I remember the sheer excitement I felt the summer before starting middle school. From not having to walk single file in the hall to being taught by several teachers instead of just one, middle school seemed so freeing and new.
One of the aspects of this fresh learning environment I especially looked forward to was having a locker. Pictures of my friends’ older siblings posing with their colorful, decorated lockers danced in my head. I couldn’t wait to put my own special spin on mine.
I scoured Amazon and sent my parents on shopping trips to track down the pieces that would make that little rectangle in the wall my own. Once I set up my new locker, I felt quite pleased with my handiwork. However, as the school year went on, I found some of my grandiose decorations inconvenient and unnecessary, especially considering the toll they took on my parents’ wallets. In the years that followed, I altered my approach to locker personalization. I focused more on functionality and cost, and things ended up running a lot smoother.
Now, I want to pass on my locker-designing knowledge to you in the hopes of helping you have a stylish and functional space without breaking the bank. Keep reading to find out my list of the five things you should consider putting in your locker, along with some links to where you can find these items at an affordable price.
1. Locker shelf
If I could only have one thing in my locker besides my school supplies, it would be a locker shelf. This magnificent invention allows you to maximize the space your locker gives you. I always opted for using one shelf and would keep my backpack and lunchbox on top of it and my binders, folders, and notebooks beneath it. However, some people like to organize their space even more by utilizing two shelves. You choose whatever works best for you.
Locker shelves come in all different colors, but if you can’t find one that fits your style, you can buy a white one and spray-paint it! Regardless of how many or what color shelves you pick, this essential tool is key to a successful locker design.
Locker shelf on OfficeDepot.com: https://www.officedepot.com/a/products/927543/LockerMate-Wire-Locker-Stac-A-Shelf/
Magnets are another locker staple, at least in my book. They are great to hang up pictures, artwork, and school-related papers, such as your class schedule. Plus, you can find them in tons of cute shapes and designs, allowing you to demonstrate your personality in a simple, functional way!
Magnets on OfficeDepot.com: https://www.officedepot.com/a/products/1378756/OfficeMax-Brand-Assorted-Size-Magnets-Assorted/
Magnets on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Refrigerator-Magnets-Decorative-Perfect-Personal/dp/B07LDTSL3V/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=locker+magnets&qid=1628090831&sr=8-3
This locker addition ties into the previous one, and though it’s less of an essential, it’s still a fun and easy way to customize your space. Print out some photos of people, places, and things that make you happy. This can be your friends, family members, or pets, and hang them up using your new magnets.
Another option is to go online and search for prints that have quotes that speak to you, or designs that match your style. You can find these on sites like Etsy, and it’s a great way to support small businesses and artists! If you’re more of the crafty type, I encourage you to create some pieces that will make your locker feel like home. I always enjoyed writing out my schedule and decorating it, along with any other school documents I needed to have easy access to. No matter what you pick, photos and artwork are an exciting, inexpensive way to add your own flair to your locker space!
A mirror is not quite an essential, but it still proves useful to have on hand, especially after an exceptionally messy lunch. Sometimes, you just aren’t able to make it to the bathroom to check your appearance before your next class, so having a mini mirror hanging in your locker can really come in clutch. Also, you can safely write on almost all locker mirrors with a dry-erase marker, giving you two items in one!
Locker mirror on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Boxgear-Magnetic-Locker-Mirror-Refrigerator/dp/B08KGWNR4S/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=locker+mirror&qid=1628095604&sr=8-6
5. Dry-erase board
This last item is also not an essential in my book, but it’s a fun one to include in your design plan anyway! A dry-erase board is great for jotting down reminders in between classes, and friends can leave you messages on it whenever they stop by. However, if you choose to put one in your locker, don’t forget to buy some dry-erase markers, too!
Dry-erase board on OfficeDepot.com: https://www.officedepot.com/a/products/579834/Office-Depot-Brand-Mini-Magnetic-Dry/
Dry-erase board on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Magnetic-Whiteboard-Markers-Magnets-Refrigerator/dp/B087PTMZ7C/ref=sr_1_10?dchild=1&keywords=locker+dry+erase+board&qid=1628095709&sr=8-10
That concludes my list of the top five items you should consider putting in your locker this school year. Everything, except for photos and artwork, can be found at the above links and at your local office supply store. Get to shopping and have a fantastic (and functional!) year!
Check out more back to school articles from GirlSpring contributors!