Locker Decorating Made Easy

Tips and suggestions on how to decorate a school locker

Some lockers are too small to decorate.
Locker decorating doesn't have to cost a lot, have your tween bring photos and pictures from home. Photo: Arryll,

Middle school can be a scary place, but having a locker is one of the upsides for preteens. If your child didn't have a locker in elementary school, he or she is probably excited about having one in middle school. Below is a step-by-step guide on locker decorating for tweens. Share it with your child and enjoy the experience together.

Locker Fun for Preteens

  • If this is the first time your child will be using a locker, be sure he knows how to use a combination lock. You might consider purchasing one at your local hardware store so that your tween can take the time to practice opening and closing it. Also, go over locker rules with him, so that he's prepared and ready for the privilege of having his own locker.
  • Once your child is assigned a locker, he'll probably want to give it a quick clean. You can send your child to school with a few disinfectant wipes, so that he can wipe down the inside of his locker, and clean out any dust and debris. You can put the wipes in an air-tight sandwich bag until he's ready to use them.
  • If your child has to share a locker with someone else, be sure they discuss decorating ahead of time. That way no one feels left out and both children have a say in how the locker should look. Decorating may have to wait until your child has a locker of his own, as it will already be difficult to fit the belonging of two students in a locker, so there probably won't be any space to spare. 
  • Even a clean locker can smell stale after years of use. A stick-on air freshener should take care of that.
  • Some schools have rules about decorations, so be sure your child knows and follows them. For example, students should refrain from using any decorations that are vulgar or potentially insulting to others. Your child's school may even have rules about whether or not sport team logos are permitted. Be sure to check. Also, your child should know that everybody will be able to see the inside of his locker - teachers, the principal, and other students. He should consider that when choosing what to include.
  • Locker decorating is fun, but the primary purpose of a school locker is to hold your child's belongings and keep him organized. Be sure your child understand that decorations should not take up a lot of space, and that there should be plenty of room left for his books, backpack, lunchbox, coat, gym uniform and other necessary items.
  • Locker accessories are fun, but they can also be practical. Shelves, small white boards, and stick-on containers can help your tween stay organized at school. Small containers can hold pens, markers, highlighters or paperclips. Larger ones can hold other school supplies, such as a small notepad, a mini-stapler, or perhaps a composition book. Big box retailers and dollar stores stock these items during the back-to-school season, and they are reasonably priced. Just be sure you know the dimensions of your child's locker, so that you don't buy something that will be too large for the space, or that won't fit. Your child's school or teacher may even recommend certain accessories that they know are helpful and that fit your child's locker space.
  • Decorating a locker in school colors is a great way to show school pride.
  • Many preteens choose a theme for their locker. Possible themes can include: sports themes; movies; music; animals; color themes; flowers; friends and family themes; or a hobby theme.
  • If you don't have much to spend on locker decorations, your child can use a number of items from around the house to perk up her space. Wrapping paper, magazine art, postcards, and homemade art work can make a small space look great. Birthday cards, photos of family and friends, and pictures printed off the Internet are also inexpensive decorations.
  • The best way to keep a locker looking great is to keep the space neat and tidy. Advise your preteen to clean out her locker once a week, on the same day. Tell her to remove old school work that she no longer needs, empty pens and markers, and old notes from friends. Her gym uniform should be brought home once a week for cleaning, and replacing the air-freshener every now and then is also a good idea. Be sure your child knows to check her locker every now and then for old food, and for items that might have fallen to the bottom of the locker and gotten lost. She might be surprised by what she finds.
  • It can be fun to decorate a locker according to season. Suggest that your preteen change out the decorations every now and then, to give the locker a new look. Of course, this should only be done if your child has the time to do it, without getting into trouble at school.

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