I want to share with you a school bag system that has been an absolute lifesaver for our family’s sanity! We call this our Bag System and it’s how we keep our lives and stuff organized when we’re always running in a million different directions for all of our kids’ activities! We use them for Awanas, Voice, Dance, Gymnastics, Basketball, Football, Volleyball, T-Ball, etc.
The basic gist of this system is that each of our kids has several bags/backpacks/totes. They use each of these bags for a different activity, to carry everything they need to have with them for that activity.
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Creating A School Bag Station
Additionally, we use one of these bags for those times when one or more of our kids is not involved in the activity but will be attending. For example, when my oldest has a football game, my younger two pack a bag of things to keep them busy during the game. These bags can have snacks, coloring books, paper, pens, toys, etc. in them – anything to keep my kids entertained.
I want to give you a breakdown of how we use this system with a little bit of an explanation as to why we set it up the way we do.
One bag per kid, per activity
This is the key component of this entire system. I didn’t want each kid to have one backpack that they are constantly having to pack and unpack because I knew that we would end up at dance lessons with our voice lesson book and no leotard and that wouldn’t be fun for anyone. I also knew that I would end up with a mudroom FULL of activity gear just waiting to be swapped into one of their bags!
Bags never go up to the kids’ rooms
As far as important components of the Bag System, this is a close second. Activity Bags do not go to my kids’ rooms. They would get lost up there forever! So, for example, dirty uniforms go directly to the laundry room, get washed, and then are put right back in that activity bag. That way, the bag is already ready for the next practice, game, activity, etc.
We store all of our bags in our Mud Room. Each of our kids has a cubby where they can hang their bags. But I know every family and home is different so just find what works for you. I like keeping ours in our mudroom because it’s right next to our laundry room and our garage. That means the bags are easily accessible as we are walking out the door. AND my kids don’t have to go very far to toss their dirty clothes into the laundry room and hang their bags up in the mudroom.
Kids pack the bags themselves
This system was crucial for our family to function. I’m a working mom and my kids have several activities each. I knew I would be running around like a chicken with my head cut off, yelling up the stairs asking where their cleats were every day…. And that would have driven me crazy!
Part of why I love this Activity Bag System is that it takes so much of the responsibility off of Mom. My kids know which bags are for which activity, what items should be in each bag, etc. and for the most part, they take care of the packing themselves!
What I love about our Bag System
It teaches my kids responsibility!
If they don’t pack it, they don’t have it. They are responsible for getting everything together for their activities. But it also gives them a system to operate within. So I’m not asking that they are perfectly organized all on their own. I’ve built a system that allows them to be successful while teaching them responsibility.
It keeps things organized
And that’s also why I created our Bag System. For my kids who crave structure and order, this helps them feel put together. And for my kids that are like me, it helps them organize and tame the disorganization!
We don’t have to unpack and repack the same bag
I know myself and I knew I couldn’t handle having to scramble at the last second every day to get activity items together. And I knew that I wouldn’t be able to handle how crazy the mess would be in my Mud Room if my kids were constantly unpacking and repacking the same backpack every day for all of their activities.
When we started this system, I just dug through all of our old luggage and bags and found totes, old backpacks, etc. and started with those! Over time, I’ve snagged some good back-to-school deals on backpacks that we’ve continued to use year to year. And I’ve also ordered some bags like these to use.
Bag System That Works
Really, you can make this system whatever you want it to be! I know some moms who practically have a tote/bag collection that they could purge and have everything they need to start this system right now. And I know some moms who would want the whole system to be labeled and color-coordinated. And there are plenty of us who are in between too!
So, whatever kind of mom you are, this system can work for you! Make it your own, personalize it, and tell me what you’ve found works for you!!