School lockers have traditionally been tall and narrow. Books find themselves stacked one on top of the other. The needed book is always the one on the bottom of the pile. Meanwhile, the upper two-thirds of the locker is nothing but wasted space. At best, the student uses the hooks at the top of the locker for a jacket during colder months.

I have always been a fan of locker dividers. A little taller than the height of a textbook when stood on end, the locker divider provides a shelf, a second flat surface upon which books can rest. The locker divider, in essence, doubles the amount of usable space in the locker.

OrganizationRecently, I observed an ingenious idea. A middle school student was using two locker dividers. One was sitting on he floor of the locker. The other was turned upside down and was hanging from two coat hooks located at the top of the locker on each side. This student had tripled the usable amount of locker space.

Simple solutions are often the best solutions. In this case, it worked perfectly. Now why hadn’t I thought of that when I was that age?

Every year, “get organized” is at the top of the list of New Year’s resolutions. This trick is one small step that can make the second half of this school year easier each time the locker door opens.