Getting Rid of the Black Hole

Use some of these tips from super-organized RLHS teachers to make sure the rest of your semester is a success!


Studies show a bag that looks like this will make it harder to stay organized even as an adult.

We all know that speech we get about not making our backpack a “black hole,” but sometimes most people just tune out that voice of reason.  According to, “Keeping organized in school leads to being more organized as an adult.”

These backpack and folder organization hacks from Mr. Donald Trinite and Ms. Laura Masessa from Round Lake High School will help you turn your day around on the bright side and get the black hole out of your backpack, leaving some extra wiggle room in your folders. Your days will go smoother and you will have that impressive GPA.

  • Having multiple folders per class.My advice would be to have multiple folders for all of your different classes instead of randomly placing papers in your backpack,” said Laura Masessa, AP Government and Human Geography teacher at Round Lake High School. “This would allow the student to keep papers for one course together. In terms of staying organized with your folder, I would put completed assignments on one side and assignments that need to be completed on the other side. That would make it easy to remember what you need to work on and what you can keep to review.” Having multiple folders per class allows you to track down papers and get things done efficiently.


  • Color coding system. Speaking of multiple folders, color coding them is key to good grades and success. “Get a color coding system”, said Donald Trinite, Physics and Chemistry teacher.  “I always went Green=Science, Yellow=English, Red=Math & Blue=Social Studies.” By keeping all of these folders in your backpack, in the same order as your classes, you are better able to keep the papers from getting lost or even intermingling with other folders. It is important that you put the papers inside the pockets of the folder after you receive them and are putting them away at the end of class. Keeping color-coded folders will allow you to track down documents easily and faster when you’re in a hurry. “Keeping up organizational skills can help students a lot with their focus and with their study/work habits,” Trinite said.


  • Common Sense Organization. Placing folders in a certain order can help you keep your backpack organized and accessible during class and at home. “I would place the folders in my backpack so that the class that I was going to next was always in the front and readily available,” said Masessa. “I would also keep my pens, pencils, and calculator in a different compartment, smaller compartment so I could locate them quickly and so they wouldn’t get lost in my backpack.” Placing folders and items in order makes it easily accessible to grab during class when it is much needed.


  • Time Management: Time management is very important to keep your folders and backpack organized and to get out papers and folders quickly and efficiently than before. After all, if you’re scrambling to get an assignment done minutes before class, chances are you are not taking the time to make sure you’re putting everything away in its proper place when you’re done. (Not to mention, you probably didn’t do that well on that assignment.) Avoid distractions and give yourself plenty of time to get your work done. “Time management is very important as a teacher and as a student,” said Trinite. “This is a skill I learned during my early days of teacher observations in college and during my student teaching. I have utilized this method for the last five-and-a-half years of my career.” Time management allows you to focus more and be more productive in school and at school. There are lots of apps available that will help you balance your work time with your break time so you don’t get distracted and can get everything done.Follow these tips from Trinite and Masessa in order to get organized and do better this semester. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials online with more tips on backpack organization, as well as how to manage your time after school in order to get all your homework done.