Be patient through the process.
I hope these steps help you keep your middle school student get organized and stay on track for a successful school year. Do you have any tips that will help middle school students? Please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.
Please note these are affiliate links through Amazon, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn affiliate fees if you decide to make a purchase.