How to Organize Your Locker

Four Parts:Cleaning Out the LockerOrganizing the LockerDecorating the LockerStaying Organized

Is your locker so messy that every time you open it you get an avalanche of old papers or long forgotten gym clothes? It's actually not that unusual, especially as the year goes on. The solution is get stuck into cleaning out when you have some free time and organizing better. After you've cleaned it out, you'll be wondering why you left it so long to reclaim all that space!

Part 1
Cleaning Out the Locker

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    Plan how much time you have to work on your locker. If you want to make minor changes, do so between classes, but keep in mind you might be late. If you need to tidy all of your possessions, take time when the area isn't flooded with people and you have time to concentrate on the task at hand. After school would be a great time to tidy up your locker. Also, make sure your locker partner will be there as well so you don't throw away anything they might need.
    • If you are cleaning a locker at work you should try to do this when it isn't interfering with your work duties. Stay late or arrive early. Consider stopping in on your day off.
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    Take out everything you have in your locker. Organize these things into three piles:
    • Everything you are keeping in your locker
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    • A trash pile
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    • A pile for things that you want to take home or have to turn in
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    Soak a cloth in warm, soapy water, and clean the walls and floor of your locker. Use another cloth to dry it. If working with a wet rag is inconvenient you can bring a few of the pre-moistened, disposable cleaning cloths. Store them in a Ziploc bag if you don't want to bring the container. The Ziploc bag will prevent them from drying out. (This step is not necessary, but very helpful.)
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    Throw the trash pile away, and take care of the things you want to take home or turn in. Then, sort the items you want to keep in your locker into groups again. Books, clothes, hygiene products, jewelry, and any other groups that you think are necessary.
    • If you don't need it or won't be using it for some time you should take it home for safekeeping.
    • Use extreme caution before keeping anything valuable in your locker. Most schools, sports clubs and work places can still gain access to your locker for security reasons. Not everyone is honest. Lockers are also commonly broken into, especially if you are known to keep valuables stored there.

Part 2
Organizing the Locker

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    Make the most of the locker space. If you need a locker shelf, arrange to get one; it makes more space for your things. Having a shelf almost doubles your space. Metal ones work best, and are least likely to break, however, consider the following: Adjustable shelves are great, but unless a shelf has support, it may sink if it has too much weight on it. Shelves with bases are great, but they limit the height of the items that you choose to put underneath.
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    Hang clothing and your backpack from hooks. If your locker doesn't have them, attach them yourself. You can find heavy duty hooks with the easy to remove adhesive in the home section or near the picture hooks at many stores. Get the ones that can hold heavier items.
    • If you keep workout clothes or gym shoes in your locker, you can add an adhesive air freshener to your locker to keep odors under control. Remember to change it as needed, since its life is limited.
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    Place your books upright on the bottom shelf (they might break the top shelf if they're too heavy), with the spines facing you. Order them by size, schedule, alphabetically, or by priority. Place your notebooks/binders on the top shelf of your rack. If you have any loose sheets of paper that you need, place them in a plastic folder, and put this on the second shelf. Think: heavy stuff on bottom, light on top. If you have a gym bag or purse, put that on the top as well. Or better yet, hang it from a hook.
    • Keep all books/binders in class order, as it helps to limit time spent at your locker.
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    Collect pencils and other stationery into a pencil case. Carry that pencil case with you. Many pencil cases have three rings so you could also clip it into a binder to help you not forget.
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    Put anything dirty, such as shoes or sports equipment, on the floor. This area is easy to clean and keep fresh, whereas stacking dirty items on top of papers and clean items will make a mess.
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    Use magnetic locker organizers to organize smaller items in your locker. Don't attach these to the door as they can fall when the door is slammed shut. Instead, stick these to the back or side walls.
    • Put a magnetic white board to write reminders, so you don't waste paper!
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Part 3
Decorating the Locker

This part is optional but lots of fun and a good reward for cleaning and organizing.

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    Personalize and decorate your locker. Make it your own, but don't let decorations distract you. Your locker's purpose is to hold things, not look nice.
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    Decorate containers. If you don't want to go get containers at the store, you can rummage around your house for containers that you already have. Just add some washi tape and stickers to decorate it. Examples of household containers are: plastic bins that used to hold your stuffed animals, and small metal buckets that you may find.
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    Lay hard-wearing, close-looped carpet on the base of the locker. This can help to keep it clean and is a good, absorbent surface for the dirtier items such as shoes.
    • Carpet offcuts can be obtained for free or very cheaply from carpet sellers.

Part 4
Staying Organized

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    Go through your locker once in a while and purge of any old work, clutter and items to take home. This will prevent a build up of clutter and make it easier to find things. Just take a few minutes every week and tidy up.
    • If you don't have time during the week, make Friday locker cleaning day.
    • At a minimum, clean out and reorganize your locker monthly.
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    Keep your locker clean. This makes it easy to grab your books/supplies when you are in a rush. Look through it for trash every time you use it; if you have an old papers or a broken pencil, just putting them in the trash helps clean your locker a lot.
    • Keep a small bin in your locker for trash and empty it every week. This will help keep things tidy if your school allows it and you have enough room. Use a mini trashcan; they are cute and although mini, are very helpful.
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    Make yourself a note of any items you need to bring from home. It's easy to remember cleaning items and pens as you're looking at your items but it is easy to forget when you're leaving the house.


  • Dollar stores have great, inexpensive magnetic items for your locker.
  • If you need extra space, put magnets on bags/boxes, and put them on the wall of the locker. Also look for sorting cups with magnets.
  • Girls: don't forget to put a little bag or pouch where you can keep an extra pair of undies, along with extra pads and tampons.
  • Ask for access to an empty locker and take measurements. Don't risk guessing. If your lockers are an odd size, you might accidentally buy something that doesn't fit. Remember to grab a tape measure and take it with you.
  • Put books that are not required to be taken home in your locker, to make your bag lighter.
  • If you would like, keep Clorox disinfecting wipes for wiping places in your locker once or twice a month. It may not seem this way but your locker does get pretty dirty.
  • At the beginning of school year you can buy locker shelves from Target and hang them from the hooks in your locker.
  • If you play an instrument, ask if you can keep it in your school's music room to conserve locker space (if your school doesn't do that already).
  • Office supply stores often carry magnetic items (mirrors, pen cups, holders, etc.) year round but these are often only available in one or two colors (black or metallic) and can be quite expensive.
  • Some stores only carry locker organizers during their "back to school" season in the late summer or early fall.
  • Keep a small, handheld pencil sharpener in your locker so you can have some pencils ready to take to class.
  • After each class put your study textbooks in your bag so you do not forget them, and that you have more space.
  • You could put a mirror on the back wall to see how you look like between classes. Plus, it's a great way to decorate.
  • Clean your locker weekly so you won't have a lot of stuff to clean.


  • Mirrors can fall down if someone slams the locker. Use a strong magnet and keep the mirror in an accident-free area.
  • Do not leave open food items in your locker, or else bugs and rodents might come to visit you.
  • Don't buy so many things for your locker that you are overwhelmed.
  • And make sure you put on things that are removable; for example, stickers. Make sure they will be able to come off.
  • Never tell anyone your locker combination.
  • Make sure your school allows locker decorating or you could be in trouble. Read the school handbook to see if they allow it.
  • Don't leave valuables in your locker.

Things You'll Need

  • Small bags or medium sized bags depending on the amount of items you are removing; gift bags and plastic grocery sacks work well.
  • Small, sturdy boxes
  • Magnets or removable tape
  • Removable shelves
  • Lock
  • Mirror
  • Hygiene products (deodorant, perfume/cologne, brush, feminine products, etc.)
  • Pen/pencil holder
  • Magnetic shelves (any other magnet items to put on the door of your locker)
  • Studying books
  • Gym clothes/shoes
  • Coat
  • Pictures Of Family,Friends,pets,trips you've taken, etc.)
  • mini trash can
  • Small whiteboard with dry erase marker

Article Info

Categories: Lockers