Minimizing Your Backpack

Backpacks can be way too heavy these days. Find out how to cut down the size and weight of your backpack and you will be much happier.


Julia Tucker

You can take your backpack from bulky to thin with a few quick hacks.

Julia Tucker, Columnist

Backpacks can be very heavy, and they can have long-lasting effects on your back. It can be important to clean out your materials and organize what you need.

  1. Empty out your entire backpack. This includes all pockets and zippers and everything else.
  2. Throw away all of the garbage: wrappers, scrap or used paper, etc.
  3. Sort all of your school stuff into piles. I would suggest piles for each class, pencils and pens, and miscellaneous. This last pile would contain stuff like paper clips, sticky notes and simply general office supplies.
  4. Go through each of your classes and consider what is really needed. I normally do this by seeing if I have used the item in the past week. If you have a binder, or more than one, go through them and clean out the clutter.
  5. Take out everything from each class that is from the previous semester. Likewise, it would help to remove notes from previous units until a test or final to temporarily save some space.
  6. Remove everything from the binders but keep the papers separated into piles.
  7. After that, minimize even more. Say that there are 10 packets for math, five work packets and five homework packets, as well as a notebook and some extra papers from activities. Take out all those extra papers and projects if they have already been turned in and are the previous unit. Then look through the notebook and see what pages have been used in the past week or are currently being taught. Remove those papers and paperclip them together. Only keep the most recent homework packet and the most recent work packet. Paperclip all your math work together with a colored paperclip.
  8. Put what you just paper clipped down but keep the rest as a pile as well. Do this for each class. Never bring a notebook or binder with you to school!
  9. After you have your papers for each class paper clipped under their own color, take everything else and put it in your backpack.
  10. Put the extra backpack in someplace that works for you, like next to your door or in your bedroom where you keep your normal bag.
  11. Separate silver and blue days and paperclip all of the stacks into the days using a silver and blue paperclip.
  12. Decide what is needed every day. For example, I am in the Horizon Honors spring show of “The Matchmaker” so I need to keep my script and a phone charger in my bag. I also have a couple of books for if I get bored and a calculator. However, that’s just me, and it’s different for every person.
  13. Get a smaller bag, just large enough to fit everything. This will help so it doesn’t get full of clutter or unnecessary things, as there won’t be space for it.
  14. Now you’re done! Just organize your backpack space and don’t forget to change out your materials every day!

Your daily backpack should look something like this: