Cluttered Bag

Have you ever weighed your backpack? Except before going traveling. If you haven’t, there’s a big possibility you’re carrying too much stuff in the bag you take with you every day. And if your bag comes close to weighing five kilograms, you’re definitely carrying too much.

Carrying too much with you can cause a lot of problems. Your shoulders get stiff easily. You’re always fatigued. You waste time trying to find an item among everything else, which also makes you irritated. When you really need to put something in, there isn’t any space. In short, you need to unclutter your bag.

Whether it’s your school backpack or business briefcase, you don’t need to carry more than what you need. ‘Just in case’ usually means ‘you don’t need it’. If you’re thinking whether you should, just in case, take your mouse and laptop charger to school, you probably don’t need to. You should rather think if it would be better to leave the laptop at home altogether—they probably have free computers in your school anyway. I bought my first laptop when I started college because I thought I would need it, but how many times did I actually end up taking it to school? Maybe twice over a period of three years.

Only keep the essentials

What people consider essential depends on the person. I’m a guy so I don’t carry a makeup pouch with me. Some people might like to have a Nintendo DS instead of a book. Here’s a list of the items I have in my daily school bag.

  1. journal & fountain pen
  2. digital camera
  3. book
  4. handkerchief
  5. earphones for iPhone
  6. pencil case (incl. pen, mechanical pencil + refills, ink cartridges, eraser, glue stick, memory stick)
  7. absolutely necessary school materials

I like to carry a digital camera because I often take photos when I’m walking outside. I also carry the book I’m currently reading because I know that I’m going to read it while commuting to and from school. I try to convert handouts into digital format whenever possible, but there are days when I have to bring certain things to school in their physical form. And if I know that I’m going to eat lunch at school, I pack my own lunch. If I know that I’m only having a class on marketing, I’m only going to take my marketing stuff with me, and only the stuff related to today’s class. While it can be troublesome to sort out my stuff every day, it feels much better when I’m outside the house.

So, it all comes down to the absolute essentials. It feels great to have a light bag that doesn’t cause muscle aches. You just have to take some time organizing it and thinking what to leave at home. The essentials will always stay in the bag, so you don’t have to worry about them. Just don’t forget to keep your pencil case organized. The same rules apply to your pencil case too, by the way. I don’t need to carry three different pencils and a sharpener, because I’m pretty sure I’ll be fine with one mechanical pencil and a case of refills.

I’d like to know what you consider essential in your school bag. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.