Student Life

17 High School Locker Must Haves

Find out what you REALLY need for your high school locker this year!

Shawna Newman

August 02, 2023

17 High School Locker Must Haves
Why do lockers have vents?!
Hooray for back-to-school time. It’s the season for meeting new friends, seeing old friends daily, school supplies shopping, organizing all your fun new school essentials. But don’t forget about one of the most underrated items you may visit multiple times each school day: your school locker. While the locker may not hold many (if any) books like they once did, school lockers are still useful today. High school students across the United States have used this device for centuries to hide gum, store an extra phone charger, keep a master schedule, check your teeth for remnants of your lunch salad, to find an emergency umbrella and so much more.
Not only do they serve an important purpose, but cool lockers with the best locker accessories are a statement piece. They hold photos of your best friends and serve as inspiration with motivational quotes and magnets. You may have some burning questions like: What do you need to stash in your locker? What are the things I need for my locker? Are there different items you should consider including this year? How long have school lockers existed? Why do high school lockers have vents? We’ll get to the last two locker-mystery questions later, but first....

What to Put in Your Locker

From emergency items to have on hand, to cute locker accessories, The list below includes some must-have items students should have in their high school lockers.
  1. Collapsible Locker Shelf

  2. Odds are you’ll need more space than you thought. To prevent your locker stuff from getting lost, consider keeping an organized locker. Consider purchasing an inexpensive and collapsible shelf for your locker. This will give you an extra place to put hard-to-organize items. Customize it by picking a color that matches your personality.
  3. Magnetic Dry Erase Sheets

  4. Use this to quickly write reminders, lists or even a new motivational quote each week. The heavier, bulkier dry erase boards are a thing of the past. The sheets are slim and easy to remove. Plus, you’ll have four extra sheets to give to your locker neighbor or friends. Just remember to get your locker measurements before purchasing to be sure they fit your locker space.
  5. Extra Charger

  6. How many times have you left the house without your charger? Too many to count. Purchase an extra charger for your phone or tablet and keep it in your locker. This way you’ll never be out of power.
  7. Mini Sew Kit

  8. Keep a small sew kit in your locker for wardrobe emergencies. You never know when a friend may loose a button or you may snag your shirt on something. Be sure to check with your principal on school safety protocol though; you may have to remove the needles. If anything, a few safety pins should do the trick.
  9. Small Locker Mirror

  10. Every locker needs a mirror to keep the embarrassing moments at bay. Check your makeup or your braces after your lunch with a shatterproof mirror.
  11. Dryer Sheets

  12. Yes. Place a dryer sheet or two at the bottom of your locker. It’s the most cost effective, easy-to-store and disguise way to keep things in that tiny space smelling nice. Grab a few to put in your locker to keep things fresh.
  13. Hand Sanitizer

  14. You may want to grab a snack to keep you going. If this is the case, and you do not have time to wash your hands, consider using hand sanitizer. This will help you stay out of the nurse's office and on the top-attendance list.
  15. Removable Hooks

  16. Installing a removable hook will give you space to hang your jacket or cardigan so it’s out of your way and off the bottom of your locker (a common catch all). You’ll also want to hang lanyards to keep them from getting lost.
  17. Extra Tissues

  18. With Coronavirus concerns, you’ll want to have access to tissues should you need them. Avoid the awkward sniffles and have a few tissues on hand.
  19. Locker Snacks

  20. Keep a few healthy snacks in your locker for the days when you forget to eat breakfast or didn’t get enough to eat at lunch. Be sure these are non-perishable snacks though. You do not want to be that person with the stinky locker!
  21. Comfy Shoes

  22. For cases when those cute shoes you put on this morning are now giving you a monster blister, or when your tennis shoes got soaked in a downpour, you’ll want a quick solution. Store a pair of flats or flip flops in your locker for times when you really could use an extra pair of shoes.
  23. Extra Sweatshirt

  24. Sometimes your classroom or homeroom is chilly—even when it’s hot outside. Or, you may have an outfit mishap occur. Keep a sweatshirt or cardigan in your school locker to stay warm or to keep yourself covered up.
  25. Mini Makeup Kit

  26. Keep a small bag of makeup essentials in your locker for times when you need to cover up a blemish quickly or have a presentation you’d like to freshen up for. Consider using a fun Ziploc bag to keep items like lip balm, concealer, makeup remover cloths, eyeliner and travel powder.
  27. Deodorant

  28. Maybe your big presentation has you nervous or you simply forgot to put on deodorant before you ran out the door. You will be happy you had that travel sized deodorant in your locker.
  29. Pictures

  30. It’s so nice to open your locker to be greeted by a picture of your pet, or a family photo. Gather a few pics that make you happy and place them in a magnetic photo holder. You’ll get a quick pick-me-up in between each class.
  31. Hair Ties

  32. You may realize you forgot a hair tie for gym, or your friend needs one for practice after school. Having a few extra hair ties in your locker is a great thing to have in your locker.
  33. Dry Shampoo

  34. Freshen up your hair after gym class with a mini bottle of dry shampoo.

Virtual Student Must Haves

If you are a homeschooled student or are taking your high school courses online, you will want to consider these musts to make the most of your digital student experience.
  1. Access to a Quiet Place

  2. When studying at home you’ll need to have an environment that prevents distractions. Consider having a study area where you can close the door to prevent interruptions.
  3. Comfortable Seating

  4. Blend comfy seating options into your study space. Try reading your assignment in a bean bag or using a yoga ball seat to boost your focus during a math lesson.
  5. Student Schedule

  6. Too much work in front of a computer screen is hard on the eyes. Schedule breaks to help you stay focused. It's also important to be sure your computer is at eye level, your back is straight, and your wrist placement is correct when typing. Not having these elements correct for an extended period can lead to exhaustion, headaches or back pain.
  7. School Supplies

  8. Organization and having the study tools you need is essential if you are a virtual student. Below are some basic school supplies you should have at your desk: • Notebook • Pencils • Pens • Highlighters • Sticky Notes and Tabs • Timer • Calendar

Scholarship Prep

While prepping for the upcoming school year, consider setting yourself a scholarship application goal for the semester too. Start by applying for two scholarships a month. Once you’re more comfortable with the process, apply for a college scholarship weekly. While college may seem a long way away, it’s not. Your future self will thank you when you’re graduating with fewer student loans and less debt. Don’t forget to create or update your free Fastweb profile prior to the start of your semester. Here are two scholarship lists to get you started: Top Scholarships for High School Seniors The Best Scholarships for High School Juniors

Locker Mysteries

By locker mysteries we don’t mean lost but found food-storage containers filled with mystery food, or guess how old this pack of gum is. Earlier in the article we posed a few locker questions and we feel like they're too good to pass up. Here are the answers to these commonly asked questions about lockers.

How long have school lockers existed?

According to Ideal Lockers, a large U.S. locker manufacture, the metal school locker as we know it today got its Midwestern start in the 1920s.

Why do high school lockers have vents?

While lockers are more commonly associated as a storage device used to hold and organize student textbooks, they’re also used in the gym world too. The purpose of the vents was, and is, to air out sweaty gym clothes and shoes. Who knew?!

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Shawna Newman

Managing Editor, Contributing Writer

Shawna Newman is the Managing Editor and a writer at Fastweb. She has over 10 years of experience in higher education. Her direct work with college admissions teams, financial aid officers, college deans, ...

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