Help kids be organized by having organized locker

Locker Organization

(Great article from the container store!)

What works for you?

With more than 30 years of experience as the storage and organization experts, we’ve come up with some creative solutions for saving precious space and time.

We also love to hear from customers like you about how you stay organized.

Read up on our expert tips and then share your own!


Students usually have a lot of items to fit into a fairly small locker, so maximizing this small space can be a challenge. Follow these tips for fun and functional locker organization solutions that will help students keep their lockers organized the whole year through.

Maximize space

In the hustle and bustle of those few minutes between class, books end up on top of lunch sacks, and students are left with flattened sandwiches, broken chips and mangled desserts. Maximize vertical space by adding a shelving unit made specifically for lockers, which provides multiple levels of storage for better organization. Students will be able to locate items with ease and make it to class on time.

Keep a schedule

Students can avoid tardiness, losing homework and missing after-school commitments by developing organizational habits that will help them stay on track. It’s helpful to keep a calendar or message board on a locker door to keep track of due dates and events.

Be prepared

A locker well-stocked with pens, pencils, note paper and other school supplies will ensure that the right tools are always at hand. A magnetic organizer mounted on the inside of a locker door is an ideal way to keep those supplies organized and easily accessible.

A place for hang-ups

Make space for hanging hats, bags and purses in the locker by adding magnetic hooks. Non-permanent self-adhesive 3M® Command™ Hooks are also a great way to add extra space.

Brighten up your space

Add personality to your locker with a variety of magnetic accessories in bright colors. Another way to liven up the space is to choose notebooks in bright colors, one for each class that will also help you stay organized in between classes.

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Help kids be organized by having organized locker.

Scientists find physical clutter negatively affects your ability to focus, process information


Researchers at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute published the results of a study they conducted in the January issue of The Journal of Neuroscience that relates directly to uncluttered and organized living. From their report “Interactions of Top-Down and Bottom-Up Mechanisms in Human Visual Cortex”:

Multiple stimuli present in the visual field at the same time compete for neural representation by mutually suppressing their evoked activity throughout visual cortex, providing a neural correlate for the limited processing capacity of the visual system.

Or, to paraphrase in non-neuroscience jargon: When your environment is cluttered, the chaos restricts your ability to focus. The clutter also limits your brain’s ability to process information. Clutter makes you distracted and unable to process information as well as you do in an uncluttered, organized, and serene environment.

The clutter competes for your attention in the same way a toddler might stand next to you annoyingly repeating, “candy, candy, candy, candy, I want candy, candy, candy, candy, candy, candy, candy, candy, candy, candy …” Even though you might be able to focus a little, you’re still aware that a screaming toddler is also vying for your attention. The annoyance also wears down your mental resources and you’re more likely to become frustrated.

The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and other physiological measurement tools to map the brain’s responses to organized and disorganized stimuli and to monitor task performance. The conclusions were strong — if you want to focus to the best of your ability and process information as effectively as possible, you need to clear the clutter from your home and work environment. This research shows that you will be less irritable, more productive, distracted less often, and able to process information better with an uncluttered and organized home and office.

If you don’t subscribe to The Journal of Neuroscience, I recommend heading to your local library to read the full article. Also, thanks to the reader who brought this research to our attention.

by  on March 29, 2011

Clearing Clutter Really is good for you

Clearing Out Clutter Is Good For You — But Why?

Great article by Dann Albright, Jan 21, 2015

Around the beginning of every new year, people start thinking about decluttering and organizing their lives. It’s a great way to start the year feeling fresh, and it gives you a big sense of accomplishment — but there’s more to it than that.

Decluttering can really improve your life — and here’s the psychology to prove it.

Cognitive Clutter

We’ve showed you how to declutter your cables, your music collection, and your newsletters. We’ve even given you some tips on where to get started if you’re looking to embrace minimalism. A lot of these articles fall into our Self-Improvement section, where many of our “be more productive” and “get more done” articles also live. But why are they housed in the same place? What ties them together?

Humans are bad at multitasking. It’s a hard fact to come to grips with, especially in a society that values professional productivity so highly. We’re encouraged to work on multiple projects at once so that we can get them all done faster, but science has shown us that this actually slows us down — working on a single task is much more efficient than trying to direct our attention in multiple directions.


This is related to why clutter has such a negative effect on our mental capacities. Just seeing a cluttered desk or home adds to the number of things that we have to expend mental resources on to process, both visually and cognitively. This adds to the load placed on your brain. Using more mental power requires more energy, which is why clutter can make you feel more fatigued.

Clutter can also cause you to feel more stress and guilt. We often have a feeling that we should get our spaces under control, but that we don’t have the time or energy, and this leaves us feeling guilty, which can further contribute to stress.

How Clutter Builds Up

When thinking about decluttering, it’s important to remember that there are often good reasons for the buildup of things. People get disorganized from time to time — it’s just human nature. This is especially true when there are taxing situations in our lives; it could be an illness, the illness of a spouse or parent, moving to a new home, changing jobs, or just a big project at work or school.

Fighting clutter and disorganization as it happens is great, but sometimes the buildup is just unavoidable. Which is fine — everyone has a different tolerance for clutter. Once you get to the point of being notably disorganized, though, it can be really difficult to fight your way back out of it.

Part of the reason for this is that it’s hard to give things up. A neurological study actually found that when hoarders give away things they are attached to, it activates the same part of the brain that’s activated when we feel physical pain. It hurts to give things away! And the longer something is around, the more likely we are to become very attached to it.


A quick note: hoarding is a psychological disorder, while being cluttered or disorganized is not. The neurological response in non-hoarders may be smaller, but it’s still worth noting, which is why I bring it up here.

Just keeping this fact in mind can help ease the difficulty of getting rid of things. You may want to decide to keep something because you feel very attached to it, but ask yourself if you’re really attached to it or if you’re just responding to the loss of an object.

Another interesting theory proposes that clutter is actually a symptom of a deeper-rooted problem: indecisiveness. Whether you just find it difficult to make the right choice or you were brought up in a home where nothing was ever thrown away, it could be very difficult for you to make decisions about whether or not you should keep something. If this is the case, you probably default to “keep”.

People should, however, be much more concerned with the why — the purpose behind decluttering — than the what. While the what is easy, the why is far more abstruse and difficult to discuss, because the nature of the why is highly individual.

With the above, the guys from The Minimalists also stress that how we clutter isn’t as important as why we clutter — they tie it to a consumerist mindset that’s encouraged by our society. Minimalism isn’t for everyone, but understanding the basic principles behind it and seeing how some people have embraced it is a good way to get thinking about what you really need — and what you don’t.

What About Einstein’s Messy Desk?

A quote attributed to Albert Einstein is as follows:

If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?

It’s an interesting point, and one that many people have taken to heart. There’s a common perception out there that highly intelligent and very creative people often live in messy homes or work from messy desks.

And that’s not totally inaccurate. A fascinating study showed that people, who were tasked with a creativity challenge came up with more answers when they were in a disorderly area than when they were in a clean one. Many people use this fact — only half jokingly — to justify a messy workspace. But there’s more to the story.


Another study asked two groups of people to choose whether or not to donate money to a worthy cause — 82% of people in the clean room donated, while 47% from the messier room donated. And on the way out, they were offered the choice of candy or an apple. Guess who choose the apple? The people who had been in the orderly room were over three times more likely to make the healthy choice.

What’s the takeaway message from these studies?

Disorderliness may encourage you to think outside the box, but cleanliness helps you make good decisions. Of course, there may be more to these results than is obvious at first. For example, one study found that people who were curious and inventive (or “addicted to insight”) and those who had many varied interests were more likely to be cluttered. It’s possible that these results are driven more by the people in them than the situations they’re put in.


Everyone has an optimal working environment. For some people, it’s a spotless desk with a laptop, a small pad of paper, and a pen. For others, it’s a kitchen table covered in books, handouts, printouts, a tablet, a phone, a laptop, a cup of coffee, and a water bottle. And this extends beyond just your workspace and into your home; some people feel better when everything is very clean and orderly, while others find it a bit sterile.

It’s important to find the best balance for yourself — and your spouse, if you have one — that limits stress but also doesn’t make you feel like you’re working in an operating room (unless that’s what you prefer!).

Think about your digital workspace. Decluttering your Windows or Mac desktop, clearing your inbox, and even your declutter browser tabs can make you feel a lot better. It encourages you to back up your old files, and cleans up your workspace. It may even help you find things that you’ve lost — old notes in Evernote or old articles in Pocket that are really useful or more applicable now than when you saved them. Digital decluttering is a great way to bring new energy to your life.

Dealing With Clutter: The Psychological Lessons

Taking into account the results of the studies discussed above as well as the tips that many reformed clutterers have shared, I’ve come up with a list of 5 lessons that are important to keep in mind when decluttering your home, office, workspace, or any other area.

  1. Don’t get stressed. It’s natural to get cluttered from time to time. Just deal with it.
  2. Start small. Pick an area of your home — a closet, a cupboard, your garage workbench, your car—and spend ten minutes decluttering it. Separate all of the items there into keep, donate, and get-rid-of piles.
  3. Ignore deep-seated fears of losing your possessions. Remember that your brain is telling you to keep things regardless of whether it makes sense. Marketers use this as a shopping gimmick, but that doesn’t mean that we need them.
  4. Digital clutter is a real thing. Keep your digital life organized by using the same principles as you would with physical clutter.
  5. Managing disorderliness is good for health. It reduces your stress, prevents feeling guilty about your cleanliness, and keeps your brain from getting overloaded by unhelpful things.

Now that you understand why we clutter, and why it’s a good idea to manage that clutter and get organized, get out there and do it! Start small, be consistent about it, and you’ll make a difference.

How Clutter Affects Your Brain (and What You Can Do About It)

Great article form LifeHakck – one of my favorite sites:

How Clutter Affects Your Brain (and What You Can Do About It)

A few years ago, I worked at a web design agency as a product manager. The part of the job I loved the most was working on product with our design team and clients. Unfortunately, this was only about 10 percent of the work that I actually got to do. The majority of the time, I was trying to control the constant flow of stuff–keeping track of meeting notes, searching for files, and trying to stay up-to-date with the latest technology news.

I was mentally exhausted. I’d get home feeling that I hadn’t really accomplished anything. Once I left the agency and started ooomf, I wanted to fix how I approached consumption in my life. Over the last few years, I’ve discovered ways to reduce the noise of stuff around me so I can focus on creation and have more time for the things that matter most. The last year has been the most productive of my life and I owe a lot of it to understanding the importance of decreasing how much I consume and coming up with ways to cut clutter.

How Clutter Happens

You collect things for a number of reasons–maybe you think you’ll need to use it later, it has sentimental value, or you spent good money on it so you feel you need to keep the item, even if you haven’t touched or used it in weeks, months, or years. You might be holding on to that book you bought a year ago that you swear you’ll read or those killer pair of shoes that you’ll bring out for just the right occasion.

But the reality is, you probably made a mistake in buying those things and it literally hurts your brain to come to terms with that fact. Researchers at Yale recently identified that two areas in your brain associated with pain, the anterior cingulate cortex and insula, light up in response to letting go of items you own and feel a connection towards:

How Clutter Affects Your Brain (and What You Can Do About It)

This is the same area of the brain that lights up when you feel physical pain from a paper cut or drinking coffee that’s too hot. Your brain views the loss of one of your valued possessions as the same as something that causes you physical pain. And the more you’ve commited emotionally or financially to an item, the more you want to keep it around.

Why Apple Wants You to Touch Their Stuff

When it comes to physical things, merely touching an item can cause you to become more emotionally attached to it. In this study, researchers gave participants coffee mugs to touch and examine prior to participating in an auction. The researchers varied the amount of time the participants were able to handle the mugs to see if this would have an effect on the amount of money participants would be willing to spend on the mugs during the auction.

The results of the study showed that participants who held the mugs longer, were willing to pay over 60 percent more for the mugs than participants who hed the mugs for shorter periods. The study concluded, the longer you touch an object, the greater the value you assign to it.

Apple is familiar with the effect of touch on your psychology and has brilliantly designed its retail stores to help you build an emotional attachment to their products. Here’s a shot of an Apple Store:

How Clutter Affects Your Brain (and What You Can Do About It)

Author Carmine Gallo is writing a book about the ins and outs of the Apple Store. Gallo explainsthat everything in the Apple Store is designed for you to touch and play with, to make you feel like it’s your own. Gallo states:

The main reason notebook computers screens are slightly angled is to encourage customers to adjust the screen to their ideal viewing angle…The ownership experience is more important than a sale.

When you introduce new items into your life, you immedietely associate value with these items,making it harder for you to give them up in the future. This psychological connection to things is what leads to the accumulation of stuff.

Clutter’s Impact on Your Brain

Whether it be your closet or office desk, excess things in your surroundings can have a negative impact on your ability to focus and process information. That’s exactly what neuroscientists at Princeton University found when they looked at people’s task performance in an organized versus disorganized environment. The results of the study showed that physical clutter in your surroundings competes for your attention, resulting in decreased performance and increased stress.

A team of UCLA researchers recently observed 32 Los Angeles families and found that all of the mothers’ stress hormones spiked during the time they spent dealing with their belongings. Similar to what multitasking does to your brain, physical clutter overloads your senses, making you feel stressed, and impairs your ability to think creatively.

Clutter Isn’t Just Physical

Files on your computer, notifications from your Twitter and Facebook accounts, and anything that goes “ping” in the night competes for your attention. This creates a digital form of clutter that erodes your ability to focus and perform creative tasks. Mark Hurst, author of Bit Literacy, a New York Times best seller on controlling the flow of information in the digital age, put it best when he said:

Bits are a new material.

When you have to-do items constantly floating around in your head or you hear a ping or vibrate every few minutes from your phone, your brain doesn’t get a chance to fully enter creative flow or process experiences. When your brain has too much on its plate, it splits its power up. The result? You become awful at:

  • filtering information
  • switching quickly between tasks
  • keeping a strong working memory

The overconsumption of digital stuff has the same effect on your brain as physical clutter.

Finding Your Perfect Storm

I like to keep things neat but when I used to clean my room to perfection, my mom would still see that same room as a disaster. Everyone’s tolerance for clutter is different. Researchers have even found that certain people need a bit of a mess in their surroundings to feel inspired and get work done, stating that:

A clean desk can be seen as a dormant area, an indication that no thought or work is being undertaken.

For instance, if you look at this photo of the home office of Steve Jobs, it’s not exactly the picture you’d expect of a zen-like visionary obsessed with less:

How Clutter Affects Your Brain (and What You Can Do About It)

On the other hand, there’s TreeHugger founder Graham Hill, who traded in his million dollar mansion for a 420 square foot apartment that only has the bare essentials. His kitchen consists of 12 salad bowls and utensils:

How Clutter Affects Your Brain (and What You Can Do About It)

In an interview with the New York Times, Hill stated:

I like material things as much as anyone. I studied product design in school. I’m into gadgets, clothing and all kinds of things. But my experiences show that after a certain point, material objects have a tendency to crowd out the emotional needs they are meant to support.

While clutter has been shown to negatively effect your performance, it is your perception of clutter that matters, not someone else’s.

If having a notebook, pen, or a photo of your significant other on your desk, doesn’t feel like clutter to you, then it’s not.

You should seek to create spaces that make you feel at ease.

Editing the Noise: 4 Ways to Master Clutter

There are millions of sources of information and things for you to consume so it’s important to figure out a way to control these streams so you have more time to do things that matter.

Here’s 4 things that have been working for me:

1. Apply Constraints

One of the principals of good design is constraints. You can apply this same theory to create a system for mastering consumption. For instance, set a limit for how many people you follow on Twitter, how many books you buy, or how many apps you own. I set a limit of 200 people I follow on Twitter and I don’t buy any books until I’ve finished the current book I’m reading. I also don’t purchase or download any apps until I need them.

There will always be more information available than you can consume so set limits so you’re no longer simply trying to just get through it all but rather enjoying more of what you consume.

2. Use Small Storage Spaces

Cutting down on your storage space can do wonders for limiting consumption. Try cutting your closet down to 10 hangers or force yourself to use a small bag when you travel. Do you really need a walk-in closet or a rack for all your shoes? Try constraining your storage spaces and you’ll quickly identify what you really need.

3. Conduct a Monthly Review of Your Closet

Every month, review your closet looking for items you haven’t worn. If it’s summer and you have t-shirts, shorts, or shoes that you aren’t using, put them in a bag to sell on eBay or Craigslist or give them away.

Another option is to try and get rid of one item a week until you’ve cut your belongings down to the things you actually use.

4. Remove All Files From Your Desktop Daily

If you work on a computer, having a cluttered desktop every time you turn on your computer can give you a constant uneasy feeling. At the end of each day, remove every file from your desktop. If you don’t have an immediate place to move the file, create one folder on your desktop and drop the stray files in there. Here’s a screenshot of my desktop screen with one “Home” folder:

How Clutter Affects Your Brain (and What You Can Do About It)

Clutter, whether physical or digital, is something you’ll always have to deal with but it can be controlled. Finding ways to stear the streams of consumption in your favor will give you a sense of power and a freed mind, leaving room for you to create and experience life without constantly filling your cup to the top with someone else’s sugar.

How clutter affects you and what you can do about it | Ooomf

Mikael Cho is the co-founder of ooomf, a creative marketplace connecting mobile & web projects with vetted, first class developers and designers from around the world. Mikael writes more posts on psychology, startups, and product marketing over on the ooomf blog. Find him on Twitter @mikaelcho.

Organize Mindfully with MJ Rosenthal, Free Podcast

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About Organize Mindfully
Are you ready to Organize Mindfully?  The Organize Mindfully Podcast brings you organizing professionals, designers, mindfulness teachers and people who are living an inspired and organized life.  Our podcast speakers share amazing insights, new ideas, tips & techniques so you can grow, gain inspiration and bring order to your life.  From there you can accomplish anything.  Join host Mark Dillon as he explores with each guest what makes them a success in their organizing and life.
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