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I’m a Mess. A Disorganized Student Acknowledges His Messy Locker

Things I found in my locker:

6 pairs of jeans (I own five pairs of jeans)
8-month-old fruit (my best guess: apple)
An overdue library book (from my previous school)
2 Spanish workbooks (I do not take Spanish)

As you may have guessed from my locker list, I am disorganized.

Is your middle schooler struggling?

I have been disorganized for my entire life.

It started when I was a toddler, when my parents gave me an organization kit. I promptly lost it.

I can lose anything. So far, I have lost water bottles, shirts, pants, electronic devices (I am writing this from my mom’s computer, as I have lost mine), shoes, pets, and fidget spinners. Fidget spinners? Five of those. I also lose jackets; I’ve lost more jackets than my brother owns.

[adrotate banner=”98″]I claim that my locker is not messy, but “alternatively clean.” I have dozens of pencils hidden there, but I can never find one when I need one. In math, I asked a friend for a pencil so many times that he started putting a pencil on my desk beforehand.

Turns out, my pencil woes aren’t completely self-generated.

Once at a parent-teacher conference, my teacher complained to my mom that I never had any pencils, to which my mother replied, “Can I borrow a pencil to write this all down?”

Humor aside, my messy school organization has affected my schoolwork. I constantly leave homework at home or can’t find it in the mess that I call my binder. Teachers don’t complain about my quality of work, but they do get frustrated by the fact that they can’t read it because a food stain is covering it up. I know I need to get organized, but it’s hard to maintain. These kinds of things are just harder for some people than others.

Entering my last year in middle school, I realize that I will never be the kid with alphabetized notebooks and color-coded containers for everything. I’ll never have a real organized locker.

But what I do know is—I can’t go on with this level of chaos. We disorganized students should be able to be ourselves and do what we want with our stuff within reason. But I think I need to clean my locker.

Aidan Kohn-Murphy, 13, is an 8th grader at Georgetown Day School in Washington, D.C. A former SI for Kids reporter, Aidan loves writing and sports. When not focusing on either, he can be found listening to eighties music, reading, and following politics.

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