Organizing Tip: How to Pack a Backpack

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Image of man wearing a packpack on the street, photography by R. IsipBackpacks are super convenient when it comes to carrying around school books, laptops and other supplies.

Have you ever wondered what’s the best way to go about packing your bag so you can find what you need in a pinch?

In this post I offer you a few tips to help you pack a backpack and keep things in tip-top-shape.

Take a tour of your bag.

First things first, it’s important to get familiar or reacquainted with your bag so that you can make the most out of packing. Inspect all of the individual compartments in the bag, starting with the larger compartments and then working down to the smaller compartments and pockets.

Open zippers, flaps and snaps, making note of the different storage compartments available. What compartments did you find in your bag that you didn’t notice previously? You might have built-in storage for your keys, pens, wallet, laptop, among other items, so it’s worth taking a look.

Layout backpack materials on a flat surface.

Grab hold of all the items you want or need to store in your backpack and lay them out on a flat surface such as a tabletop, desk, counter or freshly made bed. This makes it easier to see what you are actually putting into the bag, as opposed to just shoving items inside of said bag.

You might want to consider grouping similar items together, such as personal effects, reading materials, writing tools, supplies and the like so you can clearly see what’s what. Now is also a good time to eyeball your belongings and bag; is your bag large enough to hold all of the materials or do you need to cut back on some of the things you’re packing?

Start the packing process.

Begin by packing larger items in larger compartments first. These items will take up the most space and will give your bag a bit more structure and form, making it easier to pack other items inside of it. Pack heavier items towards the bottom of the bag or the spot that will rest closest to or directly on your back, such as books and notebooks. You can then work your way up vertically, packing any lighter items in these larger containers, such as a light jacket, or a small bag of office supplies.

Don’t forget to make use of built-in storage compartments; take advantage of all those zippers, pockets, key fobs, penholders and the like! Have a backpack without a wide variety of storage compartments? Consider using smaller lightweight mesh bags or even clear zippered bags to corral medium to small-sized items.

How about you? What stumps you the most when it comes to packing a backpack? Packing everything or finding everything when you need it? Join in the conversation and leave a comment below!

Follow Rashelle:
Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.