5 School Supplies That Will Get (And Keep) Teens Organized

5 School Supplies That Will Get (And Keep) Teens Organized

I’ve taught a lot of organizationally-challenged kids, but Tommy* takes the cake. He had no form of organization that I could see. He asked for a pencil each and every class period. Oh, and he also needed a piece of paper to take notes. He would just shed objects during the day, leaving them here and there. Thus, asking for a pencil or pen each day. He had a notebook and backpack, but they only showed up sometimes and were usually empty.

I didn’t know where to start with him.

If this sounds a wee bit familiar, you’re not alone. While Tommy was worse than most, many teens (and adults!) struggle with organizational systems. But it’s a new school year and a chance to get organized!

I know that Back-to-School shopping can be overwhelming. There are a ton of shiny products for sale and you might think that you need to buy it all. That will definitely lead to organizational chaos.

Instead, let me break down for you my top 5 organizational school supplies. These are the items that you cannot go back to school without. They will also help you create and maintain organizational systems throughout the school year.

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5 School Supplies That will Get (And Keep) Teens Organized

organization school supplies


I know that I talk about this all the time, but a planner is the.single.most.important supply you can buy for the academic year. Seriously. You can’t plan out your week with any accuracy without it.

While the one provided by the school is . . . ok, there are much better options available. Check out my favorite planner! So, grab your planner, some pens, and your calendars and set it up. RIGHT NOW.

student planner
Academic Planner from Order Out of Chaos

Pencil Pouch

It’s hard to take notes when you have nothing to write with. And all those pens hiding in the bottom of your backpack don’t count. I love a pouch that has 2 compartments (to better organize) and is hole-punched so you can put it in a binder!

Big Binder

When I say big, I mean big. Get yourself a 3” binder and use it for all your classes. When kids have multiple notebooks, inevitably the wrong one is left at home, especially the school has an alternating schedule.

That problem is solved by using a single binder. Also, you can keep your pencil pouch and planner in that same notebook. If you have the big binder, you will have everything you need for all your classes in one place.

Is a teacher requiring a separate notebook just for her class? Plan A – ask her if you can use the big binder instead and explain your reasons. That explanation is key! However, she might still say nope. Plan B – have 1 binder or spiral for that class and keep the rest in your big binder.

notebook organization

Get your supply list and directions for setting it up right here!


Let’s face it, you carry a lot of stuff around each day. Notebooks, possibly a laptop, pens, lunch, and a water bottle. Sound familiar? And if you’re like a lot of teens I know, there is a fair amount of junk in the backpack, too.

Instead of buying something fashionable and ginormous, think instead of getting a backpack that fits you and is on the smaller side. Bigger bag = bigger problems. Get more tips on backpack buying here.

Homework Caddy

It’s time to start working. You’re in the zone, but suddenly realize that you need highlighters. Where are those highlighters? Under the bed? Behind your desk?? Nope! Now you’ve wasted 10 minutes looking for a freaking highlighter. Boo.

Instead, create a homework caddy. You can keep it on your desk or take it from room to room. I’m loving this one! Either way, that caddy is stocked with all the supplies you use on a regular basis – pens, pencils, scissors, calculator, etc. 

BONUS: Drop zone

(This isn’t a thing, but a place in your home.) I LOVE a good dropzone. This is a designated space in your home – by the door, on the kitchen island, in the mudroom – where school bags, sports bags, lunches, etc live during the night. You can use a bin or basket, outline a space with painter’s tape, or just tell everyone where it is.

Before everyone goes to bed, all the bags (maybe not those lunches) are placed in the drop zone. When it’s time to leave the next morning, there is no lastminute hunting for that gym uniform or missing notebook.

Will these school supplies magically get you organized this school year? Unfortunately, no. But they will help you create those organizational systems and make it easier to stay organized all year long.

If you’re really struggling with organization, check out my FREE online course, Organization Jumpstart. I go into more depth on student organization and how to stay organized for the entire school year.

organization online course

What’s your favorite school supply that gets and keeps you organized? Let me know in the comments below!

Related Posts: Preparing for Back-to-School, How Teens Can Get Organized for the New Year, Back-to-School Supply Shopping for Teens, 5 Steps to an Organized Backpack

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