Each year at school, you get to look forward to increasing numbers of interesting books and supplies to go along with the work that supplements your advancing classes. You have your locker for daytime storage, of course, but when it comes time to head home and study, it's important to have a sturdy backpack for toting everything. Fortunately, there are several useful ways you can keep your back comfortable and healthy as you navigate the halls. At PBteen, we've put together some backpack tips to help you stay organized and lighten your load.
A large backpack might seem like the way to go because you can fit more textbooks inside, but that keeps it on the heavier side. Instead, choose a smaller backpack reserved for carrying your essentials, like your binder, daily notebooks, folders and pens. A smaller backpack sometimes means fewer compartments, so be sure to have a bright pencil case handy to keep pens, erasers and other loose little supplies organized. A smaller pack gives you the opportunity to be more discriminating about what you plan to carry for the day, and your back and shoulders will thank you.
One of the first things you can remove from your backpack at the start of the school day is your lunch bag. If you have a locker or cubby, drop your edible goodies off there first thing. Pack your lunch in a colorful insulated bag and carry it by hand. Once you get to school, store it to eliminate the added weight and bulk from your pack.
"Pack your lunch in a colorful insulated bag and carry it by hand."
Organization is key to reducing the weight of your backpack. When you get old tests or homework back, immediately slip them into folders or one of our convenient homework holders to keep each sheet organized until you get home. Go through your papers each day and recycle what you don't need while keeping the necessities tucked inside your holder.
Another smart trick to make your backpack feel lighter without leaving any essentials behind is to ensure the weight is evenly distributed. You can do this by making use of all of the compartments in your bag. Place the largest and heaviest books in the back of the bag so they're closest to your back. This creates less strain and makes them easier to carry. Place your laptop or tablet in a case and slide it in the front of the bag with lighter notebooks and pouches.
"Place the largest and heaviest books in the back of the bag."
It's important to carry only what you need for a particular day. If you don't have science class on Wednesday, leave your textbook, notebook and work for that class at home when the middle of the week rolls around. This reduces the weight of your bag and also makes it easier to find what you need in your backpack. Do make sure that you leave space for your wallet, phone, keys and other small items that you use on a daily basis.
If you always have a lot to tote around, invest in a rolling backpack. On days when you have to carry most of your textbooks, or if you don't have much time between classes to switch books out at your locker, a rolling pack can really lessen the strain on your back. This convenient style has a long handle and wheels so that you can keep the weight off of your back while pulling it along behind you.