How to Manage the Last Day of School Clutter

It happens every year. Your child comes home on the last day of school lugging a twenty pound backpack and a paper bag filled with a year's worth of artwork. Resist the urge to tuck them both into the corner of the room until August. The last thing you want is to discover a bag of stale Pirate's Booty or supplies you unnecessarily replaced months down the road. 

The Lunchbox

Edit: Before you do anything else, empty and clean the lunchbox. At the same time, take a minute to look it over and determine whether it's in good enough condition to use next year. Also consider whether it worked well for your child and if you want replace it for another reason like size, insulation or lack of pockets.  If so, add it to your donation bin. 

Store: If you won't be replacing the lunchbox, store it somewhere out of the way until fall, like an upper pantry shelf or at the back of the coat closet. A divided Perforated Basket is a great solution for containing multiple boxes. This will clear space in your drop zone for summer items. If it will be used for summer camp, place it back in the drop zone as usual. 

The Backpack

Edit: Books, notebooks, school supplies and more, typically fill the backpack to max capacity on the last day of school. Most of these items are so used and abused by the end of the school year that the majority can be tossed or donated. Identify what can be used (or read) again and get rid of the rest. Depending on your child's age, it can be helpful to involve them in the process. 

Store: If they won't be using that backpack for summer camp, tuck supplies that can be used next year back inside and store out of the way with their lunchbox. We love the Reeded Rattan and Grid Baskets for keeping them contained. If they will be using it for camp, gather any supplies in a zipper pouch and return the empty backpack to the drop zone.

The Brown Paper Bag

Edit: The onslaught of artwork, special projects and gold star school assignments tucked into that big paper sack can be emotionally overwhelming. We recommend selecting only the most standout pieces and recycling the rest. We're talking 5-10 items total, if you can stomach it. Remember, there will be more to add to the stack every year. 

Store: Tuck whatever you choose to save into a single keepsake box or file folder divided by school year. If tossing your child's special work is difficult for you, consider sending everything to Artkive to have a space saving book created.


Reeded Rattan Bin

Grid Basket

Oxford Bin

Perforated Basket



the NEAT team

Leave your comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

You may also like::
Your Cart

We Thought You'd Also Love...