The beginning of the school year is the best time to establish new routines with the students in your household. And between having a (mostly) tantrum-free morning and getting back into the swing of school lunches, brainstorming the best way to pack your kid’s backpack might be low on your priority list. But don’t overlook this crucial step in setting your kid up for success this September! By starting with an easy system for putting each thing in its place early on, you vastly reduce the likelihood of water bottles spilling all over permission slips and notes home, or losing a jacket or textbook on the bus. Take a look at our step-by-step suggestions for organizing a backpack with easy access in mind.
1. Change of clothes
Accidents happen—and so do messes—so pack an extra change of clothes in a sealed zip-top bag, just in case. This can stay at the bottom of the backpack until it needs to be used and replaced.
2. File folder
Use a sturdy folder to transport loose-leaf pages to and from school without getting lost or crumpled. You can lean the folder toward the back of the bag so that it stays upright.
3. Indoor shoes
Some classes require indoor shoes with white soles to reduce scuff marks. Be sure to opt for easy-to-wear options like Velcro or slip-ons, and pack them toward the front of the bag, where they’ll fit better.
4. Puffer jacket
Avoid a trip to the lost and found by sending your kid to school in a lightweight jacket they can easily fit in their bag on warm afternoons. The iconic Joe Fresh Puffer Jackets are now made with water-resistant PrimaLoft® insulation, meaning they’re warm but not bulky and have amazing compression recovery—so they bounce back even after being stuffed into a backpack.
5. Lunch box
Ideally, the lunch box fits inside their backpack, making it harder to forget! Tip: Have your kid practice opening containers at home to make sure they can do it on their own at lunchtime.
6. Pencil case
School supplies are easily misplaced, so we recommend buying a backup (or two) of all pencil case essentials. Place the case in last, so that it’s easy to access for the first class of the day.
7. Water bottle
Pack a leak-resistant water bottle in the side pouch of the backpack to avoid spilling on library books.